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Old 02-21-2009, 12:14 AM   #1
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Low EF on HIDA Scan: Gallbladder Removal or Not

Hi,

I usually post on the Anemia Forum but I was just told today that I need to have my gallbladder removed and I need some advice. I will not see the surgeon for 2 weeks.

I have been having GI symptoms for many months that I did not correlate to my gallbladder. I do not have the typical, severe gallbladder attacks that some of my friends have experienced. I do have a gnawing pain under the middle of my ribcage and then episodes of pain, burning and cramping under my right ribcage. Sometimes the pain travels through to my back and becomes a stabbing pain. I began to notice that these pain episodes often occurred following a fatty meal, ingestion of dairy products or spicy food. I have also had multiple episodes of severe bloating, diarrhea, chalky white stools and nausea. Blood work has shown several episodes of very elevated liver enzymes, too.

I had a HIDA scan a couple days ago and the results came back that my ejection fraction is only at 10%. I was surprised because I thought everything was going to come back normal by the tech's attitude and his responses. I am wondering if there is anyway to help my gallbladder function improve without resorting to surgery? I am nervous about what will happen once my gallbladder is removed. What is the average recovery time? I do not want to take an extensive leave from work. I have a very physical job and I am on my feet for 12 hour shifts.

Some of the websites I have read say that most people are recovered in 4-5 days and sent home the same day as surgery. Is this a reasonable expectation? What will happen if my gallbladder is not removed? At what EF does a gallbladder need removal at? My scans do not show stones but there are polyps. My doctor thinks the polyps could actually be stones but who knows.

Are all gallbladders removed laprascopically or do some require an open incision? What will decide what type of surgery an individual has? I am so nervous about this and do not want to make the wrong decision. I will appreciate any responses or accounts of personal experiences.

Thanks so much, Kiwilily

 
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Old 02-24-2009, 07:47 AM   #2
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Re: Low EF on HIDA Scan: Gallbladder Removal or Not

I am bumping up this thread in hopes that someone can answer any of my questions. There must be people out there that have gone through this same scenario. Please.

 
Old 02-24-2009, 11:13 AM   #3
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Re: Low EF on HIDA Scan: Gallbladder Removal or Not

I had stones and had mine out. Considering that you "could" have stones but at the least have polyps and the very low EF, I'd have it out. The pain is coming from it squeezing down on the polyps/stones to spew out bile to digest whatever fat you ate. There is no way to get rid of the polyps and your EF will most likely not imporve though some people have had it happen. All the symptoms you stated are typical gallstones issues for I would feel pretty good that this is the cause. Sometimes the symptoms with a low EF are not as straictly gb related and so making the decision is somewhat iffy.

As to my experience, I was off 2-1/2 days before I went back to work full time. Jogged 2 miles a week after having mine out. No heavy lifting for about 3 weeks so stayed out of the gym for that length of time. Ate NO FAT for a month before slowly introducing it back into my diet. Had same day surgery - 3 holes and that was it. Watch out for your clothing during this period - bras can hit in the wrong spot as there is a hole just below where most hit. Also, the one just below the waistline can be touchy too. The belly button one not so much as clothing doesn't rest on that spot as a rule. Let me know if oyu need more info.

 
Old 02-24-2009, 01:12 PM   #4
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Re: Low EF on HIDA Scan: Gallbladder Removal or Not

I was on a low carb diet and one night thought I had the stomach flu, but the next morning I had the vomiting/pale stools/dark urine. I had no idea what it was, but after doing some online research I found out. I had no idea low carb diets increase gallstone formation. I never went to the doctor, but instead followed a gallstone diet I read about online. The morning after I drank heavy amounts of apple juice which corrected the problems quickly. Now if I eat alot of fats then I get pain under my ribcage, but so far no more attacks and its been over a year. I honestly think stones can dissolve, but it takes time to heal. Ask your doctor if it would be ok to try diet before surgery.

 
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Old 02-24-2009, 01:35 PM   #5
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Re: Low EF on HIDA Scan: Gallbladder Removal or Not

Thank you answering my plea for help.

Titchou: I am amazed at your remarkable recovery from surgery. You must have good healing ability or be very tough. I always have complications during abdominal surgeries and that worries me. I had an appendectomy a couple of years ago and ended in the hospital for longer than a week. It was supposed to be an overnight stay. I tend to get a paralytic ileus after any surgery. I just spent most of the month of December in the hospital for a ileus following a viral illness. It was awful.

I think the other issue that is concerning me is that I have had many abdominal surgeries including two c-sections, appendectomy, two bowel obstructions, hernia repair, and a myomectomy. I am worried about the amount of scar tissue that must be in there and whether the surgeon can do this laprascopically.

To top off my worries, my PCP just called and said that they would like me to have a hysterectomy at the same time. That really makes me nervous. I think recovering from lower and upper abdominal surgery at the same time would be painful and increase the risk of complications. I would have to have an open hysterectomy. I hope my doctors are giving me the right advice. I trust the surgeon very much as she did several of my other surgeries and she is amazing. I will respect what she has to tell me when I see her in a couple of weeks. Thanks again.

Chum: Thanks for relaying your experience to me. I will definitely ask the surgeon if there is an alternative to the cholecystectomy. I would be happy to drink apple juice or take a medication, if that would help. I am glad that you have been so well and seemed to have recovered. I am a big fan of home treatment.

 
Old 02-24-2009, 05:37 PM   #6
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Re: Low EF on HIDA Scan: Gallbladder Removal or Not

I'm not all that tough! I just jog a lot anyway and built up some miles before the surgery so I'd be in better shape. The surgeon left it up to me as to when to try it. I really had planned to do it 2 days earlier but realized that probably was a little too soon!

 
Old 02-25-2009, 07:54 AM   #7
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Re: Low EF on HIDA Scan: Gallbladder Removal or Not

Okay.....

I had a total abdominal hysterectomy in 2006, two years prior to my gallbladder surgery. I WOULD NOT recommend having both surgeries at the same time. Both surgeries and recovery times are totally different.

The gallbladder removal was the easiest of both. I did have to stay in the hospital for four days due to complications from a bile duct being blocked by a gallstone and pancreatitis. I would say that because of that reason, it took a few weeks to fully recover from that surgery.

 
Old 02-25-2009, 08:14 AM   #8
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Re: Low EF on HIDA Scan: Gallbladder Removal or Not

Scarolinagirl: I was hoping to hear from someone that had been through both surgeries. Thanks for telling me about your personal experience. What happened to you is exactly what I am afraid of and I think doing both operations at the same time sounds like a recipe for disaster. I always have complications post-op for some reason. I have had infected wound sites, kidney failure, kidney infections, C-difficile, ileus, bleeding, etc. My PCP likes me to avoid the hospital as much as possible so his take is, that it would be better to do both simultaneously thus resulting in one less hospitalization . I have my doubts. I would really like to avoid having surgery period. I hate having surgery and I hate going under anesthesia. I was hoping there was a way to heal my gallbladder naturally but he says no. I would love for some of my GI problems to improve but it seems that taking the gallbladder out, does not always solve these problems and may make them worse. Oh, what to do?

 
Old 02-25-2009, 09:11 AM   #9
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Re: Low EF on HIDA Scan: Gallbladder Removal or Not

Try eating a low fat diet and see if your symptoms improve. The best gallbladder foods are apples, beets, cucumbers, and pears. I would honestly get a second opinion. If you really have stones there is medicine that can slowly dissolve them called actigall. There are many people who control their stones with diet and exercise. Unless its life threatening I would try anything to avoid surgery.

 
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