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What is a gallstone?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Gallstones form when substances in bile harden. Your gallbladder is a small organ located in the upper right abdomen, close to your liver. It stores a digestive fluid called bile, which flows into your small intestine. Bile helps your body digest fats. Gallstones may stay in the gallbladder, or may move into the bile ducts; either way they can cause pain in your upper abdomen that may last up to 12 hours, and may lead to complications such as infection.

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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.