WHAT IS THE GALLBLADDER?
Your gallbladder is a small organ in your upper abdomen. The abdomen is the area in the middle of your body that holds many organs, including the stomach and gallbladder.
WHAT DOES THE GALLBLADDER DO?
The gallbladder collects and stores a liquid called bile that helps your body break down food. Small, hard deposits called gallstones can form in the gallbladder. This is a common condition. If your gallstones cause health problems, doctors might do surgery to remove it.
What Causes Gallbladder Problems?
Gallstones are often the cause. These small, hard deposits form in the gallbladder. They can also get into the bile duct, which connects the gallbladder with your intestines.
You are more likely to get gallstones if you:
- Are a woman,
- Have had children,
- Are overweight, or
- Are over 40.
You might also get gallstones if other people in your family had them. Doctors do not have a consistent way of preventing gallstones.
How do doctors find gallbladder problems?
Your doctor will probably order a test called an ultrasound. It shows the inside of the body using sound waves. You are awake during the test, and it does not hurt.
If you need more tests, you might have a CT scan or a test called a HIDA scan. The HIDA scan uses an injection of dye to show how well your gallbladder and bile duct are working.