While gallbladder sludge, formed by improper emptying of the gallstone, often results in no perceptible symptoms and requires no invasive treatment, a doctor may recommend a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder, in the case of severe discomfort or pain, according to Everyday Health. While removal of the gallbladder is the most common treatment for symptomatic instances of gallbladder sludge, certain medications may also aid in reducing or slowing the formation of gallbladder sludge.
While gallbladder sludge alone may not be life-threatening or require significant medical attention, the presence of sludge within the gallbladder may ultimately result in severe inflammation or blocking of the bile duct in some instances, as reported by Everyday Health. Additionally, significant formation of gallbladder sludge may result in a thickening of the sludge and the formation of gallstones, which may exacerbate inflammation and pain in the upper abdominal region. In this case, surgical removal of the gallbladder is often the most recommended treatment.
An ultrasound or X-ray and consultation with a doctor can help determine whether any action is needed if the presence of gallbladder sludge does not appear to be causing any significant discomfort or health issues in the patient, notes Everyday Health.