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  • Gall Bladder, Post Operative Questions.....

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    Old 11-02-2005, 05:54 PM   #1
    CarlsLuv
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    Gall Bladder, Post Operative Questions.....

    I have been researching all day long on alternatives to Gallbladder surgery...everything I read says we NEED our gall bladders and if they are taken out, the bile from the liver will constantly drip into the small intestine causing chronic diarreah. Is this just a scare tactic or is it the truth? I also read, that because there will be access bile in the intestines, your chances for developing intestinal cancers raise significantly.

     
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    Old 11-02-2005, 07:58 PM   #2
    Harry
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    Re: Gall Bladder, Post Operative Questions.....

    I think a person needs their Gallbladder to control the bile that is used for digestion. But, many people have had their GB removed including me without any serious problems. Many have it done because it is necessary ~~~not an elective surgical operation!!!

    About 5% of the those that have their GB removed do put out too much bile and it can result in bile salt diarrhea. That is normally treated with a medication that absorbs the bile and eventually your body does adjust.

    Many people have their gallbladders removed because it is not functioning or it is diseased and the quality of life is not very good, it real causes pain and a diseased gallbladder can be life threatening.

    I have never read that excess bile causes cancer???

    Harry

    Last edited by Harry; 11-02-2005 at 08:02 PM.

     
    Old 11-02-2005, 10:46 PM   #3
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    Re: Gall Bladder, Post Operative Questions.....

    Sure, the gallbladder is helpful in the digestion of fats, but it isn't necessary. What usually happens is that the gallbladders hold most (but not all) of the bile until you eat, and then it releases a bunch of bile to help digest the fat in the meal. But even with the gallbladder, some bile still goes directly to the intestines. So after surgery, you do have bile constantly going straight into the intestines, but for most people that doesn't cause any problems. The other problem that can occur right after surgery is that you don't get that extra jolt of bile to help with the fat when you eat a meal, so fatty meals can cause problems at first. But apparently the digestive system is highly adaptive, because that goes away for most people within a month or so.

    So sure, gallbladders help the digestive system work as it was meant to, and are probably more useful than your appendix, but they aren't on the top 10 list of vital organs. If it's causing you pain, just go ahead and get the darned thing out. Gallstones can cause blockages which can be life-threatening, and chronic inflammation of the gallbladder can be a risk factor for gallbladder cancer. So it's not worth keeping it in if it's diseased. You don't NEED it. You may be very fond of it, and you may certainly be quite attached to it, but you can live a long and full life sans gallbladder.

     
    Old 11-03-2005, 04:31 AM   #4
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    Re: Gall Bladder, Post Operative Questions.....

    I'm not trying to scare you but this can be life-threatening. A highly diseased gallbladder can rupture and even kill you. If you are having pain, nausea, etc you really should have it out. It's not going to get much better and it can get drastically worse. I know someone this happened to this week. The bile duct they leave in will take over for the gallbladder and you'll be just fine. I had mine out in February and, especially after the events of this week, am very glad it's gone.

     
    Old 11-03-2005, 06:58 AM   #5
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    Thumbs up Re: Gall Bladder, Post Operative Questions.....

    Thanks so much for responding so soon.....I expect a call from the doctor thismorning after he has read the ultra sound from yesterday. YOu've certainly turned a light on for me !!!

     
    Old 11-03-2005, 09:20 AM   #6
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    Re: Gall Bladder, Post Operative Questions.....

    Dear CarlsLuv --

    Two years ago I was at the point you're at...questioning all of this and trying to avoid surgery. But I had a couple of bad attacks and was feeling worse despite a spartan diet and subsequent weight loss so after a gazillion medical opinions and tons of research decided to go for the lap surgery.

    You never know where you will be or what you'll be doing when an attack hits and this is not good. Best to have this electively than during an emergency, trust me.

    As for need for gall bladder; yes, it's great if it's functioning well -- when full of stones that are known to be causing trouble or otherwise diseased even without stones, best to let it go. Yes, the bile does dump directly into the small intestine. Can this cause problems? Yes -- but as someone else said, not everyone has problems, in fact, they are in the minority, and it IS easily treatable if one gets the frequent diarrhea syndrome afterwards.

    What WILL happen is that you will likely not be free for life from all digestive complaints -- you'll still probably have whatever else you had before, or develop new complaints like excess gas, belching, oddball pains, whatever. I have had various pains, etc., and had a couple of tests. My gastro doc finally said "you're healthy, you will have occasional complaints, live with it and find something else to worry about." After talking to other GB "survivors" I find that they all have some complaints from time to time but every single one, including me, is glad to have had the surgery. Remember, too, that digestion tends to cause more problems for people as they age, so that is always a consideration when digestive complaints crop up.

    Surgery itself is a breeze if done electively. I was 55 at the time and was off work only 9 days. I could drive in four days had I wanted to. I took walks in two days. Scars are teeny and totally invisible after a year.

    You are correct, however, about one thing. In women in particular, it has been found that there is a somewhat increased tendency towards right-sided colon cancer (which is a rare place for colon cancer anyway) in women who've had GB removal. When I told the gastro doc I had read this he couldn't believe it because he said it's not well known and is rare. He complimented me on my research skills (ha).

    His response was: just get a colonoscopy in five years instead of ten (I had had one the year prior and nothing whatsoever was wrong with the colon at the time). Since I found that procedure nothing more than a mild annoyance, I will happily have another colonoscopy in a couple of years. No big deal. By the way, the drugs they use to "knock you out" are wonderful and I wish I had a supply at home

    To sum up, the gall bladder does a great job when it's healthy, when it is not, get rid of it. Any other questions, be sure to ask! Best wishes to you!

     
    Old 11-06-2005, 03:04 PM   #7
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    Re: Gall Bladder, Post Operative Questions.....

    I myself have a different story. I used to be very sick all the time. Bloating, nausea (no pain) just sick feeling and abnormal bowel functions.
    I've been seeing my holistic dr. for years. He does chiropractic care and kinesiology.
    My gall bladder was working very sluggishly. He took care of me. I was put on a supplement called AF BetaFood and had to stay on it for about 5 months.
    Now, all my symptoms are gone. No more bloating, nausea etc...
    IF I ever need to have my gall bladder taken out, I would do it but there are other options out there before it becomes an emergency and if you can get things working properly - why not try it.

     
    Old 11-08-2005, 05:30 PM   #8
    CarlsLuv
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    Thumbs up Re: Gall Bladder, Post Operative Questions.....

    Well it's been a few days since I first posted. I saw my surgeon this morning and gosh was he helpful! He answered every one of my questions and told me not to believe everything I read on websites. He never PUSHED me into having the surgery which I appreciated, instead, told me it was my choice to either have it done now, or take the chance on having some very severe attacks which after reviewing the ultra sound, is only a matter of time before one of those little stones decides to dislodge and finds a nice little resting spot in the bile duct or the other one at the bottom which I cant recall the name of right now. He explained that having it done as an elective rather than emergency surgery would pose FAR less risks. So it's good-bye to the old gallbladder next Friday!

     
    Old 11-09-2005, 01:32 PM   #9
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    Re: Gall Bladder, Post Operative Questions.....

    CarlsLuv -- Good for you for opting for surgery before it becomes an emergency, which it probably would at some point.

    Also good news that your doctor was so helping in answering questions, etc. A communicative doctor is the best kind!

    You will undoubtedly do well because you are doing this in timely fashion and know what you can expect. Yes, there can be episodes afterwards that make you wonder if you did the right thing but the truth is that any problems can be dealt with and no matter what, you don't risk major, major health problems from your diseased gall bladder.

    As I said earlier, I occasionally have pains here and there or excess gas/bloating or whatever, but I get over it and it is not debilitating. A gall bladder attack IS debilitating and scary. The best thing to do is eat very sensibly and keep meals fairly small. Even my own gastro doc had his GB removed years ago and said he understands when I say I feel better when I am not overeating or taking in too much fat.

    You will be fine -- check back in after surgery (everyone seems to be back on-line within a day of surgery so we'll be looking for you here). And if you have any more questions, just ask

     
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