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Early Surgery Appears Beneficial for Mild to Moderate Gallstone Pancreatitis

It is common practice to delay surgery for people with severe gallstone pancreatitis.  Historically, delaying surgery for people with mild to moderate gallstone pancreatitis has been controversial. However, a new study shows that early removal of the gallbladder for people with mild to moderate gallstone pancreatitis may actually be beneficial. 

Gallstones are solid particles that develop from an imbalance of bile in the gallbladder. Gallstones are the leading cause of pancreatic inflammation.  Researchers at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center found that patients with mild to moderate pancreatitis that received surgery (cholecystectomy) within two days of hospital admission had a shorter hospital stay.  Patients that received surgery after five days stayed in the hospital longer.  Additionally, patients receiving earlier surgery did not experience an increase in complications or death rates.

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