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Gallbladder disease

Definition

Gallbladder disease includes inflammation, infection, stones, or blockage (obstruction) of the gallbladder.

Alternative Names

Biliary disease

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

Review Date: 7/6/2009
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.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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