Medical Illustrations

Picture of Gallbladder

Picture of Gallbladder

The gallbladder is a small pouch that is on the right side of the abdomen under the liver. The gallbladder stores bile, which is produced in the liver. Bile aids in the digestion of fats and the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. While eating, the contents of the gallbladder empty into the small intestine via bile ducts.

The gallbladder may need to be removed if gallstones are present. Gallstones can block the bile ducts and cause severe abdominal pain. This is known as a gallbladder attack or biliary colic. Gallstones are usually made of cholesterol or bilirubin, the end product of hemoglobin from red blood cells. The gallbladder is not an essential organ. Gallbladder removal does not adversely affect health.

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Text Reference: "Gallstones." National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.