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Gallbladder advice - I could use some


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After several new to me medical events (pain, nausea, vomiting) the diagnosis is cholesystitis or biliary sludge (not stones). The recommendation is to surgically remove my gallbladder, an apparently common operation. So far, I've declined the operation.


The probable trigger for these events was my gallbladder-unfriendly diet of too much fatty food (fried foods, heavy dairy, etc.). Now that I know that it's gallbladder and not acid indigestion, I'm being careful to eliminate those bad things from my diet or at least greatly reduce them. My amateur medical theory is that I'm now "cleansing" my liver and gallbladder in order to somewhat "repair" them, and eventually I can be less restrictive. (I've had no more events since the diet change).


The doctor says stop with the diet theories, etc., and just get it out. After that I can eat what I want (maybe with one eye on the fatty foods). I won't miss the gallbladder, he says. This seems almost too good to be true to me, even though it would be easy to eat more sensibly.


My question to you without gallbladders is, do you miss that organ or not?





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Well, I am not a doctor and assume each of us have a different tale, I can relate mine. My symptoms were diagnosed improperly for a year, ended up in emergency surgery, touch and go for 5 days but it worked out. It is one of the most recommended procedures in our country, seems everyone has it, I kept mine for 56 years. If done early it can be out patient and arthroscopic. If not, it is major surgery. Everyone reacts differently to not having one, some will be on medication for life, some none. I believe all body parts have purpose so I would like to have mine back. My body tells me I was better with it than without it if that makes sense. I am lucky enough to still have my tonsils and appendix.


If it needs to come out you should have it out. Was a scan part of the diagnosis? If you want to know for sure get one, while diet may help the symptoms, I doubt the Gallbladder will be normal again.


Good luck.



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Out on a Thursday, coaching high school volleyball on Monday.

Don't miss it.

I was 911 to hospital w/enzyme levels so high they were dragging people in to see me.

Would not want that type of pain again, glad I did it.

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Had mine out about 5 years ago and I don't miss it at all. Started with sudden severe pain below my shoulder blade. Doctor visit and some tests and 2-3 more flare ups had me scheduled for surgery. Not a bad procedure. 3 small slits in my abdomen. I did have a complication that sent me back the next day, a stone had passed (prior to procedure)and got stuck in the duct to the pancreas. This was a Saturday and the weekend surgeon could not grab it with the scope down through my nose so I stayed until Monday when the head of the gastroenterology practice came in and did the procedure.


I agree with Tim, I never want to experience that type of pain again.

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A friend had so much post-op liver trouble that she has been written up in a journal. Moral: In the very unlikely event that your recovery does not seem to be going well, make yourself a pain in the butt to every doctor you encounter until they get the problem fixed. Gall bladder is attached to liver, and liver keeps you alive.

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I had mine out about 5 years ago. It was done through 3 keyhole incisions for the scope and other little ports they needed. Get a surgeon who does the procedure almost daily or weekly. It's quick, easy and I was home the same day. I took a couple of days off work but looking back on it I really didn't need to. If you need to have it out just go ahead and do it. I didn't have much pain. Half a T3 was adequate. I still eat greasy burgers and fries and it gives me no trouble at all. Good luck.

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Get it out.


If you are young and healthy it is an easy thing, if you wait 10-20 years and start getting pancreatitis and an infection in the gallbladder/liver drainage system it is much more serious.


The sludge won't clear on it's own. Many medical cures to disolve gallstones and sludge have come and gone over the years and none have survived the test of time.


My final words of advice are to ask for a second opinion that cost more than this one.


Mike Cassidy

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I do anesthesia for those procedures all the time. Pretty common, easy & fast. A good laparoscopic trained surgeon can do that door to door in 30-45 minutes.

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Lots of good advice here. Mine came out in '06 and it was the easiest procedure I've ever had (and I've been cut on a lot!).


My surgeon performed the operation on a regular basis so it was very routine for him and for me. I left home and was back in about three hours.


Please have the procedure done otherwise it's very possible your next episode will be worse than the last and the next thing you know they're taking it out through a bigger incision.


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To all who've responded, thank you very much!


I think I may still have the option of no surgery. I'm not too concerned about the procedure itself, but am trying to get a good understanding of the consequences, if any, of having no gallbladder for the rest of my life.


Life without a gallbladder - any special concerns I should be aware of?

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To all who've responded, thank you very much!


I think I may still have the option of no surgery. I'm not too concerned about the procedure itself, but am trying to get a good understanding of the consequences, if any, of having no gallbladder for the rest of my life.


Life without a gallbladder - any special concerns I should be aware of?




1. Detoxification: the liver puts harmful chemicals that cannot be eliminated through your kidneys into your bile, to be eliminated through the stool. The gallbladder stores and concentrates bile. Bile is 83% water and so should be thin and easy-flowing. Problems occur (sludge, sand, gravel and eventually stones) when the bile becomes too thick.


2. Fat digestion: bile emulsifies (breaks down) fat into smaller, easier-to-assimilate pieces. If you don’t have a healthy gallbladder to secrete bile into your intestines after you eat, you will not optimally digest fat and absorb fat-soluble vitamins. Since fat-soluble vitamins are by far the most important, this often leads to a progressive decline in overall health and resilience.


3. Acid neutralization: Bile is alkaline, partly in order to neutralize the acidic food (chime) that enters the small intestine from the stomach. Without that nice timed pile of bile in your small intestine (duodenum) after you eat, that acidic chyme can burn and injure the delicate tissues there.

Given the shocking fact that there are 600,000 gallbladders removed each year in the US alone (almost all of which are preventable), it makes sense to do what you can to keep your gallbladder. And ignore the medical nonsense that you don’t need this important organ. Evolution put it there for a reason. Take care of it.


My recommendation is to find a health care practitioner that can help you evaluate your GB and explore the possibility of restoring the health of the organ.


Look for someone is your area that is either:

1. Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner/acupuncturist/herbalist

2. Naturopathic Doctor

3. Functional Medicine Doctor





Do not attempt to repair your GB without the guidance of an experienced practitioner.



(Nutritional Therapist)



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Despite all the posts above suggesting that gall bladder surgery is without complications, I had a much different experience.


I had surgery by 'scope...in at 9am and out home at 3pm. Main incision where gall bladder was removed became infected and had to be opened up again etc. Took about a month to finally heal.


Biggest problem was with sudden loose stools, if you get my drift...It took almost two years for things to get back to "normal"


I still can't eat foods rich in fat or large heavy meals without major digestion problems.


Coles notes version....do whatever you can to avoid gall bladder removal. Wait till you have full on stones and then wait some more. Change your diet and eat low fat etc


Good Luck


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I had an OLD SCHOOL gall bladder removal in 1963, I was hosptialized for 14 days for recovery...and the only after effect has been a nasty scar on my stomach, and greasy foods tend to give me indigestion, but I won't give them up... life is too short.


The new procedure seems to be be much kinder to the patient... thank goodness.

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My wife had it done last year. They rolled her away, I went into the waiting room, and not 25 minutes later the Doc comes in to speak with me. I was fairly certain the news was that the Anesthesiologist gassed her too much and that she put up a valiant struggle until the very end. Why else would the Doc be coming see me just a few minutes after he started?


Doc says with a sly grin faced with my nervous stare: "All done."

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I just had mine removed 10 days ago. It took me 5 years and several attacks to face the facts. I am feeling stronger every day and good food is fun again.. 2 things I will not have again--GB attacks and plain Oatmeal!!


Make sure you do not wait until you are on your way to the emergency room!!

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