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How big can gallbladder stones get?

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Quick Answer

Gallbladder stones, or gallstones, can grow as large as a golf ball, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. The gallbladder can form many small, sand-grain-sized gallstones, one large gallstone or a combination of large and small stones.

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Full Answer

Gallstones form when the components of gallbladder bile are out of balance, explains the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Potential gallstone-causing imbalances include an overabundance of cholesterol, too much bilirubin or a shortage of bile salts. Additionally, gallstones can form if the gallbladder does not empty thoroughly or frequently enough. Gallstones can cause immediate pain in the upper-right abdomen as they block the biliary tract ducts.

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