BACKGROUND AND METHODS: The aim of this study was the evaluation of the management of cholecysto- and choledocholithiasis and outcome of laparoscopic as well as open cholecystectomy (CHE) and common bile duct (CBD) exploration in Bavaria, Germany. A written questionnaire including 201 structured items was sent to all 180 hospitals and departments performing general or abdominal surgery in Bavaria. RESULTS: The response rate was 60 %. A total of 16 615 operations for gallstone disease including 16 051 cholecystectomies and 453 CBD explorations with or without cholecystectomy were reported. 88 % of all cholcystectomies started laparoscopically, the conversion rate was 5.6 %. The Veres needle (69 %), 4 trocar techniques and electrosurgical hook knife were reported as standard procedures. A retrieval bag was used by 53 % of all surgeons. The overall complication rate for cholecystectomy was 5.46 % including 0.15 % major bile duct injuries. Relaparoscopy was performed in 0.35 %, relaparotomy in 0.44 % and postoperative treatment by ERC in 1.45 %. The overall hospital mortality rate was 0.13 %. When choledocholithiasis was suspected, a two-stage management ("therapeutic splitting") with preoperative ERC was preferred (99 %). The conversion rate of simultaneous laparoscopic CHE+CBD exploration was 43 %. CONCLUSION: These results allow an estimation of the frequency and overall risks in surgical therapy for gallstones. At present, new techniques like combined laparoscopic and endoscopic procedures, microinstruments or N.O.T.E.S do not play a significant role in Germany.