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Gallbladder advice, please

Hi - I've been suffering with symptoms for the last 9 months. It started off with a dull ache on the right hand side, hot and cold flushes and diarrhoea - which was constant for about 3 months after I ate anything at all. I lost 1.5 stone in this time. I had an ultrasound in January and they found 2 gallstones (I'm 28 years old and slim so they were quite surprised)and dilated bile ducts (not too sure what that means). I was also sent for a Hida scan which showed the ejection fraction as normal at 36%. From January to now, the diarrhoea has subsided but I still get it if I eat anything too fatty, I get bad nausea (particularly during the night), indigestion, a burning/nausea feeling in my stomach between my breast bone and belly button, I also have a constant ache on the right hand side, including into my back. The pain has never been awful but it is a constant ache, always getting worse after eating, particularly anything fatty, or if I drink squash for some bizarre reason? A glass of orange squash/Ribena kills me, it makes me feel so sick! Alcohol is also a huge no go!

I have been placed on the list to have my gallbladder removed. I'm just conscious that my gallbladder function is considered normal so it's making me slightly apprehensive for surgery. I suppose I'd just like to know what others think/experiences are etc. Thank you x
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Avatar universal
I cannot advise you if you should or should not have the surgery. You will have to weigh the advantages, disadvantages, and alternatives with your doctor. However, I will try to address some of your questions.

Regarding anatomy, the gallbladder is located in the right upper quadrant of your abdomen. Bile is ejected from the gallbladder, passed through ducts, and enters the small intestine. Please refer to the following illustration from WebMD:

The most common initial symptom of gallstones is biliary colic, which refers to intermittent attacks of pain, typically in the right upper abdomen just under the lower ribs. You may also feel nausea and vomiting, as well as pain in the right shoulder or back. This is usually happens when the gallbladder contracts in response to a fatty meal. Complications of gallstones include acute or chronic cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder) or choledocholithiasis (when stone leaves gallbladder and gets stuck in common bile duct connecting gallbladder to small intestine).

You had mentioned your prior ultrasound showed dilated bile ducts. This may reflect normal variation, but can also be caused by stones, stricture, tumor, or other process obstructing the common bile duct. This can be further worked up with MRCP (noninvasive imaging test) and/or ERCP (invasive procedure involving flexible tube).
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