> How big is Gallbladder? How much bile can Gallbladder hold?
The gallbladder is a small per-shaped organ located beneath the liver on the right side of the abdomen. The gallbladder's primary functions are to store and concentrate bile, and secrete bile into the small intestine at the proper time to help digest food.
The gallbladder is connected to the liver and the small intestine by a series of ducts, or tube-shaped structures, that carry bile. Collectively, the gallbladder and these ducts are called the biliary system.
Bile is a yellow-brown fluid produced by the liver. In addition to water, bile contains cholesterol, lipids (fats), bile salts (natural detergents that break up fat), and bilirubin (the bile pigment that gives bile and stools their color). The liver can produce as much as three cups of bile in a day, the gallbladder can store up to a cup of concentrated bile (different people have different size!).
As food passes from the stomach into the small intestine, the gallbladder contracts and sends its stored bile into the small intestine (duodenum) through the common bile duct and papilla of Vater. Once in the small intestine, bile helps digestive fats in foods. Under normal circumstances, most bile is recirculated in the digestive tract by being absorbed in the intestine and returning to the liver in the bloodstream.
What are gallstones?
are pieces of solid material that form in the gallbladder. Gallstones
form when substances in the bile, primarily cholesterol and bile pigments, form hard, crystal-like particles.
Cholesterol stones are usually white or yellow in color and account for about 99 percent of gallstones. They are made primarily of cholesterol.
Pigment stones are small, dark or other color stones made of bilirubin and calcium salts that are found in bile. They account for the other 1 - 5 percent of gallstones. Risk factors for pigment stones include cirrhosis, biliary tract infections, and hereditary blood cell disorders, such as sickle cell anemia.
Gallstones vary in size and may be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a golf ball. The gallbladder may develop a single, often large, stone or many smaller ones, even several thousand.