Gallstone disease is more common in the elderly. In this short review, we summarize guideline-based recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of biliary diseases in elderly patients. Warning episodes of biliary colic represent a general indication for cholecystectomy to avoid stone-related complications. Elderly patients with mild and moderate acute cholecystitis should undergo urgent cholecystectomy. After endoscopic retrograde cholangiography and stone extraction as well as mild acute biliary pancreatitis, cholecystectomy should be performed during the same hospital admission. Since the elevated risk of gallstone carriers to develop biliary cancer increases with age, cholecystectomy also protects against cancer.
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.