Gallstones are hardened deposits of digestive fluid that form in the gallbladder.
The gallbladder contains a fluid called bile that is released in the small intestine to aid digestion.
Gallstones can vary from the size of a grain of sand to that of a golf ball, the Mayo Clinic says.
Some gallstones are small enough to be passed without symptoms. However, if there’s significant pain or discomfort, surgery may be needed.
Mayo mentions some potential symptoms of gallstones:
- Sudden and intense pain in the upper-right abdomen, or in the center of the abdomen just below the breastbone.
- Back pain between the shoulder blades.
- Pain in the right shoulder.
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes.
- High fever with chills.