Body of gallbladder
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|Body of gallbladder|
|Latin||Corpus vesicae biliaris|
The body of gallbladder is the portion of the gallbladder which is distal to the neck and proximal to the fundus of gallbladder. The gallbladder is located right below the liver in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen. The body is attached to the liver and is about 4 inches long. It resembles a pear in shape.
The main purpose of the gallbladder is to store bile, or gall. The gallbladder is part of the biliary system and serves as a reservoir for bile, which is produced by the liver. The liver produces the bile and then it flows through the bile ducts into the gallbladder. The gallbladder releases the bile in response to a hormone called cholecystokinin, which is released from the small intestine. When the bile is released, it is released into the small intestine and its purpose is to break down large fat molecules into smaller ones. After the fat is absorbed, the bile is also absorbed and transported back to the liver for reuse.
"By far, the most common gallbladder problem is Gallstones" (Rodriguez). The gallbladder is supposed to store bile in a natural, semi-liquid form at all times. Hydrogen ions secreted from the inner lining of the gallbladder are supposed to keep the bile acidic enough to prevent hardening. To dilute the bile, water and electrolytes from the digestion system are added. Also, salts attach themselves to cholesterol molecules in the bile to keep them from crystallizing. Sometimes there can be too much cholesterol or bilirubin in the bile, or the gallbladder doesn't empty like it should and the systems listed above fail. This is how gallstones form. All it takes is a tiny bit of calcium to get coated with either cholesterol or bilirubin and crystallization of the bile, to form a gallstone. Gallstones are dangerous because they may never cause any pain or symptoms until they are causing a problem in your biliary system.
The recurrence rate of gallstone related issues is very high, so elective surgical resection of the gallbladder is the standard of care after such issues. This is fine because the digestive system will still be able to function properly. The gallbladder does not produce anything needed for digestion, it simply stores bile until digestion, when it is released into the small intestine. With no gallbladder, bile will just continuously drip from the liver during digestion for the breakdown of fats. Patients undergoing a cholecystectomy seldom have long-term post-surgical issues with the function of their digestive system.
- SUNY Labs 38:14-0100 - "Stomach, Spleen and Liver: The Gallbladder and the Bile System"
- Rodriguez, D. (2010, Jan. 25). What Is the Gallbladder?. Everyday Health, Retrieved Mar. 20, 2011, from http://www.everydayhealth.com/gallbladder/what-is-the-...
- (2009, Jan.). Life Without a Gallbladder. Digestive Disorders, 30-31. Retrieved n.d., from Health Source - Consumer Edition (9780929661674).