Gallstones (bile stones) are not as common in children as they are in adults. But some children do get gallstones. Most often, there is no specific underlying cause for gallstones in children.
If your child's gallstones don't cause symptoms, treatment may not be needed. If they do, your child will need surgery to remove the gallbladder. This surgery is called cholecystectomy.
In most cases, surgeons can remove the gallbladder using laparoscopic surgery also called minimally invasive surgery. This means they make several small cuts (incisions) in the belly instead of one large incision (open surgery). Surgeons insert a thin, lighted tube with a camera and their surgical instruments through these small incisions. Then they snip the gallbladder free and remove it through one of the openings.
You can expect your child to stay in the hospital for one to two days. Once your child is home, you may need to limit activity for several days.
About two to three weeks after surgery, your child will need to see the surgeon for a follow-up visit. The surgeon will make sure the incision is healing and your child is recovering well.
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