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Re: Can you get a reoccurance of gallstones once gallbladder is removed?

Posted By HFHSM.D.-ym on July 21, 1998 at 22:10:56:

In Reply to: Can you get a reoccurance of gallstones once gallbladder is removed? posted by F. Chamberlain on July 20, 1998 at 11:30:28:

This may sound daft but I am experiencing the same pain as I had when I had gallstones!!  I had a cholecystectomy (by key hole surgery) just over 2 years ago.
During the last few months I have had three attacks which have been to the same degree proir to the operation and in exactly the same place.  I have heard you can get regrowth of the gallbladder - is this true ?
Dear F.,
Once the gallbladder is removed, one cannot have gallstones anymore. I am not aware of regeneration of gallbladder tissue. The liver is known to show signs of regeneration after resection. On the other hand, one can still get stones in the bile duct which is not removed during cholycystectomy (gallbladder removal). You should also be aware of the post-cholycystectomy syndrome where patients complain of pain in the area where the gallbladder was removed after surgery.
Abdominal symptoms after gallbladder removal (cholycystectomy) have been reported in ranges from 5%-40%. These symptoms have been referred to as the post-cholycystectomy syndrome. The most common postoperative symptoms noted are dyspepsia (indigestion), flatulence (increased gaseousness) and bloating. Other patients have right sided or mid abdominal pain. Many patients also complain of post-cholycystectomy diarrhea. The most common cause of post-cholycystectomy symptoms is a stone in the common bile duct.. In some patients, the cause of post-cholycystectomy symptoms is due to inflammation or scarring of the cystic duct (duct draining the gallbladder-usually cut during the surgery) remnant. Finally, about 10% of patients with post-cholycystectomy pain have an abnormality of the sphincter of Oddi (this is the muscle between the bile duct and small intestine that allows for coordinated drainage of bile from the bile duct into the small intestine). Some of these causes can be diagnosed with a test called ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography). An ERCP is a test where a tube with a
light and video camera at its end is introduced into the small intestine where the bile duct can be identified. When the bile duct is identified a small tube can be inserted into the bile duct and x-ray dye is passed through this small tube. Finally, x-ray pictures are taken of the bile ducts to define the anatomy and to look for stones, tumors or areas of narrowing (strictures). Liver function test abnormalities may also be present. It is also important to note that other gastrointestinal and extraintestinal causes of abdominal
pain need to be excluded as well. Good luck to you.
This response is being provided for general informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or consultation. Always check with your personal physician when you have a question pertaining to your health.
If you would like to be seen at our institution please call 1-800-653-6568 our Referring Physicians' Office and make an appointment to see Dr. Muszkat, one of our experts in Gastroenterology.
*Keywords: postcholycystectomy syndrome


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