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The Science Journal of the Lander College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

The following is the introduction of this article: The red numbers on your alarm read two o’clock AM, but you’re wide awake. A dull ache below your ribs has tossed you from the blissful ignorance of sleep into the painful reality of another nocturnal attack. As the pale streaks of daylight appear, you grit your teeth in agony while the ambulance goes over yet another bump in its rush to get you to the emergency room. A blur of white coats, lab tests, and CT scans, and then you’re staring into the bright lights above the operating table as the nurses prepare you for emergency gallbladder surgery. “Does it have to be this way?” you wonder, “Is there no other option?” The purpose of this paper is to answer just such a question. After clarifying gallbladder anatomy and the etiology of gallstone disease, it will evaluate surgical and nonsurgical options for the treatment of gallstones. In the course of the discussion, it will examine the mechanism of action, efficacy, and safety of each treatment option. Once the analysis is complete, it will be possible to conclude if there are nonsurgical therapies that may be preferred over surgical removal of the gallbladder for relief of gallstone disease.

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