Gallbladder: Bile Storage

Introduction (what it is)

The gallbladder is a muscle organ responsible for the storage of bile and is present in most vertebrates. In humans, it is a pear-shaped membranous sac that lies below the surface of the right lobe of the liver, just behind the lower ribs.


The function of the gallbladder is to store the bile secreted by the liver, which arrives in it through the liver and cystic ducts and remains there until requested by the digestive tract.

Operation Summary

When functioning within normal range, the gall bladder empties its contents through the bile duct into the duodenum to facilitate digestion, thereby favoring bowel movements and nutrient absorption. It also prevents putrefaction and emulsifies fats.

Gallbladder Problems

The most common gallbladder problem is the presence of stones whose shape and size range from the size of a grain to the size of a pear. They are formed by bile salts and are more frequent in diabetics, black people, women, especially those suffering from obesity and those who have already had multiple pregnancies. Its incidence is known to increase with age.

The main reasons for stone formation are the excessive amount of calcium and cholesterol in the bile and the retention of gall in the gallbladder for an extended period. The most common treatment for this problem is the removal of the stones by surgery, however, in cases where surgical intervention may be replaced by other treatments that can only be indicated by the doctor.