Gallstones

Gallstones

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Credit: DR P. MARAZZI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Gallstones after removal from a gall bladder. The gall bladder stores bile, the digestive secretion that is produced by the liver. Gallstones are hard deposits formed of cholesterol and bile salts from bile. In many cases they do not cause pain, but if they become stuck in the outlet duct of the gall bladder they may cause acute pain. Severe cases may require surgery to remove the stones. Other treatments include the use of bile salts to dissolve the stones, or ultrasound waves to break them up. The gall bladder lies on the right-hand- side of the abdomen, below the liver.

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