Gallstones are stones that form in the gallbladder. The gallbladder is a small sac located just under the liver. It stores bile released by the liver. Bile helps you digest fats. Gallstones can be smaller than a grain of sand or as large as a golf ball.
Gallstones form when cholesterol and other things found in bile make stones. They can also form if the gallbladder doesn't empty as it should.
Gallstones can also form in the common bile duct or cystic duct. These tubes carry bile from the gallbladder and the liver to the small intestine.
Gallstones can cause many different problems, such as:
There is no sure way to prevent gallstones. But you can reduce your risk of forming gallstones that can cause symptoms.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
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Current as of: May 12, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& A. Evan Eyler, MD, MPH - Family Medicine, Psychiatry
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