Medical Q&As

Gallbladder

Gallbladder removal - why can people live normal lives following gallbladder removal? What does the job of the gallbladder when it is removed and are there any precautions that should be taken when it has been removed?

The gallbladder is situated in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen. It is tucked in under the liver and its lower pole is situated just at the margin of the lower rib cage. As the name “bladder” suggests it is a bag or storage organ. Its principle function is to store and concentrate bile, which has been produced in the liver. The gallbladder is connected to the small intestine and squirts bile down the connecting tube when food is being digested. When the gallbladder is removed the bile is still produced by the liver but it is slightly less concentrated. There is the possibility of difficulty with digesting fat, which may lead to higher loss of fat in the stools. It may be necessary in such instances to reduce the level of fat in the diet. The gallbladder clearly has a purpose but you can live quite healthily without it.