My 15 year old granddaughter has chronic stomach pain.. or gall bladder. She passes out with the pain. She's missing so much school and this past week had an ultra sound of the gall bladder that showed sludge.. and also had a scope which showed lots of bile in her stomach. They don't want to do surgery, thinking they is an underlying condition that it may not change. They also did biopsies that we haven't heard from yet? What could this be???
When sludge is present it can severely irritate the common bile duct and the muscular opening to the duodenum - the sphincter of Oddi. It can cause pain, nausea, vomiting and reflux of bile into the stomach. I can understand why they may think there's an underlying condition, because many people have severe pain in the gallbladder area but with no change in ejection fraction of the GB and no sludge or stones. If the GB is taken out of those individuals, in some cases the pain and illness continues and they then turn up the 'underlying' problem of SOD - sphincter of Oddi dysfunction.
But when sludge is present the question can become more complicated. The real problem occurs when the sludge enters the common bile duct. With irritation, the CBD can spasm and cause a backup of bile/pancreatic juice and cause a myriad of problems. Make sure to discuss that problem with the doc.
I'd never push anyone into GB surgery because in some the lingering problems can be very severe. But with the presence of sludge, the 'either/or' becomes more difficult. If your granddaughter is on any form of hormones, that issue may need to be reviewed. She should be following a lof fat diet whenever she eats. There are some 'stone-dissolving' meds that can be tried; she may or may not be a candidate. She also needs to stay well-hydrated. Hopefully before all this happened she wasn't trying to lose weight. Rapid weight loss can unfortunately promote sludge/stone formation.
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