The gallbladder stores and collects bile, a digestive fluid made by the liver. Occasionally, stones or other conditions develop in the gallbladder that prevent bile from passing into the small intestine. Gall stones are often asymptomatic, but they can cause complications. In these cases, a cholecystectomy or surgical removal of the gallbladder is necessary.
Gallstones are the primary reason for a cholecystectomy. Between 10 and 15 percent of adults have gallstones. Eighty percent are asymptomatic, but of the stones get stuck in the bile duct, blocking bile flow, painful acute cholecystitis develops. Over time, it causes inflammation, infection, and, in severe cases, blocks blood flow.
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