Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
Should I have my gallbladder removed?
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Should I have my gallbladder removed?

I am a 39 year old female, 120 lbs, 61 inches tall.  I am in good health except approximately 6 months ago, I started having upper right quadrant pain.  Additionally, now I have some nausea, severe heartburn, and occasional diarreha as well.

I have had a gallbladder ultrasound, which was normal--no stones found.  Additionally, a CT scan and an endoscopy were  both normal.  We also did a HIDA scan, which showed an ejection fraction of 35%.  I have had liver panel and other labs as well--all normal.

I have modified my diet to exclude almost all fat and heartburn causing foods but the symptoms, although milder, do persist.  In addition to the diet modifications, I am taking Achipex (40 mg/day).  

My GI physician says I should take low-dose Elavil and does not feel it is gallbladder-related.  However, I went to a surgeon who said there is a 90% chance of curing the problem by removing the gallbladder.

Although I'm not sure if it is relevant, I had an appendectomy in 7 months ago (acute appendicitis but no rupture) and got an infection and superficial blood clot at the IV site.

I've considered another GI opinion but can't get an appt for over a month and the surgery is scheduled for next week.

Based on this information, would you recommend gallbladder removal?



Related Discussions
233190_tn?1278553401
There are some small studies suggesting a low gallbladder ejection fraction can cause gallbladder pain.  However, removing the gallbladder is not guaranteed to alleviate the pain.  

If the other tests are negative, removing the gallbladder can be considered.  Another opinion with a surgeon or gastroenterologist can be considered in this situation.  

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
kevinmd_
8 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Janeswa,
I am in a similar situation only my Hida scan was 67%... my gastro Doc said anything above 35% was normal.  I myself was debating the gallbladder surgery issue.  I have spoken to many people who have had surgery and done a lot of research online.  Still have not come to a decision myself but this is what I have learned.... that the surgery does not always correct the problem... WELL GREAT ... in fact sometimes the IBS symptoms are worse.

I myself  am 47 and suffer from IBS, Reflux/GERD for the past 20 years... and now apparently gallbladder issues. I have been dealng with the RUQ pain since 2001 off and on and once had such a severe attack that they hospitalized with put me on demarol for a couple of days to kill the pain.  This year it seems to be  more persistent that every but the pains have not been worse than the time I was hospitalized. I figure the only reason they did not remove the gallbladder was because I had an HMO at that time.

It is really a personal decision but a friend of mine who has gone through the gallbladder surgery just told me a friend of hers has been experiencing similar issues related to our problems for the past 3 years ... and she just had to have emergency gallbladder surgery that does kind of scare me a bit more...

I wish you luck and will say a little prayer for you. Let me know who it goes
Crampster
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi!  I have recently had a HIDA scan after having 3 painful stomach issues.  My ultrasound showed no gallstones.  When I was given the results of the HIDA, I was told that my gallbladder is lazy and if I wanted to I could have the results evaluated by a surgeon.  I have an appointment tomorrow.  My HIDA was 10%.  From what I have read online - it seems that it should come out.  Does the function ever improve?
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Avatar_n_tn
I also had a HIDA Scan and mine showed an ejection fraction of 88% and I still had to have my gallbladder removed - this was 3 months ago that I had it removed.

I guess it depends on the individual if the IBS symptoms get better or worse with gallbladder removal. Mine seem to be the same.

TPI, With your HIDA being only 10%, I would definitely see what the surgeon recommends. Let us know, ok?

Take care
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Avatar_n_tn
Well, I did get evaluated by a surgeon.  She felt strongly that my gallbladder should come out.  I am having surgery on July 31st.  Coincidentally, my best friend just had hers out!  Funny that we would both have problems within the same time frame. She had gallstones though...I don't.  
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi everyone,

I was told i had ibs 15-17 years ago. The last couple of years the pain started to get worse, stomach ache, gas, real bad pain on my side.

I went to the doctor and they did a upper gi and a ultra sound.It found nothing wrong. The pain was still real bad. I had the hida scan which showed my gallbader was only 9 percent.

You know what i think it was my gallbader all along, not ibs.
The week after my surgey, i was heartburn free no gas. So i thought i would try some fatty foods. No problem bigmac fryes.

I was reading ever thing i could get my hands on about the gallbader. By the time i was done i was scared to death to have the surgey.

Listen if it comes back low on the hida scan get it out. I look back now and wish i done it years ago. My surgen told me the only people that seem to write are the ones that have problems.

It worked great for me.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi everyone,

I was told i had ibs 15-17 years ago. The last couple of years the pain started to get worse, stomach ache, gas, real bad pain on my side.

I went to the doctor and they did a upper gi and a ultra sound.It found nothing wrong. The pain was still real bad. I had the hida scan which showed my gallbader was only 9 percent.

You know what i think it was my gallbader all along, not ibs.
The week after my surgey, i was heartburn free no gas. So i thought i would try some fatty foods. No problem bigmac fryes.

I was reading ever thing i could get my hands on about the gallbader. By the time i was done i was scared to death to have the surgey.

Listen if it comes back low on the hida scan get it out. I look back now and wish i done it years ago. My surgen told me the only people that seem to write are the ones that have problems.

It worked great for me.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi everyone,

I was told i had ibs 15-17 years ago. The last couple of years the pain started to get worse, stomach ache, gas, real bad pain on my side.

I went to the doctor and they did a upper gi and a ultra sound.It found nothing wrong. The pain was still real bad. I had the hida scan which showed my gallbader was only 9 percent.

You know what i think it was my gallbader all along, not ibs.
The week after my surgey, i was heartburn free no gas. So i thought i would try some fatty foods. No problem bigmac fryes.

I was reading ever thing i could get my hands on about the gallbader. By the time i was done i was scared to death to have the surgey.

Listen if it comes back low on the hida scan get it out. I look back now and wish i done it years ago. My surgen told me the only people that seem to write are the ones that have problems.

It worked great for me.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
my gallbader was at 9 percent. had it out the best thing i ever did.
they told me i had ibs, they were wrong it was gallbader for the last 15 years do not wait get it out you will feel better
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