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by Etienne Moore last modified 2007-06-14 15:08

The gallbladder stores bile that is made in the liver.  Bile is important for digesting fatty foods so the gallbladder expels its contents in to the bowels after a fatty meal.  Sometimes gallstones can crystallise out in the gallbladder and these can cause recurrent abdominal pains and conditions such as pancreatitis.  If this happens an operation is usually advised to remove the gallbladder and in most cases this can be done by key hole surgery.  The operation is called laparoscopic cholecystectomy.  Occasionally it is too technically difficult to perform keyhole surgery and in this instance traditional open surgery is performed via a largte incision in the abdomen.

Most patients never really notice that their gallbladder has gone after surgery as the gallbladder is not essential for healthy gut function.

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