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The digestive system consists of several organs, all of which work together to convert food into energy. The gallbladder is one of these structures. Located beneath the liver, it plays a major role in helping to break down fatty foods. To be more specific, the pouch-like organ stores and concentrates bile—an alkaline fluid that aids in digestion. Despite the role it plays, however, the organ is not essential for life. It is possible for someone to live without a gallbladder.

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1. What is the Gallbladder?

The gallbladder is a small hollow organ under the right lower ribs. Shaped like a pear, the gallbladder connects to the liver via the biliary tract. In addition to helping with digestion, it is also a part of the biliary system. in the latter, its main role is to store and transport bile. When fully distended, the gallbladder can reach up to ten centimeters in length and four centimeters in diameter; a normal gallbladder has a capacity of approximately 50 milliliters.

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This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.