Gallstones are diagnosed and treated by the GI Division of Premier Medical Group.
What are gallstones?
Gallstones are defined as hard, pebble-like deposits that form inside the gallbladder, which itself is a small pear-shaped sac located below your liver in the right upper abdomen. The gallbladder stores liquid called bile, which helps the body digest fats. The bile is actually made in your liver, but it is stored in the gallbladder until the body needs it. When the gallbladder contracts the bile is pushed into the common bile duct. From there it moves down to the small intestine where it will help your digestion. Bile is made up of cholesterol, fats, bile salts, water, and bilirubin. Stones develop because cholesterol and pigments in bile sometimes form hard particles. The stones can be as large as a golf ball or as tiny as a grain of sand.
Gallstones are more common in women, people with a family history, Native Americans, Hispanics, and people over 40.