The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped sac that stores bile, which is produced by the liver. Bile helps to break down fats in the intestines.
When the gallbladder becomes inflamed, it is called cholecystitis. If stones block the ducts that lead from the gallbladder, it is called cholelithiasis. Treatment for these conditions may include antibiotics, pain relief, and surgery.
Gallstones are the most common condition affecting the gallbladder. They are hardened deposits of bile that can form in the gallbladder. Stones can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a golf ball.
Most people with gallstones do not have any symptoms. However, if a stone lodges in the ducts that lead from the gallbladder, it can cause pain in the abdomen, nausea, vomiting, and jaundice. Treatment for symptomatic gallstones typically includes surgery to remove the gallbladder.
Cholecystitis is an inflammation of the gallbladder that can be caused by a viral or bacterial infection, gallstones, or other conditions. Symptoms of cholecystitis include pain in the right upper abdomen, fever, nausea, and vomiting. Treatment for cholecystitis typically includes antibiotics and pain relief.