Gallbladder and Gallstones. Should the Gallballder be Removed?

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Offline Andy Battaglia

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Gallbladder and Gallstones. Should the Gallballder be Removed?
« on: February 10, 2006, 06:15:36 AM »
I've been talking to a woman in her 20's who has been told she has many gallstones and that if it becomes a problem, the gallbladder will be removed. The doctor also told her that this may be related to hormones she is on. Does anyone know if hormones do cause stones? And is there any alternative to gallbladder removal? Is the surgery very involved and are there any problems that will develop once the gallbladder is removed? Is surgery the best course of action? She is concerned about blood loss during the surgery. Is the blood loss enough to be a problem? I've known many non-thals who've had their gallbladders removed and it is normally a simple routine surgery. Is it any different with thals or is this not a big deal?
Andy

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Offline Danielle

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Re: Gallbladder and Gallstones. Should the Gallbladder be Removed?
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2006, 09:13:37 AM »
Well ...   :biggrin ... You know any story that comes from me has to be strange or unusual, so I'm not sure if I should be the first person to answer that.   :rotfl

I think many of you saw me tell the story on the old site.   :huh

Everything happens to me.   :sadno

As for hormones and gallstones, there actually is a link.  As a matter of fact, woman who know they have gallstones, need to tell their gynecologist about it, before they get put on birth control, or some other kind of hormone, because it can cause a severe gall attack.  I wasn't able to be put on birth control to regulate my period when I had gallstones, and was only able to start taking them when I had my gallbladder removed.

Studies showed that hormones were significantly higher in women with gallstones.  I believe estrogen is the big culprit, but others are involved.  Women are also twice as likely as men to get gallstones, so that may prove the whole estrogen theory as well.    :dunno

A Cholecystectomy (gall bladder removal) is not a bad surgery these days, since they have been able to do it laparoscopically.  Most people go home the next day.

I have not heard of anything bad happening from removing the gallbladder itself, because we can live fine without it.  Most of the time, the advantages of the surgery outweigh the disadvantages, and it's done very often.  If someone can tolerate the anesthesia and surgery, I think the best decision would be to remove it.  It was definitely the best thing for me.  Gallstones cause too much pain, and I don't have that pain anymore since it's gone.  If done laparoscopically, there really isn't too much blood loss, but I would advise any Thal to get transfused before any surgery anyway.  As for the difference between a healthy person and a Thal having it done, I don't see much of a difference as long as the patient is healthy enough to go through surgery and gets transfused beforehand.

There are other things that can be done to get rid of gallstones, but honestly, it's actually better to get it taken out altogether instead of dealing with it.  I would really only recommend the other treatments if the person couldn't tolerate the anesthesia or wasn't well enough to have surgery.

Other treatments are:

Oral medications to dissolves the stones, but these meds don't always work, and they usually take a long time.  They also don't mix well with certain people because of their side effects.

And shock wave lithotripsy, which breaks up the stones to let them pass out of the system, but doesn't always have a great success rate either.  You can also get severe colic pain afterward.

If you have gallstones, and they are causing problems, my advice (if you are healthy enough) is to get it out, before it gets worse.  The surgery for most people, when it's laparoscopically done, isn't too painful, because they only make a few little holes into your stomach.  I say *most people* because, of course, there is always the minority (like me) who end up in a bad situation.   :whyme

To make a very long story ...umm ... still long...

I had gallstones and they were causing severe pain.  I knew I had gallstones, but each time I went to the hospital, they never saw them when doing the sonogram, so they would send me back home.  A while later, I ended up having a severe attack, and my whole body turned yellow (from bilirubin build up), because I had a stone stuck in my common bile duct.  So, if you think you have stones, and doctors are telling you that you don't, keep getting tested.   :wink

So anyway, I ended up having emergency surgery, which was a good thing, because I wanted the darn thing out already!   :rotfl  The bad part was that they were supposed to do it laparoscopically, and they did ... but when they were in there, they severed my hepatic artery (the huge artery connected to our liver) and caused a MAJOR bleed.  So they had to make an incision about 7 inches across my stomach to stop the bleed, and they ended up taking my gallbladder out that way.  Yep, 10 hour surgery.  :shame  I was in the hospital for a week, with a nasogastric tube, which I wasn't very happy waking up to.  There was a lot more pain then I had expected, because I went into surgery thinking I was going to have a few little holes, and I ended up coming out with a few little holes AND a very large cut across my stomach.   :rotfl

So that's why I say *most people* because the majority do perfectly fine.  There are always risks to surgery, and some risks to this surgery include what happened to me, and/or damage to the bile ducts, which may require extra surgery.  That's a rare event, though ... so please don't let me scare you.  I'm just telling you that there are always risks that you take with surgery, but with the gallbladder, they are not common.  I'm just one of those people in that small group that EVERYTHING happens to.  :sigh

I still do not regret having it removed though, because I don't get that pain anymore, which was horrible.  Oh, and I can also eat my greasy calamari again.   :shh

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Offline jzd24

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Re: Gallbladder and Gallstones. Should the Gallballder be Removed?
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2006, 04:01:25 PM »
Sorry you had such a bad time, Danielle. I have Thal Intermedia and was having severe gall bladder attacks. I had 2 attacks that required ambulance trips because my body went into shock. The hair on my head became instantly wet, and I could only lie on the floor and make animal grunts! It was horrible. My previous test showed "sludge". I had laprascopic surgery and it wasn't bad at all. It was an amazing relief to not have those attacks after the surgery. I recommend getting it out if you are having trouble with it. Years ago, my Greek grandmother eventually died because she wouldn't get hers out. 
« Last Edit: March 19, 2006, 10:50:44 PM by Andy »

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Offline Andy Battaglia

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Re: Gallbladder and Gallstones. Should the Gallballder be Removed?
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2006, 10:58:39 PM »
Jean,

Thanks for bringing up how serious an untreated gallbladder can be. My wife's friend's husband just recently passed away as the result of his gallbladder. He went into emergency with severe pains and they scheduled him for a gallbladder removal a couple weeks later. Unfortunately, they underestimated his condition. He should have been admitted to surgery immediately. The gallbladder was infected and that spread into his bloodstream causing sepsis, which killed him.

You are the best judge of your own situation and you have to be the one to tell the doctors that the pain is abnormal and that immediate treatment is needed.
Andy

All we are saying is give thals a chance.

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Offline dancam1

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Re: Gallbladder and Gallstones. Should the Gallballder be Removed?
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2006, 11:25:42 PM »
Hi Andy,
     I had my Gall Bladder removed in Oct. 2005.  I had the "easy" one.  If I was your friend, I would have it removed now, rather then wait.  Here's why.  As the stones get bigger (my case), they cause damage and scarring to the gall bladder itself.  If these stones block the bile duct or cause enough damage,  then she is looking at the "long" surgery which is very dangerous, espicially for a thal.  The recovery time is much longer for the "long" surgery.  I suffered for about a week after the surgery, but the pain goes away after that.  I still can't eat foods I use to eat (french fries and other fatty foods), but I can eat everything esle I used to.  the surgeon told me that I did have scarring on the gall bladder and if I had waited then I would have had to have the other procedure.  Hope that helps.
Dan

Re: Gallbladder and Gallstones. Should the Gallballder be Removed?
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2006, 09:23:12 PM »
Hi Dan

Thank you for share your personal experience.  My daugther is 18 now and has thal intermediate(her HB stay between 8.6to 6.8).  She had jundice attack on June 6, and had ERCP to treat the condition.  Her Belirubin level is around 6 right now (her normal is around 4 to 5)  She was only needing folic acid all her life until now.  The doctor wants her to have her gallbladder remove now.  Is her HB will go down after this proedure?  Her only problem is too thin and the removal of her gallbladder will make her loss more weight?  Please advice us with your own experience.
thank
sue

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Offline hippievamp

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Re: Gallbladder and Gallstones. Should the Gallballder be Removed?
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2006, 01:10:04 AM »
I wish haveing my gull bladder removed made me loose weight :biggrin

I am 28 with thal maj and had my gb removed laproscopically about 3 years ago I was haveing bad pains(both in my r side and my shoulder) and lets just say not pleasent bowl problems.  I was sent for a sonagram then to a surgon.  He said my gb was like a time bomb inside me, so we sceduled surgery.  In the meantime Iadjusted my diet to no spicy, greasy, or fatty foods(which by the way doesnt leave many options).  It helped a little.

The after the surgery I sayed in the hospital for 2 days.  the surgon said that there were a bunch of tiny stones in there.  I don't remember much of the hospital because I was on morphine.  I was sent home with percosette.  My house at the time had steps so I was able to do them slowly.  It was painful and unfortunatly we thals tend to heal slower than normal people.

I do still have pain in my side but its not the same and it is from my liver but my shoulder pains and cramps(which I found out after the fact is couriously a sign of gb problems) are gone and as for my bowls they may not be normal but it is much better(except if I eat too much greasy food).

Ironically my cousin who does not have thal had to have hers removed a month latter.  She had same day surgery (where they go home the same day) and she also seemed to spring back a little faster than I did.


god bless

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Offline Ash

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Re: Gallbladder and Gallstones. Should the Gallballder be Removed?
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2006, 01:35:48 PM »
I am a bit reserved on removing organs from the body.

Doctors say "oh it doesnt do anything"

Well God put it there for a reason hands off @$#%er  :biggrin

Some research suggests having problem digesting those thanksgiving turkeys and even the innocent letuce.
you have had it removed and dont have the above mentioned problems but it is a word of caution for others.

:SIGH:

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Offline mudslinger

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Re: Gallbladder and Gallstones. Should the Gallbladder be Removed?
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2006, 09:54:17 AM »
I had gallstones and they were causing severe pain.  I knew I had gallstones, but each time I went to the hospital, they never saw them when doing the sonogram, so they would send me back home.  A while later, I ended up having a severe attack, and my whole body turned yellow (from bilirubin build up), because I had a stone stuck in my common bile duct. 

danielle,
i sorta went through the same thing. i was so yellow, and was in the hospital for two day before the doctors actually figured out that i had gallstones. they put me through ERCP in the morning and when i came out, told me that they couldn't get rid of the stones as there were too many tiny ones. they whole g/bladder had to be removed. so that evening i went in for emergency surgery. i remember signing the consent form, i was just 18. my mother was running late, and the doctors had to get the form signed to immediately prep me for surgery.  :-\

now, i'll eat whatever i like, as long as its zero iron  :wink

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Offline Dori

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Re: Gallbladder and Gallstones. Should the Gallballder be Removed?
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2012, 10:16:33 PM »
İ ask this on behalf of a desperate mother: What is cause of vomitting green bile every fe days after gallbladder removal? This was done about nine months ago and since then there is this problem. nobody seems to be able to find source and solution. i will revail whole story in a seperate topic in about a few days. Thank you in advance.

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Offline Andy Battaglia

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Re: Gallbladder and Gallstones. Should the Gallballder be Removed?
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2012, 12:11:50 AM »
It's possible that a duct was nicked during surgery. It may require a scope to diagnose.
Andy

All we are saying is give thals a chance.

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Offline CatherineM

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Re: Gallbladder and Gallstones. Should the Gallballder be Removed?
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2012, 05:09:39 AM »
Hi Dori

Maybe a test for urinary track infection?

Maybe dehydration?

My middle daughter would vomit yellow/green bile as a young child.  It her case the cause was a kidney infection (but at that time she also had a high fever which was high enough to put her in hospital for 3 days).

At other times when she vomit yellow/green without fever, it in her case was caused by dehydration.

But a scope does sound like a good idea.






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Offline Danny.H

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Re: Gallbladder and Gallstones. Should the Gallballder be Removed?
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2014, 10:56:39 PM »
I liked to read this old topic that for me is new.
I'm an alpha trait and I have been suffering from this abdominal pain at least since October/November  2013 or even a little earlier. What I noticed was that I felt pain after I started to get iron pills .( at that point I didn't know I was thallassemic ). After knowing I was thallassemic  the hematologist sent me back to my primary doctor.
I still feeling the same abdominal pains ,but I suffer from terrible join pain also.
Since March I have a Ct scan that explains that I have something on my gallbladder that needs an ultrasound
I have not pay too much attention to it since my docs didn't see nothing on it .
Everything changed this week when I one more time went to my doc cause the fatigue is back and I just needed to know were I'm and what I can do to improve my health.
Well I have not seen my doc for three months and I made sure he knows about my symptoms.
 Well I did an ultrasound but it was not the gallbladder one yet,but since I complaint enough to the person that did it . The person took a pic and I'm saying was literally one pic and the person was able to see gallstones.
My trouble now is that after spending in copayments for all this exams I have done I cannot do another exams right now and I also feel that is time to stop a little bit with it. I will try one more gallbladder flush today and see if I can hold on until get in touch with a specialist  :-\
Daniela

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Offline Danny.H

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Re: Gallbladder and Gallstones. Should the Gallballder be Removed?
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2014, 11:23:43 AM »
I have been suffering from abdominal pain on my right side just around my rib cage since around  October as I mentioned above .It ( the pain)sometimes spreads all over reaching also the left side of my rib cage.i have been treating with my docs,but since I feel so many aches and fatigue I believe they have been misleads to believe in other reasons for the pain.after calling couple times about the same pain I finally did this last week an abdominal ultrasound. The diagnose was gallstones and I was going to be referred to a surgeon.however The pain has been no stop since august the 19 it comes in waves but finally it has flare up Sunday night the seventh and didn't recede until this last Saturday when I went o the ER and they got me some meds on an IV. At the ER they also think I can wait to talk with the surgeon and I feel frustrated cause I realy do prefer to have it fix right away.  As much I don't like the idea I believe I would end up without a gallbladder.
Daniela

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Offline Andy Battaglia

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Re: Gallbladder and Gallstones. Should the Gallballder be Removed?
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2014, 02:54:01 PM »
You may have no choice but to get it removed, as it can be dangerous if a duct gets clogged with sludge, which is somewhat common in thals. The pain indicates that this is probably already happening. It's a fairly simple procedure in most cases these days, too and it well alleviate the constant pain.
Andy

All we are saying is give thals a chance.

 

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