Gallstone Disease in the Elderly

  • Kim U. Kahng
  • Jennifer A. Wargo


Disease of the biliary tract is common among adults in the United States: 10–15% of the adult population have gallstones, accounting for approximately 20 million people, and 1 million new cases are discovered annually. Gallstone disease is the most common and most costly digestive disease causing hospitalization, with an estimated annual cost exceeding $5 billion.1 Among the elderly, biliary disease is the most common indication for abdominal surgery.2 This is undoubtedly related to the progressive increase in the prevalence of cholelithiasis with advancing age, which in some reports exceeds 50% in those older than age 70.3 In addition to being common, gallbladder disease in the elderly is more severe than in the young, as indicated by the higher proportion of elderly patients requiring cholecystectomy for acute rather than chronic cholecystitis.4 Biliary tract disease in the elderly is further complicated by the greater incidence of choledocholithiasis. Common duct stones are found at the time of cholecystectomy in up to 30% of those in their sixties and in up to 50% of those in their seventies.5


Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy Acute Cholecystitis Common Bile Duct Stone Gallstone Disease Common Bile Duct Exploration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kim U. Kahng
  • Jennifer A. Wargo

There are no affiliations available

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