How can gallstones be dangerous?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Gallstones can come in a variety of different colors and shapes, depending on what substances they contain, such as red blood cells or cholesterol. They're made from different materials, because your gallbladder cleans a lot of material out. While some are round, others form in the shape of dice if they are pushed together.

Larger gallstones are not dangerous, but the smaller ones can cause problems. They can travel into the main duct that drains your liver and block off the pancreas and the liver. That's when you turn yellow and get pancreatitis.

Continue Learning about Gallstones


Your gallbladder contains digestive fluids that help you process foods that you eat. When these fluids harden they are call gallstones. Gallstones range in size from smaller than a grain of sand to golf ball size. Gallstones might ...

not cause any symptoms. If you experience sudden pain in the upper right part of your abdomen or in the center of your abdomen, pain in your right shoulder or back pain between your shoulders, you may have gallstones that need medical attention.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.