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Avatar universal

Life Expectancy After Gall Bladder Removal

My 18 year old sister is going into surgery to get her gallbladder removed it so unreal i mean why her shes healthy WTF.  According to the doctors it was hereditary and her gallbladder has gone bad at first they thought she had gastritis they later found out that was not the case. I feel real bad for her cause after this she will never be the same she wont be able to eat fatty foods unless she want to become fat.  The gallbladder is designed to break down fatty foods but with out it shes pretty much screwed I'm so mad why the **** did this have to happen to her i mean shes to young for this ****. I don't want her to later in life get sick from her liver or other organs do to an absent gallbladder. So far i bin reading articles on people who have gotten there gallbladder removed and most of them have bin having miserable lives and others have gained lots of weight cause theirs no way to break down the fat in the foods they eat. Others have died a few years after they have gotten it removed and thats what scares me. It makes you think what is the life expectancy after gall bladder removal?

Functions of the galbladder


The gall bladder is the organ responsible for digesting fats -- especially animal fats. Once the gall bladder is gone, it is necessary to strictly follow a low-fat diet, which is unfortunate, because it is not the optimal diet for anyone. Low-fat diets cause people to crave carbohydrates, have trouble feeling full after meals, brain fog, memory and concentration issues, absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, and may other issues. What's done is done though, and you move forward with what you have.

It is important for your mom to take digestive enzymes -- make sure that they are high in lipase -- and a multiflora probiotic as well as a prebiotic. Mega Flora is a great probiotic. I'm not sure you will be able to readily find pre-biotics in your health food or vitamin store. If you have trouble finding one, email me and I will help you.

This drink will help your mom's liver function more optimally, which is much more important once the gall bladder is gone . . .

Famous People without that have died Gallbladders


Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) had his gallbladder out in 1965 and died of heart failure in 1973 at the age of 65. Some stories are that he complained of having bad insomnia and nightmares in the late 60s (this is a symptom associated w/ liver congestion to many of us here). Although it could have been the Vietnam war too.

James K. Polk (President) At age 16, Polk developed severe Gallstones  which were removed without the benefit of modern technology, sterilization, or anesthesia. Remarkably, he survived the procedure, performed by celebrated Kentucky surgeon Dr. Ephraim McDowell. He lived to the age of 54

Caroll O'connor died in 2001 at the age of 76. Had his GB removed in 1994 and had a follow-up surgery to remove adhesions (scar tissue) around the area.

1994 + 7 = 2001 seven years

According  to another article some one posted that a co-worker had her gallbladder removed five years ago.  She is concerned because she was told that the life expectancy for any person who has their gall bladder removed is seven years.  

Is this true?  My mother had this same surgery last year.

This discussion is related to Life Expectancy After Gall Bladder Removal.
31 Responses
Avatar universal
My mother did not have her gallbladder removed that was part of the quote I was using as reference

"According  to another article some one posted that a co-worker had her gallbladder removed five years ago.  She is concerned because she was told that the life expectancy for any person who has their gall bladder removed is seven years.  

Is this true?  My mother had this same surgery last year."
1283791 tn?1276821914
I had my all bladder out 2 yrs ago and I am still kicking. My sureon told me to stay on a low fat diet only for 6 weeks until my body heals and gets used to the fact that it doenst have a gall bladder anymore... I am eating all kinds of fried foods now and have not gained weight in the 2 yrs it's been out. Also my mother and grandma had theres out as well and are still alive and well. My mom had hers out when she was 16 and she is now 48 and my grandma had hers out in her 30's and is now 74. Your sister will be fine....
Avatar universal
Hey, it's not true.  Your sister will be fine.  There's a lot of doom and gloom associated with the removal of the gall bladder, but, I'd venture to say that there are 97% of people who NEVER have a problem after gall bladder removal.  I'm not one of them.  I had some problems immediately after getting mine removed, but the gall bladder only Stores the bile and slowly releases it for the digestion of food.

After the Gall Bladder is removed, the bile just goes directly to the stomach in a slow manner from the liver.  So the bile is still there to break down the foods.

Quit worrying.  That'll make you sick more than anything else.
1328782 tn?1275081537
I have had my gall bladder out for about 3yrs now and I have not followed a healthy eating plan...I was curious If the recent discovery of my type2 diabetes was related to not following the eating plan? If I follow the Diabetic Diet will that help with some of the Issues I have been having sice I had the gall stones removed?
1325865 tn?1275125008
It's highly unlikely your sister will suffer any negative effects from having her gall bladder removed.  Plenty of people are running around without gall bladders.  Mine's been gone since 1999.  I already was on a low-fat, low cholesterol diet, but she doesn't have to stay away from fats the rest of her life.  As someone else already pointed out, the bile that does the work is still there; there just isn't a gall bladder for it to travel through.  Much better to get out a "sick" gall bladder than to keep it !  My daughter was in her early 20's when she had hers out; no problems.  There are much worse internal problems people can have than bad gall bladders; be thankful that's all that was wrong with your sister, and just keep on loving her like you're doing.
Avatar universal
Thank you everyone for posting your comments - I have to have mine out after years of trouble and not knowing what it was.  I was afraid of long term effects but seems like it should be OK.  I know several people who've had theirs out in their late 20's and have been out for 10+ years that have no problems.  But helps a lot to hear others out there are also generally doing fine.  
Avatar universal
My mother had her gallbladder removed 32 years ago!! She is still healthy as a horse. And eats what she wants!
Avatar universal
Im 35 and had my gallbladder removed 2 weeks ago when i was 14 weeks pregnant,after months of being in terrible agony one of the stones lodged itself in my pancreas duct resulting in me having acute pancreatitis so there was no option but to remove the gallbladder incase this happened again,the surgeon told me that there might have been a chance of early labour which would have resulted in miscarriage but he was only doing his job and had to explain the pros and cons of surgery. In the end i had no option but to go ahead and pray for the best outcome thankfully im still pregnant and in no pain what so ever now so my advice to everyone on this site looking for help is too get the god damn thing removed so you wont be in anymore pain,just like I did!!!.
Avatar universal
I had my gallbladder removed in 1988 and no one told me to watch my fatty intake. The only problems that I have are after eating stay close to the rest room and if I intake too much fat it gives me a bad taste in my mouth causing me to gage. I had a baby in 1990 with no problems and she was born normal. Other than over weight and the problems that comes with being over weight I'm fine
Avatar universal
Hello I had my gallbladder removed in 2002, from day one had a niggly pain then about 18 months later suffered very looses tools, yellow and pale, severe pain in my liver, inflamation constant burning, had MRi showed fatty infiltration of the liver and benign liver tumor focal nondular hyperplasia, now have stomach pain and severe pain under right ribcage, and bewteen should blades and lower back, had endocscopy showed stomach now inflamed, I was well before this, other than the stones but didnt feel anywhere like i do now, I also am hyper allergic to pencillin now and suffer from althetes foot, teeth are not good now and generally feel very unwell,

This surgery is a slow murder and should never be done unless there is SERIOUS need for it, too many people getting their gallbladders removed and left in this state its disgraceful, SURGEONS think on!!! in germany they dont do this surgery, for gods sake remove the stones but do not leave people without a very essential organ, now I dont know whats going to happen to me a life of hell since 2002, miserable, quality all gone, and am angry they do this to not just me i was 33 when had this done and to my horror i read on here young people of 18 or so that is incredible,,,,PLease think very carefully before getting this done,,,,quick answeer for surgeons and a lving hell for the patient...
784382 tn?1376934640
WOW I'm supposed to get mine out in 3 days and u guys are FREAKIN me out big time....

I have had pain for a few days and went to the ER and they said I'm fillednwith gallstones
Surgery on Tuesday for removal of gallbladder, I haven't heard stories like these and I'm kinda upset that I read them now.........

It can't be that bad, why would they take it out if so many people had problems after
I drink warm salt water every time I have gallbladder pain and I get relief almost immediately. I also realize when I mixed my coffee with flavored coffee creamer I'm in pain. I have switched my coffee creamer and although it's only been a week and a half, I have been asymptomatic.
Avatar universal
I had my gallbladder removed 5 weeks after having my son at 29 years of age.  I was completely healthy, then when I was pregnant with him and especially after giving birth I was having the most horrid chest pain.  Doctors were blaming it on pregnancy induced heartburn.  That was not the case, when I was finally hospitalized for the 3rd time they did a sonogram of my gallbladder and sure enough it was about to explode and completely inflamed.  It was removed and I have not had any complications since.  I just watch what I eat, exercise, try to avoid fried foods and red meat and take my vitamins.  I haven't noticed any change since surgery.  My Mother, my gynocologist, my grandmother and my aunt have all had theirs removed and they are all just fine also.  My grandmother is pushing 80 and still kicking.  I believe the statement that your lifespan is shortened after your gallbladder is removed is not true.  You can read anything on the internet and it will scare the bejesus out of you.  Nowadays EVERYTHING causes cancer etc. etc.  Take care of yourself and lead a good life.  There's no point in worrying about when or how you may die. life is short, enjoy it and don't worry about when or how it may happen...it's not worth worrying about.
Avatar universal
no, had gallbladder removed around 8 years old. im 38 now.
2827584 tn?1340583296
I simply can't follow this thread without a comment. I am a general surgeon and have removed over 3500 gallbladders in my career. I have written book chapters on how to do it. There are currently 700,000 gallbladders removed annually in the US. The procedure is not without problems in every single patients but overall the long term consequences are few. Reading the above posts one would get the idea that is some cosmetic procedure that you can either choose to have or not with the tolerance of pain being the only factor in the decision. The rationale for cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal) was articulated in a NIH consensus report in June 1992. This is available on the Internet. This is important because roughly 15% of the general population have gallstones with 75-80% having no definable symptoms. Clearly we do not screen for gallstones. The reason is that only 1-3% of the people with asymptomatic gallstones will develop symptoms annually and it would be odd for them to present initially with life threatening complications. The data is quite different if you have typical biliary symptoms and are found to have gallbladder disease by virtue of having gallstones documented. Please understand that it is a gallbladder disease not a gallstone disease. The diseased gallbladder allows the stones to form. Patients that have typical symptoms and gallstones have about a 35% chance of showing up in the ERIC with a life threatening complication such as acute cholecystitis or, worse, gallstone pancreatitis. The mortality rate of caring for these patients shoots up.nin some old studies to as high as 7%. This compares to a significantly lower risk of death or complications with elective surgery. So in brief, the surgery is performed in symptomatic patients to give them a better chance of living out their normal life expectancy. The small group of patients that suffer from in adequately treated post-cholecystectomy syndrome do a disservice by scaring people away from treatment that is much less risky than not having it at all. The unfiltered Internet would also give one the idea that all you need to do is flush out the stones. These modern day snake oil dealers would have you believe that downing olive oil and some acidic beverage, usually lemon juice, results in all your gallstones rushing out in your stools. These pages are usually complete with images of gallstones that the author has flushed out and salvaged from their toilets. If they had actually passed some of these 2 or 3 centimeter green globs down a common bile duct they would have had much more serious problems. What they seem to be ignorant to is that the concoction that they ingest turns their GI tracts into factories for making green soap not gallstones. Not a single one of these sites that I have found has shown a follow up ultrasound to demonstrate their stone less gallbladders. We need to be careful about what we put out on the Internet and the consequences of the comments. Having watched a 52 year old man with a wife and two teenaged daughters go from hurting to dead in less than 8 hours from gallstone pancreatitis I have seen the consequences of bad advice. He was told to put up with it until he couldn't stand it. Well, he did.
I just want to thank you, I am 35 years old, a single mom and I have gallstones.  Discovered in a CAT scan back in January.  Told my Dr Earnest in Sanford NC that I needed Gallbladder removed.  Due to all the posts, articles etc that I have read i am totally horrified of having surgery.  I am nauseous all the time amongst other things..and I feel like there is a constant "pointy object" poking in my belly button/gallbladder area. Everything i eat "comes out" soon there after..like i have a never ending stomach bug.   I feel much better now about scheduling my surgery.  
Avatar universal
i had mine out because of acute pancreatitus due to the stones passing.  Pancreas necrosis was our fear. That means death. Having the gallbladder out just means you have to be smart about eating.  the gallbladder is a cup that holds bile between meals and lets the concentrated bile digest your food. Without the cup, the 'hose' dribbles all day.  I use calcium carbonate 750mg from walmart betwen meals to reduce bile acid in my bowels.  I did extensive research on this and the stuff above is only hysteria.  Now I simply have to re-learn my body functions.  Same as not drinking caffein too late or the foods that upset your stomach. Now there will be new foods you wont like to eat, or make you sick, but life is better without pain... and at 41 I am looking forward to being a grandpa next year.  I am happier alive without pain, than any alternative.  Life expectancy doesnt change after gallbladder removal. Not statistically anyways. People who have died usually had other problems or waited until their gallbladder was infected, had pancreatitus or some other BIG emergency before getting it removed. For God sake, do it when you are healthy.  Good luck, don't let that above stuff freak you out, you'll be fine.
5212093 tn?1365192039
Thank you for adding some common sense to this conversation. I have been reading the same things about eating lots of apple and then olive oil and lemon juice drinks and what stopped me was the common sense kept telling me I don't want to get a stone stuck and have a real problem. You have just confirmed my suspicions.
Avatar universal
I have to say that half of the comments on this thread are completely asinine.  The person who posted is digging up things that have nothing to do with gallbladder surgery and then linking the two.  Because people had their gallbladders removed seven years prior to another health incident, it had to be the gallbladder that caused their demise?  That is completely illogical.  Another poster said to remove the stones and not the gallbladder...um...if that were possible I'm pretty sure that the medical professionals would be doing this.  You can't just blast away stones like you can for kidney stones.  When you get gallstones it's because your gallbladder is diseased.  I had sludge and stones in mine and there's no repairing that; the only way to fix the problem is through removal.  I had my surgery three weeks ago and prior to surgery I was in pain for six months straight.  I had terrible back pain, abdominal pain, rib pain, etc.  As soon as I woke up from the surgery, all of that pain was gone.  This past week I have had constant nausea, but it's only been three weeks and I'm not positive it's related to the gallbladder.  Millions of people have lived long, healthy lives without the gallbladder, as do people without tonsils (me), spleens, and their appendix.  If you have questions about the safety of a procedure, I'd recommend contacting a doctor...not some ignoramus on MedHelp.
Avatar universal
I had my gallbladder removed in 1986 at age 26. I am now 53 and in excellent health. I did not gain weight afterwards and have stayed on a somewhat low fat diet, but definitely eat more than my fair share of hot fudge sundaes, beef, cheesy nachos, various "fatty" foods ... I just don't eat them all in the same day! I am so pleased a physician joined the thread to set the record straight. Indeed, it was explained to me that I had a diseased gallbladder and had a cup of sand in my gb. Some co-workers tried to convince me to drink some concoction to try and pass the stones against having surgery. I thought they were idiots and didn't listen to them. I trusted my surgeon.
Avatar universal
Thank you Doctor for adding some comment and advice. My surgery is scheduled in a week, and of course I am making myself crazy reading all these sites and horror stories. I am 58, had stones for years, but had 2 attacks this summer...took a while before a Doc would see me...I had to force him to look hard. All the tests came up negative (cat/ultra/hida/bloodwork) but him & surgeon said..you have stones & symptoms..it has to come out...I wasn't thrilled...but I'd be less thrilled laying on an ER table having to be cut open. I just don't want the chronic diarrhea, weight gain, and burning bowels...so I am still unsure.....but you made me stop to think about what could happen if I don't act. Thank you.
Avatar universal
how did your surgery turn out?
Avatar universal
Thank you for this comment. I just had my GB removed and have been reading all these stories, which have almost brought me to tears in thinking I made the wrong decision. Reading your comment has brought me much relief.
Avatar universal
Thank you for this comment. You have helped me make my mind up to have the surgery.
17568 tn?1424977159
Thank you so much, Dr Watters!
Avatar universal
I am now at 47 had my gallbladder removed at 17. I'm still alive and plan on living a long time. You don't worry things take care of themselves and its not a problem. My mother had her gallbladder removed at 27, my sister had her gallbladder removed at 22, my grandmother had her gallbladder removed in her 30's. Its just a family thing. Sincerely, Rev. K.L.Rich
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