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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Non-surgical options for the management of gallstone disease: an overview.

The modalities for the non-surgical treatment of gallstones include oral dissolution by bile salts, local dissolution by methyl-tert-butyl-ether (MTBE), extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy (ESWL) and percutaneous gallstone clearance. The results of oral bile salt therapy for cholesterol stones have been disappointing, and the only indication for this treatment is after ESWL. The high efficacy initially reported for MTBE has not been confirmed by subsequent experience in other centres: this therapy is toxic and best confined to specialized centres. ESWL, though effective in noncalcified stones, has limited overall applicability (approx. 15%) and is frequently followed by recurrence despite maintenance therapy with oral bile salts. Percutaneous gallstone clearance (radiologic or laparoscopic) has been superseded by laparoscopic cholecystectomy. This offers definitive treatment in a single session and has significant advantages over open cholecystectomy in terms of short hospital stay and accelerated recovery with early return to work or full activity. Destruction of the gallbladder by sclerosant agents (chemical cholecystectomy) requires further experimental evaluation before its introduction to clinical practice.[1]


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