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Muscular membranous sac under the liver that stores and concentrates bile. Pear-shaped and expandable, it holds about 1.7 fluid oz (50 ml). Its inner surface absorbs water and inorganic salts from bile, which becomes 5–18 times more concentrated than when it leaves the liver. The gallbladder contracts to discharge bile through the bile duct into the duodenum. Disorders include gallstones and inflammation (cholecystitis). Surgical removal of the gallbladder (cholecystectomy) has no serious side effects.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on gallbladder, visit Britannica.com.