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Gallbladder is a pear shaped organ located below liver which stores bile, produced by the liver. Bile is a watery, yellow-green fluid made by liver to digest fat.

Gallbladder diseases occur if there is infection, inflammation, tumours, stone formation, and blockage of the gallbladder.

Some of the types of gall bladder diseases include:

  • Cholecystitis : It is the inflammation of the gall bladder which causes severe abdominal pain. There are two types; acute and chronic cholecystitis. Acute cholecystitis occurs if inflammation or gallstones block the flow of bile. Chronic cholecystitis is caused by repeated attacks of acute cholecystitis which cause the walls of the gallbladder to thicken.
  • Cholelithiasis : It is caused due to presence of one or more gallstones inside the gallbladder. These stones are made up of cholesterol or bilirubin (pigment of the bile). It most commonly occurs in women than men.
  • Acalculous gallbladder disease : It is an inflammatory disease of the gallbladder that shows symptoms of the stones, but when examined provides no evidence of gallstones. It results when there is reduced blood supply or inability of the gall bladder to empty the bile.
  • Gangrenous gallbladder : Destruction of the tissue in the gall bladder due to inadequate blood supply can lead to gangrenous gallbladder. Inflammation of the gallbladder caused due to blockage of bile by gall stones can lead to gangrenous gallbladder.
  • Gallbladder polyps : Are the growth of tissue that protrude from the lining of the gallbladder. These polyps are larger than 10mm in diameter and are more likely to cause cancer if untreated.
  • Sclerosing cholangitis : It is a chronic liver disease caused by progressive inflammation, scarring and destruction of the bile ducts inside and outside of the liver.
  • Congenital defects of the gall bladder : Congenital defects of the gallbladder such as abnormal or unusual positioning of gallbladder, presence of double gallbladder, cyst formation and other anomalies may occur during the development of gallbladder.
  • Tumours : Benign or malignant tumours may be found in the gallbladder. Benign tumours include fibromas, lipomas, hamangiomas, and granular tumours. Commonly occurring malignant tumours include adenocarinoma, cholangiocarcinoma, and sarcomas.


  • Medical Board of Australia
  • Royal Australasian College of Physicians
  • Gastroenterological Society of Australia
  • American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
  • American Gastroenterological Association
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