Gallbladder disease includes inflammation, infection, stones, or blockage (obstruction) of the gallbladder.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
The gallbladder is a sac located under the liver. It stores and concentrates bile produced in the liver. Bile aids in the digestion of fat, and is released from the gallbladder into the upper small intestine (duodenum) in response to food (especially fats).
Types of gallbladder disease include:
- Cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder)
- Gallstones (cholelithiasis)
- Chronic acalculous gallbladder disease (in which the natural movements needed to empty the gallbladder do not work well)
- Gangrene or abscesses
- Growths of tissue (polyps) in the gallbladder
- Defects of the gallbladder that are present at birth (congenital)
- Sclerosing cholangitis
- Tumors of the gallbladder and bile ducts
Reviewed By: George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.