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Gall bladder problems - total removal or are there other options??

(16 Posts)
rice1234 Tue 08-Nov-16 17:31:44

Hi there
I'd be so grateful to anyone who could help advise me about what to do with gallstones that have been found. I have surgery in the diary for next Wednesday 16th November.
Am seriously concerned about any bad consequences on diet after having it removed - it seems to be a useful (if not vital) organ and wonder whether there are other methods of dealing with it other than surgery?

Also, has anyone had children after having gallbladder removed? Any difficulties connected??

Thank you so much - would be so grateful to anyone for advice.

TiffanyAching42 Sun 13-Nov-16 20:29:36

Hi there,

I posted on another gallbladder thread recently, having had mine out in January this year. I also asked about alternatives to surgery, but I was told by the consultant there are none. I believe there is medication that will dissolve the gallstones, but it takes a very long time to work, and the stones re-form when you stop taking it. Really the only solution is to have your gallbladder out. It's usually done as keyhole surgery, and I was at home 24 hours later, and back at work in a fortnight.

Having the surgery was the best decision I made, and the only impact on my diet is that I can eat what I like without fear of setting off an attack! I was fed up and stressed checking my diet all the time (I found going low fat helpful) and worrying about setting it all off again. I couldn't have sustained living like that long term, and have been really well since the surgery. I can't comment on pregnancy, but was told to stop ttc while waiting for surgery as the hormone changes in pregnancy can set off gallbladder attacks. The message I've had from my pg and consultant was that there should be no issues with pregnancy now as I'm otherwise healthy.

Good luck on Wednesday, I hope all goes well for you if you go ahead with the surgery!

Mamabear14 Sun 13-Nov-16 21:48:06

I had mine out either 2010 or 2011 can't remember now. It is the best thing I've ever done and I can eat cheese without it causing so much pain, I can't tell you how happy I am about that!
I also fell pregnant in 2014 and had DD 2015 and that pregnancy was no different to the 2 I had before the surgery. I didn't even think about it causing any problems to be honest.
Good luck for your surgery! They gave me my gallstones in a pot after, I was quite amazed, I only had 5 but they were bigger than malteasers!

SpookyPotato Mon 14-Nov-16 10:12:17

I went through some awful attacks gor a while and was convinced I was going to have it removed, but I stopped eating any fat at all for a few weeks and they completely stopped. I then went back to being able to eat fat again and haven't had problems for ten years. But I know just changing diet doesn't work for many people as the gallstones are probably too large to pass through and surgery is the only solution. I know someone at the moment who is really suffering and has done for two years, but they won't do surgery as she is overweight and a smoker. I really feel for her as even water brings on an attack sad My mum had hers removed and since then she has to run to the loo sometimes if she eats something really fatty, as her body can't process it, but she says she would have this any day over the pain.

50shadesofknackered Mon 14-Nov-16 11:04:26


I've just been discharged following Pancreatitis caused by gallstones. I'll have to have my gallbladder out in the next 4 weeks so I'm really pleased to read that you are all pleased with the results of surgery. I can't take another episode of Pancreatitis so I have no option but to have the op. It will also be lovely to eat a normal diet again. I've been misdiagnosed for a few years with excess stomach acid so my diet has been cut down to only a few foods that I thought were 'safe' and I mean a few. Just out of interest can u all drink alcohol after the op? I haven't drunk alcohol for years because if the acid thing, so although I've never been a big drinker it would be nice to be able to have one or two if I'm out anywhere.

TiffanyAching42 Mon 14-Nov-16 13:27:43

Hi 50shadesofknackered,

I avoided all alcohol before surgery as there seemed to be conflicting advice about whether alcohol could set off an attack. I was diagnosed after an emergency hospital admission with juandice and was so keen to avoid another attack I didn't eat or drink anything that might set it off. I occasionally have one or two glasses of wine with dinner, and have not had any issues post-surgery.

Hope that helps!

Mamabear14 Mon 14-Nov-16 14:28:07

I have got utterly sloshed in the time since surgery many times, it's fine smile
Now I have 15 month old DD I don't drink hardly ever but I never have pain from it when I do

NavyandWhite Mon 14-Nov-16 15:51:56


I had mine out last year after a relatively short bout of pain because of one stone. I wanted it out and consultant agreed.

Everything was fine for a few months but the started with a weird rash in my elbows and knees. So damn itchy it was unbearable. GP couldn't fathom what it was so saw a dermatologist who though it looked like Dermatitis Herpetiformis which is the rash associated with celiac disease. After a few biopsies it was confirmed. So now on a strict gluten free diet. The dermatologist thinks the removal of the GB could have most probably activated it.

So while I'm glad that I'm no longer in agony because of the gallstone I have to live on a GF diet.

What I didn't really appreciate either was the fact that you can't just carry on eating like you did before.

But I think I would have the GB removed if I had to make that decision again.

rice1234 Mon 14-Nov-16 18:28:37

Thank you so much for your response - that has really helped me. After lots of indecision I've decided to go ahead with it as don't want to get attacks at a time when it would be even more inconvenient e.g. pregnancy or a holiday somewhere without such good healthcare!!

I'm so grateful to you fort taking the time to let me know your positive experience - it has made a big difference!

MumofthreeandBean Tue 15-Nov-16 10:26:38

I had my gallbladder out 1 year ago. The op was ok, took 2 weeks to recover.
Now I have IBS and unable to eat dairy and still can't eat what I like,or drink alcohol.
I am 3 months pregnant though 😊
I am pleased I had mine removed but unsure if my mass of gallstones were hiding my IBS symptoms or whether having the gallbladder removed gave me IBS?! Will never know, I'm on meds daily now to help

hanban89 Tue 15-Nov-16 12:30:49

I had terrible pain just after my first pregnancy 2011 and was found to have gallstones. I finally had my gallbladder out November 2012 and it was recommended as I was so young (23) and they could come back. I think in older people there might be a possibility of having them zapped with shockwaves or something to dissolve them.
I eat totally normally without any problems. And experience no pain at all after food which is great.
I also went on to have DD2 last year and it didn't affect my pregnancy at all.
You are a bit sore after the surgery for a couple days but it is totally worth it. I was back to normal before the two week mark.

hanban89 Tue 15-Nov-16 12:35:16

Also meant to add, they think my gallstones were caused by my pregnancy! As had no pain or problems prior to that. I was on such strong pain medication after having DD that I felt woozy at times so I couldn't wait to get it out. The surgeon said he had never seen so many gallstones before! Eek!

50shadesofknackered Tue 15-Nov-16 18:43:16

I can't wait to have it out now. I'm so terrified of having an attack or the pancreatitis returning that I'm being so careful what I eat. Just waiting for MRI to check for any stray stones in ducts then I'll hopefully get a date for surgery that is very soon.

50shadesofknackered Tue 15-Nov-16 18:44:27

It's really nice to hear that so many of u (though not all sad) of you are able to eat and drink normally.

hanban89 Tue 15-Nov-16 21:17:59

Also two members of my family have had it out with absolutely no problems either. Good luck with your op.

50shadesofknackered Thu 17-Nov-16 11:12:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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