- A pear-shaped organ, the gallbladder stores and concentrates bile, which helps in digestion of fats and waste products.
- Gallstones occur in the gallbladder due to an imbalance in the bile of bile salts, cholesterol or bilirubin and this results in a blockage of normal bile flow.
- Stones may also case gallbladder inflammation, known as cholecystitis.
- Quite often you may not notice gallstones and they do not need any treatment until they produce symptoms.
- Pain in the mid or upper-right section of the abdomen that may come and go or may range from mild to irregular to very severe.
- Other symptoms may include nausea and vomiting, frequent diarrhoea or light-coloured chalky stools, darker urine than usual and sometimes jaundice or shaking and fever.
Treatment usually involves keyhole surgery (to remove the gallbladder and the gall stones) and an overnight stay in hospital.
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