DAVID M. MARTIN, MD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID M. MARTIN, MD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Gallstone. Endoscope view of a gallstone (yellow, upper right) in the ampulla of Vater, the opening of the common bile duct into the duodenum of the small intestine. A blocked bile duct such as this causes severe pain, nausea, vomiting and may lead to jaundice (bile pigment in the blood). Bile is released to help digest fats. It is produced in the liver and stored and concentrated in the gall bladder. Treatments for gallstones include drugs (which dissolve the stones), lithotripsy (using sound waves to shatter the stones) and surgical removal. In cases such as this, the entire gall bladder may be removed to prevent recurrence of the blockage.
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