The gallbladder stores bile and releases bile into the intestine, where it helps to digest fat at meal times. The gallbladder does not produce bile. Bile is produced by the liver. If the gallbladder is surgically removed, the liver continues to produce bile which similarly flows into the intestines.
Gallstones generally refer to stones that are found in the gallbladder. Gallstones are more common in females than males, in persons that are overweight or those with hemolytic diseases. Gallstones form when the amount of bile and other fluid in the gallbladder become unbalanced. When this happens, some of the chemicals become solid and form stones.