The gallbladder is an organ that stores bile; a bitter, yellow fluid produced by your liver. Bile is released by your gallbladder into the small intestine when you eat and helps to break down fats.
When the components that make up bile get out of balance gallstones can form. Gallstones are frequently not a problem and go unnoticed. However if a gallstone becomes trapped in the opening (duct) in your gall bladder it can cause severe abdominal pain lasting from one to five hours.
Left untreated gallstone disease can cause persistent pain, yellowing of the eyes and skin (jaundice) and elevated body temperature. In severe cases gallstones can move to the pancreas causing pain and inflammation.
Treatment for gallstones usually involves minimally invasive keyhole surgery (laparoscopic cholecystectomy).
Related tests and scans
Waiting for blood tests and results can be an anxious time. If you’ve been referred by a GP for a test and don’t want to worry or wait, Nuffield Health can help. Our national network of fully accredited laboratories delivers fast, reliable results at a competitive price – wherever you are in the UK.
Suffering from poor digestion can be a miserable experience. You may be experiencing symptoms of bloating, diarrhoea, constipation or gas, which can make life very uncomfortable.