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not to want my gallbladder removed?

(115 Posts)
bezinee Sat 07-Jan-17 09:52:08

A few weeks back out of the blue found myself in agonizing pain. Ended up in A&E where the dr said he thought it was biliary colic, and I should have an ultrasound.

Went back to GP, who agreed to refer me (after some persuasion). GP said if the scan found anything I'd have to have surgery..

Have now had scan, turns out I do have one, fairly large, gallstone.

After the first attack, I had one other a fortnight later (after eating some deep fried food). Since then, I've been taking ibuprofen and paracetamol 3x a day, and although I've had the odd twinge, no further problems.

My GP, hospital, everyone I talk to, seems to be saying I should have my gallbladder removed - but I'm not sure that's what I want. I'm now being really careful with my diet, have stopped eating chocolate, biscuits, crisps etc and am losing weight (which I feel should help - and because the first attack happened after a chocolate binge).

AIBU to want to avoid the op?

MrsSkeffington Sat 07-Jan-17 09:54:20

You're not being unreasonable but you will more than likely attack again and it can cause problems with the pancreas. Best to have it out.
I've had mine out and it was ok - about a weeks recovery. However I still have very painful attacks if I'm not careful with my diet

ChessieFL Sat 07-Jan-17 09:56:34

It's up to you, but once I recovered from the op I've had no problems whatsoever so I'm very glad I had it done!

Eolian Sat 07-Jan-17 10:00:16

I had my gallbladder removed in June. Like you I'd only had one major attack and then the odd twinge. I controlled it through diet for 9 months (from diagnosis until the op).

I'm very glad I had the operation because the strict diet was very tedious, and the op and recovery were quick and unproblematic (even though Really hate hospitals and have had needle phobia). Although controlling it through diet worked, it would very difficult to do long-term as it basically precluded ever eating out.

In addition, it's my understanding that the gall-bladder and liver can sustain long-term damage from the poor functioning of the gall-bladder and you can end up with fairly serious complications and need to be rushed into the op as an emergency.

So probably YABU, I'm afraid.

HeirOfNothingInParticular Sat 07-Jan-17 10:00:47

I didn't want mine removing, and put up with attacks for a long time. Unfortunately for me I ended up with a stone getting stuck in my bile duct and I had to have emergency surgery. I had severe jaundice. Instead of the key hole surgery which I could have had done earlier, I had to have a massive incision and a much longer recovery. My advice would be to get it done as soon as possible. The pain of a gallbladder attack is awful, worse than labour IMO! BTW, I only had the one large gallstone.

Eolian Sat 07-Jan-17 10:01:53

Oh, meant to add, I've had no problems whatsoever since the op - can eat whatever I like. Would never know I'd had anything wrong.

LagunaBubbles Sat 07-Jan-17 10:03:48

Yabu. This happened to my husband and it was scary seeing how much pain he was in. He was admitted and saw the Doctor the next day and it had settled down a bit so had to wait 3 months for his op. He was miserable - yes he watched his diet etc but he was so anxious about eating anything in case the pain came back it was a terrible time. He got it out keyhole and has never had any problems.

LunaLoveg00d Sat 07-Jan-17 10:04:00

You are of course free to choose what happens but these gallstones are not going to go away by themselves. Are you prepared to live with this for the rest of your life? Always worrying that an attack is around the corner?

If planned and scheduled as a routine operation, having your gallbladder removed is usually a keyhole procedure. When I had mine out I was back to normal in a week, my sister took a little longer but it's not a big operation by any stretch of the imagination. If the gallstones carry on growing and get lodged in the entrance to your gallbladder and you have a very acute attack, the gallbladder may need to be removed as an emergency and may need an open procedure.

cazzyg Sat 07-Jan-17 10:04:58

Yes I think you are a little sorry. Losing weight can trigger further stones and attacks and the longer you wait, the greater the risk of complications such as pancreatitis as the gall bladder gets inflamed.

It's actually a pretty simple op done usually by keyhole. Again the longer you wait, the likelihood is that the op becomes more complex and with greater risks.

PeachBellini123 Sat 07-Jan-17 10:06:55

I can understand how you feel but it's very dangerous as Heirto found out.

I dreaded having mine out but it was simple keyhole surgery. Was out that afternoon, working after a week and a half and a year and a half later I have no problems.

I'm so glad I had mine removed!

Wolpertinger Sat 07-Jan-17 10:08:23

It's your choice obviously but sadly there is only one course of treatment and it is having your gallbladder removed.

Avoiding the attacks involves having an absolutely fat-free diet and that is fucking miserable and just not sustainable in the long term although I did lose loads of weight grin

Living every day in a panic wondering if each food item is going to kick off an attack or facing yet another piece of grilled sodding fish is no way to live. Plus you have the risk of more serious complications such as pancreatitis which scared the shit out of me.

The surgery is routine and I was bak to normal life in 10 days.

bezinee Sat 07-Jan-17 10:12:58

I'm quite overweight so I would be concerned about having a general anaesthetic. I am finding so far that I can eat relatively normally, I avoid deep friend foods completely and as mentioned am not eating chocolate etc, although I did eat a small amount over Xmas with no ill effects. I don't find it that restrictive, in fact It's given me the impetus to eat more healthily, and cut out lots of crap I shouldn't be eating.

I have read a few things about people's diets being even more restricted after the op, which concerns me.

That said, I would be concerned about further complications. The stone is about 2-3cm according to the ultrasound.

hels71 Sat 07-Jan-17 10:17:17

I had mine out 5 years ago following dreadful pains and a liver infection caused by the dodgy gallbladder. I was told there would be no complications from having it removed. I still have diarrhoea caused by bile acid mal absorption and take medication daily to control this...Do not believe people who say there will be no problems afterwards.

bezinee Sat 07-Jan-17 10:17:18

I'm eating good fats mostly, certainly not sticking to a fat free diet (the A&E dr told me to eat a balanced diet, as going completely fat free can aggravate things apparently?) and no attacks for 3 weeks now.

I read somewhere that unless you're having regular attacks, the NHS often won't remove?

Mooey89 Sat 07-Jan-17 10:22:18

OP, have it out.

2 years ago I was diagnosed with gallstones. The attacks got worse and worse.
Eventually a stone got stuck in a bile duct, I developed Jaundice. I had the OP but by that point by gallbladder was so bad it had fused to my liver - the consultant couldn't remove it all. Following the operation another stone managed to get stuck (same chances as winning the lottery apparently), my stomach filled with bile.
I developed sepsis and ended up in intensive care.
I had 6 operations in five weeks and I came very, very close to dying. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

All that would have been avoided if I'd had it out early.

Get it out!!!

LunaLoveg00d Sat 07-Jan-17 10:24:20

Do not believe people who say there will be no problems afterwards.

But many of us have had our gallbladders out without any problems afterwards. It's about risk and probability, if the OP is referred to a surgeon he/she will talk through all the risks and what to expect afterwards.

Re the general anaesthetic - yes it's more of a risk if you're overweight, but unless you have a BMI over 30 it's not considered to be more risky. Losing weight before surgery will help.

listsandbudgets Sat 07-Jan-17 10:31:40

get it out.

my friend ignored the symptoms and ended up with an EXPLODED gall bladder, redulting on blood poisoning, emergency admission to intensive care, a huge operation and 6 weeks in hospital most of it out of her mind on morphine.

your choice obviously but having seen what she went through I'd have mine out as soon as a medical professional suggested it was necessary

Wolpertinger Sat 07-Jan-17 10:40:46

My surgeon basically said, one attack, it comes out.

At work, loads of my colleagues have had theirs out. Not everyone got back to work quite as quickly as me, one had some post op complications, and a few still have foods that we know will go straight through us - usually v fatty ones.

However not one of us regrets having it done.

Wolpertinger Sat 07-Jan-17 10:41:24

Oh and I had a BMI over 30 blush, was still a day case.

Kathrino Sat 07-Jan-17 10:44:21

Ultimately, I decided the risks of having the op were less than the risks of keeping it. Mine didn't seem to really be triggered by diet - I could eat exactly the same thing two days running and one day I'd be fine, the next day I'd be in agony. It began to really restrict my life because I was always worried that an attack was about to happen. I can't imagine going through life with that hanging over me.

FWIW, I tend to find now that if I haven't eaten for a while and then have a big meal, I get a bit of an upset stomach but that's easy enough to cope with.

bezinee Sat 07-Jan-17 10:44:38

My BMI is over 30 by some way. I am losing weight now but it will probably take me a year to get my BMI to a normal range.

I've been told some people can't eat red meat, peppers, pulses etc after, which seems really restricted to me.

NatashaRomanov Sat 07-Jan-17 10:45:28

Really wish I hadn't opened this thread!
I am waiting for a scan of my gallbladder after I had pain over christmas. Summer 2015, two family members ended up in hospital with complications, one with pancreatiits. sad

RestlessTraveller Sat 07-Jan-17 10:48:05

How can you not want it out? I'm no wuss and dear god, the pain! I would have ripped mine out with my bare hands if I could.

badfurday Sat 07-Jan-17 10:48:32

Have it taken out. Your attacks will get worse and worse. I ended up vomiting at every attack and watched my diet carefully.
I'd rather give birth again than have a gallbladder attack!
Recovery is fine and I have no problems with food since removal.
Also, look at what other posters have said about potential issues if it doesn't get removed, ending up with sepsis or in ITU because you didn't have a minor op would scare me!

Eevee77 Sat 07-Jan-17 10:48:46

I'd remove it. You'll find it's more a case of when, not if and in the meantime you'll continue to have painful attacks. Yes you can limit these by the changes you're making but it won't hold it off forever.

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