Gallstones are small, stone-like objects that form when the liquid in the gallbladder hardens. This liquid is called bile. It helps the body digest fats. The liver makes bile, and the gallbladder stores it until the body needs it. Then the gallbladder contracts and squeezes bile out into the intestines. A series of tubes connects the liver, gallbladder and intestines.
Cholecystectomy was carried out in 17 teenage girls for cholecystitis at Virginia Mason Hospital, Seattle, between and The incidence increased with increasing age. All but one patient had at least one of these risk factors. No patient had congenital anomalies, blood dyscrasias or other underlying illness. Patients most commonly had recurrent attacks of abdominal pain; seven had symptoms for more than six months.
Gallstones can occur in children of any age, from infancy through adolescence. The risk seems to increase with age, with 50 percent of all childhood gallstones occurring in teens between the ages of 14 and Many adolescents have silent gallstones that cause no symptoms and require no treatment.
Gallbladder disease includes inflammation, infection, stones or blockage of the gallbladder. The gallbladder is a sac located under the liver. It stores and concentrates bile produced in the liver.