|gallstone (gôl'stōn') Pronunciation Key
A small, hard, abnormal mass composed chiefly of cholesterol, calcium salts, and bile pigments, formed in the gallbladder or in a bile duct. The presence of gallstones can lead to painful obstruction or infection and is sometimes treated with cholecystectomy.
A hard, pebblelike material deposited in the gallbladder or bile ducts by the process of chemical precipitation. Gallstones can cause considerable pain and can even obstruct the flow of bile from the gallbladder. On some occasions, the entire gallbladder must be removed by surgery.