Gallbladder surgery is one of the most common operations in Germany. About 170,000 women and men have gallbladder surgery each year, mostly because they have gallstones that are causing symptoms or complications. But gallstones are often harmless, and a lot of people don't even notice that they have them. If the gallstones do cause problems, the main treatment options are medication to relieve the symptoms or surgery to remove the gallbladder.
Gallstones usually develop because there's too much cholesterol in the bile. The liver produces up to one liter of bile every day. It is used by the body to digest fats in the bowel. Most of the bile flows directly through the bile ducts into the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine) after you eat. Between meals, the rest of the bile is stored and concentrated in the gallbladder. The gallbladder is a pear-shaped, hollow organ, located on the right side of the abdomen, just below the liver.