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Old 06-27-2008, 01:18 PM   #1
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AlanPi HB User
Dilemma: Gallbladder removal or not?!


I am still sitting on the fence, between keeping gallbladder or not. I do NOT have gallstones best they can tell and do not have hurtful gallbladder pain, but HIDA Scan confirmed a very low functioning gallbladder (7&#37. I do have digestive issues from time to time, sleep interruptions, fatigue and vitamin absorption issues, but a multi-vitamin such as Centrum was apparently able to take care of the problem.

Now all of my Doctors/Surgeons tell me to remove the gallbladder, except one who says only take it out if the pain is unbearable. A ratio of 3:1.

Below are some of the Pro's and Con's I have compiled:

Pros: To keep gallbladder I may have:
*Bad Digestion
*Waken at Night
*Fatigue
*Other GB diseases that may come up

Cons: To have Cholecysectomy:
*20% Chance of Chronic Diarrhea, cannot Skip Meals
*33% Chance of Ducts of Luschka disease - bile leakage
*Chance of Acid Reflux, Nausea, Belching, Gas - Sensitive Stomach
*Ab Adhesion - Painful - Possible Bowel Obstruction
*May become Gluten intolerant
*Between 10% and 23% still experience pain
*small % sphincter of Oddi dysfunction post cholecysectomy
*Bile Acid drips may cause Cancer later on? See: [url]http://www.healthboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=520053&highlight=gallbl adder+sludge[/url] *Bile Acid goes into intestines regardless of having GB or not*
*Weight Gain - If you keep the unhealthy diet

Now there are some good chances of recovery:
Most patients (75% - 90%, 95%) diagnosed with biliary dyskinesia (chronic acalculous gallbladder disease) experience partial or complete relief of their symptoms after cholecystectomy.

Further more I may have small stones/sludge/sand that has not been discovered... (Ultrasound & CT Scan so far)


Please let me know your thoughts, or points to add.
I will also try to update the Pro's vs Con's so it may help others in the future.

Last edited by AlanPi; 09-30-2008 at 02:24 PM.

 
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Old 06-27-2008, 03:28 PM   #2
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Redneon82 HB User
Re: Dilemma: Gallbladder removal or not?!

I had severe gall bladder pain & stones. I felt like a new person after I had it out. Zero complications, no chronic diarrhea or any of the other complications mentioned. I do have diverticular disease, NOT related to my gall bladder removal (I have had digestive issues for 20 years). It was fantastic to be free of the pain. Plus, I dropped 15 pounds after the surgery!

I too was told that if I was pain free I didn't need the surgery. But within a year or so, I had such bad pain that I had to be constantly medicated, and that just didn't fly at work (I was a zombie).

Four tiny, tiny scars and I was back at my favorite sporting event in 3 days. Easiest recovery ever!

 
Old 06-27-2008, 05:11 PM   #3
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Re: Dilemma: Gallbladder removal or not?!

Hi RedNeon that is great to hear! I too feel like a zombie at work from time to time .

 
Old 06-27-2008, 06:40 PM   #4
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eihcet HB User
Re: Dilemma: Gallbladder removal or not?!

I'm not sure if it's a pro or a con, but, from what I understand my GB will continue to get worse over time so eventually I will have to get it taken out. I just wonder if it's better to live with the known issues now (which I seem to be managing) or hope for the best and take the risk of complications below. Tough call!

 
Old 06-30-2008, 02:31 PM   #5
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daphne50 HB User
Re: Dilemma: Gallbladder removal or not?!

Alan,
I had my gallbladder removed 8 mo.'s ago. No stones, but a Hida Scan showed funtionality at 5%. After removal the back pain dissapeared, my energy increased, and I did not have diahhrea. I do have sensitive digestive issues, and burp like a fraternity brother on occassion, so I think that you are going to be looking at trade offs either way. It is a good idea to be so thorough in your research, and I hope the best for you.

 
Old 06-30-2008, 08:25 PM   #6
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beckyfrads HB User
Re: Dilemma: Gallbladder removal or not?!

My husband was having gallbladder pain to the point of not being able to stand up off the couch when he had an attack. He went in for a HIDA scan and his gallbladder function was at 5%. His surgeon recommended he have it out but my husband decided to try diet and exercise to lose weight first to see if it made a difference in his symptoms.

I'm not sure how common this is, but he has lost about 35 pounds since then by eating very low fat foods and is completely symptom free. He was willing to make a total lifestyle change in order to not have the surgery because the 'possible complications' during and after surgery scared him.

Maybe you could try that? Good luck with whatever you decide!

 
Old 07-01-2008, 01:36 PM   #7
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AlanPi HB User
Re: Dilemma: Gallbladder removal or not?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by eihcet View Post
I'm not sure if it's a pro or a con, but, from what I understand my GB will continue to get worse over time so eventually I will have to get it taken out. I just wonder if it's better to live with the known issues now (which I seem to be managing) or hope for the best and take the risk of complications below. Tough call!
Hi eihcet, yes for some reason there are no drugs or cures for gallbladders. I wonder if it's because of the belief that GB is not needed and can be taken out, and therefore lack of research. I know many people have problems without a GB, and I wonder if most of them are younger folks 40 and under who have a smaller common bile duct (CBD) to hold the bile. (Supposedly the CBD grows wider with age).

My understanding is that once there are gallstones, they can reoccur, and it's easier just to get the GB out.

But can people without stones keep or even restore their gallbladder functions? I wouldn't know unless I get another HIDA scan...

 
Old 07-01-2008, 01:49 PM   #8
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AlanPi HB User
Re: Dilemma: Gallbladder removal or not?!

Quote:
daphne50
Thank you for the info! The Doctors are all to eager to tell you to get the surgery done, without disclosing enough info about trade-offs. Only 1 out of the 5 doctors I have said it the best "only have the surgery if the pain is unbearable" - then you have nothing to lose.

Quote:
beckyfrads
I am so glad to hear your husband is able to change the life style for the better and feel well !! Did they find gallstones or not in his case? The reason I ask is that quite often gallstones can be re-occuring, so it's better to be careful.

Last edited by AlanPi; 07-01-2008 at 01:51 PM.

 
Old 07-01-2008, 02:27 PM   #9
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nikkilewis HB User
Re: Dilemma: Gallbladder removal or not?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanPi View Post

I am still sitting on the fence, between keeping gallbladder or not. I do NOT have gallstones best they can tell and do not have hurtful gallbladder pain, but HIDA Scan confirmed a very low functioning gallbladder (7%). I do have digestive issues from time to time, sleep interruptions, fatigue and vitamin absorption issues, but a multi-vitamin such as Centrum was apparently able to take care of the problem.

Now all of my Doctors/Surgeons tell me to remove the gallbladder, except one who says only take it out if the pain is unbearable. A ratio of 3:1.

Below are some of the Pro's and Con's I have compiled:

Pros: To keep gallbladder I may have:
*Bad Digestion
*Waken at Night
*Fatigue
*Other GB diseases that may come up

Cons: To have Cholecysectomy:
*20% Chance of Chronic Diarrhea, cannot Skip Meals
*33% Chance of Ducts of Luschka disease - bile leakage
*Chance of Acid Reflux, Nausea, Belching, Gas - Sensitive Stomach
*Ab Adhesion - Painful - Possible Bowel Obstruction
*May become Gluten intolerant
*Between 10% and 23% still experience pain (may not apply in my case)

Now there are some good chances of recovery:
Most patients (75% - 90%, 95%) diagnosed with biliary dyskinesia (chronic acalculous gallbladder disease) experience partial or complete relief of their symptoms after cholecystectomy.

Further more I may have small stones/sludge/sand that has not been discovered... (Ultrasound & CT Scan so far)


Please let me know your thoughts, or points to add.
I will also try to update the Pro's vs Con's so it may help others in the future.

I had mine out on 6/24/08 (one week ago today). Not sure if it was the right decision or not, but at the time, I felt I had no other choice. Like you, I had no gallstones. My ultrasound was clear, but stones smaller than 3mm don't show up on US. My Hida scan revealed a 16% ejection fraction, which is low. I decided on having the surgery b/c anytime I ate fat, I had HORRENDOUS back pain accompanied by severe indigestion.

I'm sticking with a mostly low to no fat diet right now. I did break down and eat a slice of pizza (pepperoni and cheese). I had the back pain again, and severe indigestion. The back pain wasn't anywhere near as bad as pre-surgery, but it was still enough to get my attention.

I ate 2 small bites of a hamburger my husband cooked on the grill, along with 6 french fries. The hamburger was 97% lean. Was this a stupid move on my part? Yeah. Was it a risk? Yeah. But, it didn't hurt me, which I'm ecstatic about. Still, I'm not brave enough to eat an ENTIRE hamburger. I'm almost at the point of not even caring if I hurt or not. I'm just starved for flavor. I won't be eating pizza anytime soon, nor will will I be eating ANY large amounts of red meat, or fried foods. I'll take it slow. I'm eating low to no fat for the most part (except for when temptation gets the best of me).

It's hard to say whether or not removing your GB will help. If you're not in major pain, and can still eat a fairly normal diet, I would probably just wait. I've read a few stories of people that had very low ejection fractions, then had repeat Hida scans, and had a perfectly normal EF. Sometimes I wish I had insisted on another Hida scan. In my case, it got to the point that everything I ate caused me pain. I felt that I couldn't be any worse off w/o my GB, so I had them remove it.

 
Old 07-01-2008, 02:28 PM   #10
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nikkilewis HB User
Re: Dilemma: Gallbladder removal or not?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by daphne50 View Post
Alan,
I had my gallbladder removed 8 mo.'s ago. No stones, but a Hida Scan showed funtionality at 5%. After removal the back pain dissapeared, my energy increased, and I did not have diahhrea. I do have sensitive digestive issues, and burp like a fraternity brother on occassion, so I think that you are going to be looking at trade offs either way. It is a good idea to be so thorough in your research, and I hope the best for you.
When did you resume your normal diet, and have you never had ANY back pains since your GB removal?

 
Old 07-01-2008, 05:57 PM   #11
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AlanPi HB User
Re: Dilemma: Gallbladder removal or not?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nikkilewis View Post
It's hard to say whether or not removing your GB will help. If you're not in major pain, and can still eat a fairly normal diet, I would probably just wait. I've read a few stories of people that had very low ejection fractions, then had repeat Hida scans, and had a perfectly normal EF. Sometimes I wish I had insisted on another Hida scan.
Wow, I must have been experiencing that when I had my symptoms on and off for 5 years. I wonder how the gallbladder's functions can be restored? or is it a fluke of the HIDA scan?

Nikki I hope you will feel better soon after a strict diet. I learned that the common bile duct, which now stores your bile, will grow with age. Over time, your symptoms may alleviate eventually!

 
Old 07-01-2008, 09:16 PM   #12
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nikkilewis HB User
Re: Dilemma: Gallbladder removal or not?!

I don't know if it's a fluke or not, but it's interesting, that's for sure.

I'm 37. I hope I don't have to wait too long for the bile duct to grow! I'm already impatient!!!

 
Old 08-17-2008, 03:34 PM   #13
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aeich13 HB User
Re: Dilemma: Gallbladder removal or not?!

Hi- glad to hear you are doing better. I was recently diagnosed with a low functioning gall bladder 12.5% and I'm on the fence as to have the surgery or not. I get bad abdominal pain and terrible back pain. I've had alot of "bathroom" issues lately. I have read horror stories online about people gaining a ton of weight after the surgery and that is the main thing that is preventing me from moving forward. However, I have friends who know people that had their GB removed and are totally fine. Any insight as to the weight gain. I'm going for a second opinion on Tues. I'm a wreck over this.

 
Old 08-17-2008, 06:36 PM   #14
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Titchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB User
Re: Dilemma: Gallbladder removal or not?!

You know, people keep mentioning this weight gain here but I have never heard of it before. And I know tons of people - myself and my mother included - who had their gallbladder removed and never had this weight gain. I think it's just someone's excuse!

 
Old 08-21-2008, 05:40 AM   #15
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sibo HB User
Re: Dilemma: Gallbladder removal or not?!

Hi everyone,

I've been reading the threads for a while but did not see anyone with a HIDA scan like mine I had a -6% yes negative ejection rate in 30 min, which suppose to be 35% and 25.7% after an hour. But I am like some of you, do not have very drastic attacks. Just a general discomfort, but not a lot of problems with food. Even with a -6% my surgeon says, it is my decision if I cannot take the pain anymore I should take it out. So I've been debating as well. And by the way I asked, if -6% could be a mistake and they said NO. So, most likely I will have the surgery in early oct. Meanwhile I'll keep reading and learn from everyones experiences. Do you know anyone else with a negative ejection rate?

Sibo

 
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