Physicians most commonly treat gall bladder stones through what they have termed "watchful waiting," in which the doctors monitor the stones to see if they naturally dissolve, according to WebMD. In some cases, gall stones require nonsurgical therapy, such as dissolving stones with bile salt, oral medication, shock wave therapy or contact dissolution.
Contact dissolution is a method that dissolves gallstones by inserting a catheter through the abdomen and injecting drugs into the gallbladder, explains WebMD. A less invasive procedure involves patients orally digesting ursodiol, a bile salt tablet that slowly dissolves gall bladder stones when stones have formed from cholesterol. Shock wave therapy involves the use of high-frequency sound waves to break up the stones. Patients often digest bile salt following shock wave therapy to further dissolve the gall bladder stones.
In extreme cases, surgery to remove the gallbladder may be necessary, explains WebMD. Removal of the gallbladder eliminates the possibility of gallbladder stones developing. The gallbladder does serve an important function for the body, but it is not an essential organ for patients to live a healthy life. In some cases, gallbladder removal can cause instances of diarrhea for patients, because bile moves from the liver to the small intestine without the presence of a gallbladder.