The vast majority of gallbladder polyps are benign but a small proportion are precancerous and can progress to cancer.
Most patients do not have symptoms and are detected incidentally during a check-up for other conditions or as part of a health screening when an ultrasound scan is performed.
Some may present with symptoms similar to gallstones e.g. biliary colic.
The size and certain features of a gallbladder polyp can help predict whether it is cancerous (malignant) or benign. Gallbladder cancer carries a poor prognosis and often presents late. If the gallbladder polyp has suspicious features and/or if the patient has risk factors, there is a role for regular follow-up with 6-12 monthly ultrasound scans.
Your doctor may also recommend cholecystectomy if you have a suspicious gallbladder polyp and/or it is causing symptoms or accompanied with gallstones.
Most of the time, this can be done via a minimally invasive approach such as laparoscopic cholecystectomy, also known as “keyhole” gallbladder removal surgery.
Please consult your gallbladder surgeon to find out more.