Gallbladder

by Jason Wasserman MD PhD FRCPC
May 9, 2022


What is the gallbladder?

The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ located below the liver, in the right, upper portion of the abdomen. Doctors often describe this area as the right, upper quadrant.

What does the gallbladder do?

The gallbladder is a hollow organ that stores bile, a specialized fluid made in the liver. Bile aids in digestion and is typically released from the gallbladder after a meal. The gallbladder releases bile by contracting.

What is the structure of the gallbladder?

The wall of the gallbladder is made up of a thick bundle of muscle that allows the gallbladder to contract. This contraction pushes bile out of the gallbladder and down a tube called the cystic duct and then into a part of the small bowel called the duodenum.

The inside of the gallbladder is lined with a thin layer of tissue called mucosa. The surface of the mucosa is covered with epithelial cells that form a barrier called the epithelium. Below the epithelium is a thin layer of connective tissue called lamina propria.

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