In the western world, more than 10 % of adults have gallstones. The incidence is increasing with age in both sexes. Women are affected more commonly than men with nearly 40 % of women in their 9th decade having stones. It is estimated that more than 25 million Americans have gallstones, with 1 million new cases discovered each year. In 10 to 15 % of the gallstones patients, the presence of these stones give rise to symptoms. Without treatment, symptoms will nearly always remain in these patients. Spontaneous passing of the gallbladder stone is seen in less than 5% of the patients. Annually approximately 500,000 to 700,000 cholecystectomies are performed in the United States. The annual cost of caring for patients with gallstone disease is estimated at more than $5 billion.

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A. Prins (Ad) , J.S. Lameris
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van der Velden, J. (2000, April 24). Patient selection for cholecystectomy : the value of sonography. Retrieved from