Gallstones are small stones that form in the gallbladder, a small sac-like organ which sits behind the liver on the right hand side of the abdomen. It is responsible for the storage of bile. Bile contains cholesterol and bilirubin and with changes in concentrations, stones may form. Most stones do not cause any problems and can be left alone. Occasionally, a stones can obstruct the exit of the gallbladder and cause a severe episode of pain that can last several hours. This can sometimes lead to a condition called acute cholecystitis, which is when the gallbladder becomes inflamed due to an infection. This can develop into a chronic condition if it is not managed.
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