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What are pigmented gallstones?

Pigmented gallstones are hard, pebble-like deposits in your gallbladder that are made from bilirubin, the pigment in bile. Your gallbladder is an organ located just below your liver and just above your small intestine. It stores bile, the yellowish liquid made by your liver. When you eat a meal, your gallbladder contracts and sends bile through a duct into your small intestine where it helps with the digestion of fats.

A gallstone forms when one of the constituents of bile precipitates out and forms a solid mass. About 75% of gallstones are made of cholesterol. The other 25% of gallstones are made of bilirubin, which causes them to appear black or brown in color. They are called pigmented gallstones.

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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.