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gallbladder surgery, but no stones?

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Old 02-04-2001, 11:33 AM   #1
L Owens
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Vienna, VA USA
Posts: 2
L Owens HB User
Question gallbladder surgery, but no stones?

Hi to everyone,

I've been told by my GI doctor that my gallbladder needs to come out, in order to relieve my current symptoms (20# weight loss due to inability to eat normally, upper right quad abdominal pain, nausea). A hidascan test with CCK showed that my gallbladder was not contracting enough - one of the numbers I saw was 15% function.

I can't locate any info anywhere about this condition, or that having surgery is indicated for it. In fact everywhere I see gallbladder surgery mentioned, it is for removal of stones. I definitely don't have any of those. Besides getting another GI opinion, does anyone on the BB have information or suggestions that might help with this situation?

Many thanks in advance!


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Old 02-05-2001, 05:02 PM   #2
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Portland, OR USA
Posts: 8
Breezee HB User

Please read Pain & Vomiting & let me know if your symptions were similar to mine. I know my problem is my Gall Bladder but since they found no stones I think they are ruling it out...

Anyway, I'd be really interested in your symptions & how they came to the conclusion they did. also, what was that test you had? I'll be having a Gastric Emptying Study (I've had several) & I just don't know what else they expect to see. I throw up a lot of bile. Thanks!!!!

The Breezee Blonde

[This message has been edited by Breezee (edited 02-05-2001).]
The Breezee Blonde

Old 02-08-2001, 10:31 AM   #3
L Owens
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Vienna, VA USA
Posts: 2
L Owens HB User

Thanks for your reply ...

My symptoms were overwhelming fatigue and nausea at first, with a small amount of backpain. And actually, it was not nausea, since that normally happens around your bellybutton, and you usually throw up (I never did). My stomach pain was up higher, and it felt kind of like I'd been gut-kicked. After a few weeks of this, I started at the GP with a diagnosis of stress, which progressed to gastritis, which moved to possible ulcers. Upper GI and EGD showed no ulcers, and a sonogram showed no gallstones. Ditto on an abdominal CT. I took 8 weeks of prevacid to clear up a little GERD they found, but my stomach was still hurting, and I had developed a sharp stabbing pain up underneath my right ribcage. Because of my constant nausea/stomach pain, I wasn't eating well and I lost about 20 pounds.

I finally had a HIDAscan test with CCK, which is where they inject a tracer in your IV and photograph its path for 1 hour through your system. I also got a dose of something that is supposed to completely contract your GB during this test. The results showed that my GB was not contracting strongly enough. My GI doctor said the GB had to come out, but couldn't tell me why. The results were something like "gallbladder ejection function of 15%" and I believe somewhere around 40% is normal.

I consulted with a surgeon (while waiting for my second GI doc opinion) and he told me he felt the GB would not contract because the lining of the GB was probably filled with developing stones, which would eventually conglomerate and form regular large gallstones. But just their being there now would cause my GB not to contract well. He also thought that having (non sterile) bile in the GB all the time would contribute to my general ill-feeling and increase my chances of absyss and infections. He said he had treated other patients with similar symptoms and they were all better after surgery - in fact, they were surprised to know they had stones at all, since their sonograms had also said no stones.

('hope this post is not too long :-) The last interesting thing I learned was that these "baby stones" that can line your gallbladder are sometimes called "sludge" by doctors, and they become regular sized gallstones over time - they do not spontaneously dissolve. This surgeon I saw had a box on his desk of several types of stones he'd removed over the years, and I was amazed at how different they all were! Some were golf ball sized, others were about the size of pin heads (the "sludge" ones he mentioned).

Good luck to you - I hope this helped.



Old 02-11-2001, 02:49 PM   #4
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 46
4isenuf HB User

Hi, I just wanted to tell you my story. After two years of right sided pain, constipation and diarrhea, back pain, feeling like I had just been punched in the stomach, I began a battery of tests. The first one was an ultrasound. My doc was convinced it was gallstones. No stones were found, so I went another year with this. Another ultrasound was done, still no stones. Had a hidascan done, just like you, and amazingly it too showed that my gallbladder was not functioning right. My doc right then said he would take my gallbladder out the next day. I was hesitent because we saw no stones. During this time a good friends daughter had her gallbladder out at the age of 19 (she saw stones). After the removal she has had constant diarrhea. Her liver was supposed to take over for her gallbladder but did not. She said she would rather deal with her problems before the removal than what she is dealing with now. It really makes me nervous that my doc was so eager to just take an organ out of me. He actually admitted to me that he could not promise me my pain would go away. My biggest fear was that I would have it removed, and they would see that it was perfectly normal, and be worse off than I am now. I would definitly think before having it removed with no signs of stones! Good Luck, Janet

Old 02-13-2001, 02:20 PM   #5
tina ballerina
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
Posts: 24
tina ballerina HB User

hi all, well you all could have been writing about me. I have just been told the exact same story, terrible pain, high liver enzymes but no stones, I was also told possible 'SLUDGE'. I was told that if they remove my gallbladder, the condition should correct itself, but i am worried about having surgery as it might not make a blind bit of difference. Does anyone's liver enzymes go sky high when you have an attack?
I have just had to cancel a holiday to Rome because i am worried sick i will get an attack while i am away, the doc said that if i go jaundice again, i will need to be hospitalised and my insurance will not cover me. well I now know i am not alone, your stories made interesting reading.

Old 04-01-2001, 04:57 PM   #6
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Slatington,PA
Posts: 4
royalarrival HB User

I had my gall bladder out 12/29/00. I had polyps. polyps have a high chance of turning cancerous. My doctor told me my symtoms may be the cause of a disease gall bladder. he told me there was no reason to do test to find that out because may gall bladder had to come out do to the polyps. after the gall bladder was removed the biopsy test did show the gall bladder was not functional and diseased. that is how my docter put it to me. since the removal I've been suffering extreme pain and pressure in my upper abdominal area (around the sternum).
they more research I do I find that there are multiple mysterious problems that can persist after gall bladder removal surgery.
I would definately get a second opinion on your gall bladder problem. know exactly what your condition is with optional treatments. also question the doctor about problem after the removal of the gall bladder. Knowing what I know now with problems I am having I would have thought twice about having my gall bladder removed.
good luck!

Old 02-08-2005, 10:23 AM   #7
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1
khernand HB User
Re: gallbladder surgery, but no stones?

I also had that same CCK test done and mine came up with "less than 1%". I was told that what they are looking for is that the hormone they inject during the test makes the gallbladder contract to push it through like it would with the bile. It should push through 37% or more within 20 minutes. They said mine pushed out less than 1% and it is just a dead organ. I'm scheduled to have mine out on the 14th. My surgeon did tell me that he had never seen one as low as mine and that the lowest he usually sees is 18 or 19% so your's is quite low it seems too. Hope some part of this info helped.


Old 02-08-2005, 12:39 PM   #8
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 20
Txslady HB User
Re: gallbladder surgery, but no stones?

I feel so sorry for you. I had my first attack on 12-4-04 and went to the ER. They diagnosed me with an allergic reaction. For 2 months I suffered with nauseau/vomitting, increased BP and HR, severe pain. I did every test under the sun atleast twice. The first test done was the Hidascan and it showed 51.8% and no stones so that test wasn't repeated. On 1-23-05 I got so sick I was admitted to the hospital. I asked the doctor to do a retest. That one only showed 22% and no stones. On 1-26-05 they removed the gall bladder. Since then I have continued to get better. I have no regrets about making that decision. The problem with test is they only look for stones and when none are present they assume all is well. I am living proof that is not the case.

Old 03-22-2005, 12:01 PM   #9
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1
mmstacy HB User
Re: gallbladder surgery, but no stones?


I too was told that i had polyps in my gallbladder, this was last year,
04-04.Had a sonagram, that time, my regular doctor was out of the country so I had to go to another doctor, he was the one that sent me for the test.
My doctor said it was scar tissue inside the gallbladder,caused from bile that had been in there at one time, I have since then changed doctors,last month he sent me for a hidascan, which came back they said normal. I am still having the same pain and symptons like bloating, gas, swelling of my stomach,and pain in my right side also have loud grawling sound in my intestines . I am a diabetic as well, and have uclerated
colitis,what i would like to ask, is there anyone else that has the same medical problems that i do, and are experiencing the same symptoms...I have an appoint 03-31-05 to go to a gastroenterologist.Does anyone have any advice to give me, I know the one person said they had polyps, and had their gallbladder removed, and was having side affects to the surgery, and would have thought twice, before having it. So I don't know myself as to what to do either... would appreciate any thing you could tell me about your experience,that would help me make decisions for myself.

Last edited by mmstacy; 03-23-2005 at 06:21 AM. Reason: my name on wrong message

Old 03-22-2005, 01:17 PM   #10
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 441
diamond79 HB User
Re: gallbladder surgery, but no stones?

I am having my GB removed on March 29. I have polyps and a thickened wall but no stones. I have been suffering from nausea, pain under right rib cage, back pain, fatigue, and bloated feeling. I have been through numerous tests to rule out anything else. Blood tests, barium swallow, ultrasound (thickened GB wall with polyps), Hida Scan(normal), endoscopy(mild gastritis). Dr.s finally decided after all the testing it's my GB to blame for the symptoms. You don't always have to have stones to have symptoms.


Old 03-22-2005, 01:47 PM   #11
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 13
bksw HB User
Re: gallbladder surgery, but no stones?

These stories sound so much like what I am going through. I'm still not sure what is wrong with me but I think it could be gallbladder, except this time around the pain lasted two weeks straight before it started to subside. I still feel bloated and can't eat enough to gain back the weight I lost during the "attack." I had no stones either but haven't had the hida scan. I plan to ask for it. I also have IBS symptoms that I wonder could be gallbladder related as well, and don't do well digesting fats. But no stones so the docs think it must be stress! That really irritates me how quickly they dismiss what was very serious pain.

Old 03-23-2005, 06:20 PM   #12
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 15
bkberries HB User
Re: gallbladder surgery, but no stones?

Last August my DH developed jaundice. He had a stricture in his common bile duct that was blocking off due to sludge from his gallbladder. They did an ERCP and placed a stint to clear things up. In September they did a lap-choly and removed his GB. Said he'd feel a whole lot better after that. He didn't. Ask your Dr. to do a test called a CA 19-9 if he hasn't already done one. Good luck and God bless.

Old 06-07-2006, 10:16 AM   #13
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 13
Phillius HB User
Re: gallbladder surgery, but no stones?

Im so pleased i have read your posts, as they have alot of similarities to what i am currently going through.

Heres the short story, Month ago got took into hospital, with lower left abdominal pain... week in hospital i had Ultra Sound scans, Xrays etc... and they found out that my liver is not working correctly, so they out patiented me and im due to go back end of June to find out results.

Now since then about 2 weeks, i have developed sharp and sudden pains and sometimes longer duller pains between my sturnem and my belly button.

My food capacity as dropped by about 50%.

So now i have read your posts when i go back to surgical again at the end of the month, i am going to suggest that this maybe the problem, as my ultra sound scan showed no signs of stones, but that doesnt mean i dont have a gallbladder problem

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