Gallbladder Polyps

Polyps in Gallbladder
Gallbladder Polyps
By Dr. Lee Ser Yee
Gallbladder polyps are growths that protrude from the inner lining of the gallbladder.

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.

“Gallbladder polyps are common but fortunately most are benign, however, as gallbladder cancer can start as a polyp and carries a poor outcome especially when diagnosed late, early assessment for polyps is recommended and follow-up may be necessary.”