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  #1  
Old 11th August 2008
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Default Take my gallbladder, I'm not scared.....

Spoke with a Dr. today and he said that after the ultrasound, endoscopy, and HIDA scan my gallbladder is borderline useless. I also have the option of having it taken out whenever I chose, random pain not withstanding.

I have been getting random pains in my central abdominal area for the last few years, and ulcers were the first concern, all clear there. Gallstones were also ruled out so more tests confirmed that my gallbladder isn't functioning normally. The good thing is that no human needs a gallbladder, so when I get the time I'll have them take it out.

I won't go off about my govt., but so far, the VA has been nothing, if not, the most helpful thing to me in years. I've paid nothing for any of this, and won't. phew....
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  #2  
Old 11th August 2008
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It's not a bad operation at all.
One of the first surgeons I shadowed did a few of them and they never took more than half an hr from start to finish. It's all done laparoscopic too so you'll have 3 tiny scars.
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Old 11th August 2008
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hope you dont like lots of fatty foods, but for a normal diet you should be alright
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  #4  
Old 11th August 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanF.
Spoke with a Dr. today and he said that after the ultrasound, endoscopy, and HIDA scan my gallbladder is borderline useless. I also have the option of having it taken out whenever I chose, random pain not withstanding.

I have been getting random pains in my central abdominal area for the last few years, and ulcers were the first concern, all clear there. Gallstones were also ruled out so more tests confirmed that my gallbladder isn't functioning normally. The good thing is that no human needs a gallbladder, so when I get the time I'll have them take it out.

I won't go off about my govt., but so far, the VA has been nothing, if not, the most helpful thing to me in years. I've paid nothing for any of this, and won't. phew....
Nothing in the body is useless, if they say it's useless, it just means they don't know what it does yet.

For years, heck for decades, everyone said tonsils were useless and removing them was considered almost run of the mill, beneficial in fact. You still have you tonsils? Well heck, I'll take care of that problem for you.

Nowadays they've changed their tune a bit, they now think that just maybe they do serve a purpose and now mostly require a reason for removing them.

So although yes, you can live without your gallbladder, I would hardly say no human needs it, we all need it, and it makes life a lot nicer for those of use with one, but yes we all can live without it if need be. But we can live without a lot of things, arms, legs, part of your brain, etc, etc.

If it's not working right, I'd adjust your diet and eating habits to be more gallbladder friendly, and see if it doesn't straighten itself right out after a bit, then take it from there.
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Old 11th August 2008
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My grandfather suffered "stomach ulcers" since the 1930's. He was treated in New Orleans and then the Mayo clinic. Any conversation of more than 5 minutes will include him mentioning his train trip to the Mayo Clinic and seeing Roosevelt while he was there. He endured weeks at a time when he was fed only crackers and water. He would have random severe "ulcer pain" that would make him vomit. It kept him out of World War II.

Finally, in 2001, he had an attack of the severe abdominal pain which he had always been told was his ulcer while he was watching his sister in the hospital. He went down to the ER to ask for an antacid. Because he was 88 at the time, they decided they wanted to check him out. Diagnosis-gallstones blocking the duct to the pancreas (or something like that). He had laproscopic surgery 2 days later to remove his gall bladder and he's not had a bit of pain since then. Needless to say his lifelong mistrust of doctors was not helped by this episode.
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Old 11th August 2008
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I was reading about a study published last year in the Journel of Theoretical Biology by a group at Duke University school of medicine. They found that the human appendix acts as a "safe house" for helpful, commensal bacteria, providing them with a place to grow and, if necessary, enabling them to re-inoculate the gut should it lose it's normal microbial inhabitants, like from illness or something. They say that taking it out in the developed world, the patient seems to suffer no ill effects. Apparently if you lived in a traditional culture, anytime before 1800 or in a developing country, Then you are definately going to need your appendix . They say "It's far from being vestigial".

Hope that goes well for you Dan .
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Old 12th August 2008
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I had my appendix out in Bulgaria when I got appendicitis. I've been pretty much alright ever since, including living in the developing world for a while - although admittedly not in a Bombay slum. Have had some interesting gastric afflictions over the years however.

My Chinese friend tells me that over there they often remove appendixes (appendices?) as a routine op, much like we used to with tonsils.
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Old 12th August 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt88S
Nothing in the body is useless, if they say it's useless, it just means they don't know what it does yet.

For years, heck for decades, everyone said tonsils were useless and removing them was considered almost run of the mill, beneficial in fact. You still have you tonsils? Well heck, I'll take care of that problem for you.

Nowadays they've changed their tune a bit, they now think that just maybe they do serve a purpose and now mostly require a reason for removing them.

So although yes, you can live without your gallbladder, I would hardly say no human needs it, we all need it, and it makes life a lot nicer for those of use with one, but yes we all can live without it if need be. But we can live without a lot of things, arms, legs, part of your brain, etc, etc.

If it's not working right, I'd adjust your diet and eating habits to be more gallbladder friendly, and see if it doesn't straighten itself right out after a bit, then take it from there.
I totally agree with your point, however my gallbladder isn't functioning as intended. Removal will not hurt my day to day functioning, and will likely improve my quality of life.

I was kind of aprehensive at first, but after doing a little research on my own, and speaking with 2 doctors, I'm confident in my decision to remove it via laproscopy.

Ultimately it will do no harm, so...
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  #9  
Old 12th August 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt88S
Nothing in the body is useless, if they say it's useless, it just means they don't know what it does yet.
Except the gizzard

We needed it when we were still eating dirt and rocks, but as we evolved and our diet improved, the gizzard became a useless organ.
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Old 12th August 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cincy_Snaab
Except the gizzard

We needed it when we were still eating dirt and rocks, but as we evolved and our diet improved, the gizzard became a useless organ.

I still prefer kittens and small children.
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Old 12th August 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jezzadee
I had my appendix out in Bulgaria when I got appendicitis. I've been pretty much alright ever since, including living in the developing world for a while - although admittedly not in a Bombay slum. Have had some interesting gastric afflictions over the years however.

My Chinese friend tells me that over there they often remove appendixes (appendices?) as a routine op, much like we used to with tonsils.
I agree. Growing up in Taiwan (2nd world nation ?), "appendicitis" was often heard as a routine op amongst people. But my mom always told me to not "jump" after supper as to not get food bits lodged inside my appendix
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  #12  
Old 12th August 2008
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Hi DanF and the rest of you guys!
Ah, the gallbladder subject Well guys, I had my gallbladder removed in May of this year and to be honest with you guys I have never looked back. I'm only 30, have never lived very fatty, but somehow my gallbladder got diseased. For me it started with random abdominal pain, and over the course of a few months, I had gallbladder attacks non stop. As much as swallowing my own caliva, or drinking water, would give me long lasting pain. It even got so far that doctors were not sure if they could do laproscopic surgery, or if they would have to open up my chest for quicker/better access. Ultrasounds and various other tests showed that I had gallstones. Finally the day came when I had surgery, and although it is daysurgery here in Canada, it is surgery alright. Lets just put it this way: Medicine and surgery have come a long way, and its amazing that a surgery like this could be done by laproscopic, and thank God I did not need open surgery. Now, I don't want to scare DanF, but the recovery is not exactly a piece of cake. Doctors have a way of downplaying the surgery, but only once you get home you realize what you are in for. Make sure you have 10 -14 days to recover at home.
The incisions are tiny small, and heal very fast. However, the stitches inside of you take some time to heal. You are not allowed to lift anything past 3-5 pounds for six weeks. Otherwise you will get pain, and the odd bleading from your rectum. Anyways, all in all, you recover well, but you do have to monitor your source of fat. At the moment, I'm on a low fat diet again, due to getting liver attacks/pain from enjoying fries and such. This will over time pass, and eventually the body gets used to living without the gallbladder.
DanF, since you don't have gallstones I would think twice about getting the surgery done. The body does need the gallbladder, even if doctors tell you otherwise. Go see a health nutritionist/doctor. They can give you some advice on how to cleanse and "revive" your gallbladder again with the help of herbal tea etc. In many cases surgery is just a quick way to deal with the issue, but the question is, why did it stop functioning in the first place? For me, I had no other option since I had gallstones. You don't have gallstones, I don't know anything about your lifestyle (fatty food etc), but one thing is for sure, even when you get the surgery done, you will still not be able to continue on with the same lifestyle *at least that's the case for me). Hope I did not make the decision harder for you, but you owe it to your body to try other remedies first, before you go under. (Just my opinion)
Don't hold me to my advice which ever way you choose to go. I'm not in a medical profession, and do not have your lab and other test results to give you a medical answer. Just take all that stuff with you when you go to see a nutritional doctor. They too can make sense of your results.
Lukas
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  #13  
Old 12th August 2008
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its an outpatient procedure these days, just go get it done, for the laparoscopic surgeon its one of the funnest and operations too
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Old 12th August 2008
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I appreciate your advice and opinions. You hit the nail on the head describing the sympoms. I drink water and it can get uncomfortable.

The doctors said that there is no reason for it to fail, it just does sometimes. They never pushed for the surgery, and said that it was up to me. No timetable involved, and that I should just call up the VA Hospital if/when I feel like it.

Can you give me some more info on that tea. I would like to know what else I may be able to do fix this.
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Old 12th August 2008
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Hi DanF,

I didn't realize that your gallbladder was that bad. Once you have difficulty swallowing liquids, its a totally different situation. Are you living on a low fat diet? You could try to drink some dandelion root tea (its very bitter, but has a cleansing effect on the liver and the gallbladder.) However, be careful, take only a few sips, and see how you react. (pain, discomfort)
Are you currently drinking one small swallow at a time, or are you just gulping it down? It makes a huge difference if you take your time drinking slowly. After a few days, the gallbladder should calm down, and you can resume "normal" drinking. Also, don't drink liquids that are very hot or cold, try to find something in between. I know how you feel, I have been there and still am. The truth is that even after the surgery you can still get these symptoms. See when the gallbladder is irritated, it presses on the liver. Now once you remove the gallbladder, it no longer presses on the liver, but you can easily "overload" your liver with fatty food, and to my surprise it can be just as painful. Now I have liver spasm instead of gallbladder spasm. Unfortunately you can't just go ahead and now take the liver out As long as I continue to live a low fat diet, my body will eventually get used to the new system. No doctor will really tell you how you are supposed to feel after a gallbladder removal, because the truth is everyone is different. Some go on living as fatty as before, some have to be on a low fat diet, and others develop chronic diarea lasting for years. BUT, I do have to admit that my quality of life is much better now then before the surgery. SO, don't worry about it, and just get it taken out.
Lukas
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Old 12th August 2008
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I'll see if I can find some of that dandelion root tea.

It's not really as bad as I may have made it sound. Like right now its not painful, but I know that it's there, if that makes sense. Once in a while if feels like a red hot poker is being twisted around inside me. (can't eat, drink, sleep, poo... etc. I vomit and generally curse life) but this is once in a while. Normally it just feels like someone is applying pressure to my insides after I eat.

I don't tend to eat fatty foods, lots of pasta, lean meats like chicken, turkey, ham...

I've been starting to adjust my eating habits to what I may have eaten on a regular basis before all this bothered me. I guess we'll see.

I do enjoy a cold beer or two+ every night.

One thing that has seemed to help (placebo effect perhaps) is the Omeprazole to help reduce the stomach acid.
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Old 12th August 2008
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It sounds like you are doing the right thing by eating healthier food. Just some food for though: I like my beer also, but trust me, since I've had my gallbladder removed, I can have about one to two cans per week. Did you know that there is LOTS of fat in beer? Well, the liver and gallbladder work hand in hand to try and absorb the beer intake. Once the gallbladder is gone, you will experience liver overload very quickly with only a couple of beers. Sorry but thats the reality. Perhaps try to cut some beer out of your system for a while...

Lukas
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Old 13th August 2008
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Galstones can be very dangerous...

My Girlfriend's dad was having pains after eating for a few months back in fall 2007. He ignored it as he always did for everything.

In early Jan 2007 my girlfriend came home to find her dad in severe pain, after talking to him, he had taken some Malox and said he was fine. She persisted and took him to emergency, the pain became so severe he was given Mophine.

He was admitted overnight.

2 days later he was admitted to the ICU after doctors gave him apple juice and his body nearly shut down.

He ended up on a Ventilator a week later to help him breathe.

two months went by as he came in and out of being awake.

Doctors found that his gallbladder had produced some stones and inflammed his common bile duct. His pancreas was now being digested because stomach enzymes produced for the apple juice could not be relased, and so his feed tube was removed too.

In March his situation got worse as he ended up on Dyalysis and full life support.

Then the consultation came. He was rushed for emergency surgery to remove his pancreas, but his kidney's failed to remove the Snake Venom used as his blood thinner to prevent clotts. He started to bleed internally, the surgery was called off.

He died only a few days later.


It kills us to know that had he gone to the doctor and had surgery to remove his galbladder in time, the entire thing would have been prevented as it is very common.
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Old 13th August 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woywitka
Galstones can be very dangerous...

My Girlfriend's dad was having pains after eating for a few months back in fall 2007. He ignored it as he always did for everything.

In early Jan 2007 my girlfriend came home to find her dad in severe pain, after talking to him, he had taken some Malox and said he was fine. She persisted and took him to emergency, the pain became so severe he was given Mophine.

He was admitted overnight.

2 days later he was admitted to the ICU after doctors gave him apple juice and his body nearly shut down.

He ended up on a Ventilator a week later to help him breathe.

two months went by as he came in and out of being awake.

Doctors found that his gallbladder had produced some stones and inflammed his common bile duct. His pancreas was now being digested because stomach enzymes produced for the apple juice could not be relased, and so his feed tube was removed too.

In March his situation got worse as he ended up on Dyalysis and full life support.

Then the consultation came. He was rushed for emergency surgery to remove his pancreas, but his kidney's failed to remove the Snake Venom used as his blood thinner to prevent clotts. He started to bleed internally, the surgery was called off.

He died only a few days later.


It kills us to know that had he gone to the doctor and had surgery to remove his galbladder in time, the entire thing would have been prevented as it is very common.
That's a sad story.. I'm certainly more relieved to know I don't have gallstones.
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  #20  
Old 13th August 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanF.
That's a sad story.. I'm certainly more relieved to know I don't have gallstones.
Yeah that is good. Two other people posted in this thread had issues with gallstones. Plus anybody else with abdominal pain should be aware of serious consequences and I hope that this information could at least save someone on something so simple in early stages.
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