Do I need my gallbladder out?

Posted , 9 users are following.

Last year I had an ultrasound that showed "sludge" in my gallbladder. I also had a HIDA scan that showed a slow gallbladder but it wasn't to the point that they were concerned about it. Fast forward to this year and I have had a repeat ultrasound that shows "multiple stones". They've asked me if I want my gallbladder out. I do not have the "typical" gallbladder pain. I don't have the right sided pain or anything like that. What I do have is occasional heartburn that nothing helps except for Aloe Vera juice. I also get terrible gas and bloating. The gas and bloating are my biggest issue. It causes a lot of discomfort. I've suffered with the gas and bloating for years but it has gotten a bit worse in the last year. I also have episodes of fatigue where I just have to lie down. Also, my stool sometimes has yellow in it. Does this sound like my gallbladder and if so will having the surgery help or make things worse? I am terrified of surgery. I've never had general anesthesia before.

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    IF the ejection fracion was above 40%, then you dont have to take it out. 

    Try probiotics drinks if it might help. 

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  • Posted

    HI Angela, at somepoint you will need to have your gallbladder out as its making gallstones and it will continue to make gallstones which then may travel and cause you additional problems and the only answer is to take the gallbladder out. Some people don't know they have gallstones so there's no need to remove the gallbladder but as soon as it starts to have an effect on your life it may settle down but it may also get worse. 

    There are plenty of people that have been on this site and waited until the symptoms get worse before they have their gallbladder removed and I hope some will reply to you. 

    At the end of the day no one can tell you what to do and only advise you about your options.

    Have you had other tests to make sure that your symptoms aren't due to anything else? Generally its a good idea to have a gastroscopy and a CT scan.

    It was easy for me as I was in constant pain and couldn't function properly.

    Let me know how you get on. Take care


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  • Posted

    Your symptoms do sound like gallbladder difficulties.  Though you're having no pain at this point, remember that a poorly functioning gallbladder affects other organs, your stomach, intestines, pancreas and liver. As Katherine said, eventually, you'll probably have to have your gallbladder taken out.   If you wait till you're really ill, then there can be complications.

    I can understand that you're terrified of surgery.  But, if it comes down to it, and you're really ill, then you'll be glad to have it. As to whether things might get worse if you have it out--sometimes people do experience problems afterwards, but most people do very well. 

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  • Posted

    Hi, I have gallstones and never had the 'typical' gallbladder pain either, however gastro, the surgeon and the hospital have said my issues are typical of gallbladder too as it isnt always text book,

    I have mild discomfort under my ribs, like a brusied feeling, otherwise my symptoms are weight loss ( due to restricting foods to relieve sypmtoms) reflux, bloating, gas, bowel issues. The surgeon has said most of these should be resolved with removal, my mum had similar symptoms and all hers resolved after removal except IBS. 

    Digestive enzymes and ox bile have helped hugely.

    With gallstones there is a risk of rupture, infections, adhesions, malignancy, pancreas and liver issues, also has a knock effect to other organs so trying to focus on this whisl I wait for surgery as I am terrified of ending up worse after!


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  • Posted

    Hi Angela

    I started having gallbladder symptoms in July 2016 and had my surgery in February 2027, by which time I was desperate. If the problems you're having aren't affecting your life, don't have surgery as many people will gallstones don't even know they have them until a scan for some other reason shows gallstones. The pain I had and the feeling my stomach was going to burst left me in no doubt.

    A bad gallbladder can affect other organs especially the liver and pancreas. Once you have stones it seems like problems get worse. Some manage to go on for years but in my case items only seven months despite a low fat diet. I was so tired, I slept day and night and had no energy.

    I had to have open surgery due to multiple large stones in my bile duct so recovery took longer than with laparoscopic surgery but it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be and the pain relief in hospital was good. I think you have to reach a point, where you are so ground down by your illness you can't go on and then you realise surgery is the only way out.

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  • Posted

    Hello Angela, My husbands gallbladder did the same thing with sludge etc but roll on a year or so and the pains and other symptoms developed and now he is in continual pain and discomfort. It sounds like your is in early stages but it may be a good idea for it to be removed now rather than later as by then it will cause alot of discomfort.
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  • Posted

    Hello Angela

    I've had gallstones for years that didn't cause me any problems.

    I'm now having problems, can't eat much at all, pain and diarrhoea

    if I eat any fat. In a way I wish I'd had surgery years ago, I'm on the waiting list for surgery now .

    It will cause you problems in the end, best to get it out now rather than wait until you are having problems.

    Good luck and let us know how you get on.

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  • Posted

    I never had any pain at all until one day whilst at work I thought I had indigestion and then felt very unwell and clammy.  Ended up in hospital on morphine.  The pain was agony.  I had pancreatitis because of gallstones.  They gave me the option - no option the GB was going to have to come out if I did not want the pain again.  I did not want to spend the rest of my life wondering when the pain would hit again and suffering.  I am not keen on anesthetic and I do not react well to it but the thought of the pain returning was enough for me to make the choice to have it removed.  I did not have the chance to research - it was removed.  I recovered within 3 weeks and felt OH SO MUCH BETTER!! I no longer had bloating and discomfort which I had always put down to a bad diet and eating too much bread.  I had got so used to feeling tired, uncomfortable and bloated, I thought it was the norm.

    However, six months ago I got pancretitis again and ended up in hospital.  The pain had come back!! turns out they had left a few stones behind and they had to be  broken up under sedation.  Recovered within a two weeks and had no problems since.    It takes time for the digestive system to adjust and for a short time everything thing you eat seems to go straight through.   Hey, I am now over that and all is well.  I cannot reassure you about anesthetic as it is a very personal thing.  However, millions of people have one every minute of every day and it works for them.  I certainly have not had any of the problems that most people have written about.  I have been in that pain zone and it was a no brainer for me. 

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