are solid particles that form within the gallbladder. Gallstones form from a liquid
substance called bile.
Bile is mostly made up of water, salts, cholesterol, and lecithin.
The liver makes bile and the gallbladder is the organ that stores it for later use.
During digestion, bile is secreted into the small intestine to help with the breakdown
If the concentration of bile changes, particles can develop out of the
liquid bile. The particles form solids called gallstones. Gallstones are
most often made up of cholesterol particles in 85% of the cases.
Gallstones often go unnoticed, but sometimes they can turn into potentially
serious conditions that may require care from your doctor.
Gallstones are the most common cause of gastrointestinal complications in the
US. About 15-20 million people are affected by them.
Gallstones occur more often in women than men. Roughly 20% of females and 5% of males
develop them. Symptomatic gallstones occur more often in pregnant women. Surgery to remove the gallbladder is called cholecystectomy. Roughly 500,000 of these surgeries are
done each year in the US.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a