The wedge-shaped liver is, in some ways, the most complex organ in the body. It serves as the body's chemical factory, performing many vital functions, from breaking down and excreting toxic substances to processing nutrients to producing substances that make blood clot and help stop bleeding. The liver also produces bile, which is a greenish yellow, thick, sticky fluid that carries waste products and toxins out of the body. Bile also contains substances that help the body absorb nutrients. Bile travels through tubes (ducts) from the liver into the gallbladder or directly into the first part of the small intestine (the duodenum).
The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped, muscular storage sac underneath the liver that holds bile and releases it into the duodenum. The liver and gallbladder are interconnected by ducts known as the biliary tract.