BARRY BATES / CUSTOM MEDICAL STOCK PHOTO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BARRY BATES / CUSTOM MEDICAL STOCK PHOTO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Gallbladder with gallstones. Coloured digitised X- ray of the abdomen of a patient, showing the gallbladder with stones. At upper left, the gall- bladder (yellow) is seen enhanced; gallstones are visible as a shadow (red) within it. The lumbar vertebrae (green) have been numbered. Gallstones are hard masses composed of bile, cholesterol and calcium salts. They develop when an upset occurs in the chemical composition of bile. Only gallstones with a relatively high calcium content are visible on X-ray film. Gallstones can also be detected using ultrasound. In most cases they are surgically removed.
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