I have had a couple of bouts of gallbladder pain, about one year apart. Except for 1-2 days of bad pain, it has been more general soreness or tenderness to the touch for up to several weeks at a time. Two sonograms at different times revealed no stones. A HIDA scan gave an ejection fraction of 31%. A few months prior to the onset of the first attack, I had a bad case of food poisoning.
My questions are:
Could this acalculous, seemingly chronic, low-grade inflammation, with occasional flare-ups, be a result of damage or scarring from the food poisoning incident?
I have no stones and am not in pain very often. I am, however, having some other digestive problems (bloating, reflux, gas, etc.). Given that some of these might result from the gallbladder's inability to efficiently secrete bile when needed, how would surgery (which the doctor has recommended) help with this problem? Wouldn't a partially functioning gallbladder be better than no gallbladder at all when digesting fats?
I would like to get pregnant in the next 12 months. If I delay the surgery, am I putting my pregnancy or fetus at risk if the additional estrogens circulating in pregnancy cause an acute gallbladder attack necessitating surgery at that time? Is this an unlikely scenario?
Can you give me a reference for any information on the risks of malignancy developing in an inflamed gallbladder left intact?
Given the information you've supplied, I would really suggest you get a second opinion about having your gallbladder removed. You have no stones and you're ejection fraction is within what is considered as normal limits even if it is at what might be considered the lower end. The incidence for having post surgical biliary-related issues is higher in those with a history like yours. Many surgeons are now suggesting that surgery not be done unless there is clear evidence of a truly inflammed gallbladder, or stones, or a severly reduced ejection fraction.
Gas, bloating and other symptoms could be related to your gallbladder, but they could also be realted to other conditions such as skewed bacterial count/number due to medication or antibiotic use.
If you are currently taking birth control pills or including a fair amount of fat in your diet that could also impact your gallbladder and contribute to to gas, etc.
For many women, having problems with either gallbladder issues or acid reflux is a real problem when they're pregnant. But I'm not sure there are any statistical studies that suggest your probability of having a problem is higher than anyone else's. This is something you may want to address with your doc. Yes, the hormones will affect your gallbladder, but just how that will affect it varies from woman to woman.
Bile is found in both the common bile duct and within the gallbladder. The gallbladder simply stores some and concentrates it - at least to what the current theory is about it's function. When the hormone CCK triggers release of bile (due to the presence of food), that bile is a combination of both the bile in the gallbladder and the bile in the common bile duct. When the gallbladder is removed, you still have bile via the common bile duct - you don't 'lack' bile.
A problem can arise in the control of the relase of that bile and how much is put out all day long. For some reason, some people have problems with the control of release after surgery. Not everyone, but for whatever reason if there are fewer clear-cut reasons to remove the gallbladder the incidence of problems does seem to go up.
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