To treat a gallstone blockage and infection (cholecystitis), doctors first prescribe antibiotics. After the infection subsides, a surgeon removes the gallbladder.
Symptoms caused by a scar (stricture) may improve rapidly after treatment restores the duct's drainage.
Symptoms of primary biliary cirrhosis and primary sclerosing cholangitis are long-lasting diseases. They may steadily get worse and lead to cirrhosis and liver failure after years of damage. When liver failure develops, a liver transplant can improve survival. However, primary sclerosing cholangitis and primary biliary cirrhosis can return after transplant.