Background/aims: Gallbladder specimens are routinely sent for histopathological examination after cholecystectomy in order to rule out the presence of gallbladder carcinoma (GBC). However, there is no evidence for the benefit of this costly practice. Our aim was to determine whether a selective strategy based on macroscopic appearance of gallbladder specimens is a reliable strategy to exclude them from histopathological examination. Methods: A retrospective study was conducted from January 2007 until November 2011 in a large community hospital in The Netherlands. All gallbladder specimen reports (n = 1,393) after cholecystectomy were included and searched for abnormal findings. Reports were excluded when a full histopathological report was not available (n = 18).Results: Out of the 1,375 patients, 185 had a macroscopically abnormal gallbladder specimen. Of these patients, 6 had GBC. All patients with GBC had macroscopic abnormalities, giving a negative predictive value of 100% to exclude gallbladder specimens from histopathological examination based on macroscopic abnormalities.Conclusions: Based on our study it seems justified to exclude gallbladder specimens from histopathological examination based on the absence of macroscopic abnormalities. A more selective policy will reduce medical costs, saving EUR 1.3 million a year in The Netherlands alone, whilst maintaining patient safety.