MedHelp.org will cease operations on May 31, 2024. It has been our pleasure to join you on your health journey for the past 30 years. For more info, click here.
Avatar universal

Scheduled for surgery- need reassurance!

Hi! I am new to this forum. I am scheduled for gallbladder removal in 3 weeks & I am very unsure if this surgery is necessary. I am 34-I had my first mini attack when my fourth baby was 2 months old after eating cheesecake & a fattening quesadilla along with salad. I had no idea what was happening. 2 months later I drank iced coffee in the morning & had a horrible attack that almost sent me to the ER. It was then my sister who is a nurse told me it was my gallbladder. I had the ultrasound & there are several stones about a centimeter each. The surgeon suggests to have it removed. I've completely changed my diet to try to avoid surgery. Eating mostly raw vegan. I have cheated a few times & had pain, but nothing like that second attack. I've also cheated & not had any problems. My question is: I have gallstones, but if I'm not having regular attacks do I need to have it removed? Can I heal my gallbladder on my own? Is it best to have it removed now because it's inevitably going to be a problem? I am not on board for having an organ removed for no reason- Thanks in advance!
4 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
Avatar universal
Yeah, some people can live without it and some people develop diarrhea after they eat anything, for the rest of their life. Read some more of the personal post-cholestechtomy experiences on here and think hard before you get it removed.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal

I was scheduled for gallbladder removal. No doctor will give you an alternative as they make money by doing the OP.
I had pain, cramps and did vomit often. I thought it was stones, as little ones were seen on an Xray.
But to my surprise it is Gluten that I can not handle. This causes the sweats, cramps and nausea.
Try stop eating anything made with flour for ten days. See how you feel. My symptoms were gone immediately ! You may eat corn, anything made with corn, potatoes and rice. So you get your carbs.
I feel great. No Operation done.

Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
You cannot "heal" your gallbladder through your diet. Thought the same after I had my first attack that forced me to call an emergency doctor, but it doesn't work that work way. If you have gallstones and if they are moving and thus regularly clogging the gallbladder or the cystic duct, you will always these attacks. In a best case scenario you will just live with these attacks, in a worst and more probably scenario the colics will sooner or later lead to much worse problems like inflammations of the gallbladder or the pancreas (the first will make a removal of the gallbladder mandatory anyway, the latter will lead to a different world of severe problems) or a perforation of the gallbladder (following an inflammation) with bad consequences for your intestines (and the necessity of an emergency surgery that will cause much more damage than the removal of the gallblader). Oh, and a higher risk for cancer of course.

All of that can be prevented with a very simple and safe surgery. So once your gallbladder has started to cause regular colics, you should really consider getting rid of it. The gallbladder has no real use for you anyway. The purpose of the gallbladder is to store bile and add it to the regular production of your liver when you eat much. That organ was made for our perhistoric ancestors who couldn't just buy a hot dog at the next corner when they were hungry. We don't really need it in our modern times. You liver and digestion apparatus will simply adjust to that extra kick of bile and you will most likely experience no change in your diet. Besides, once the gallbladder has produced gallstones it cannot work properly anyway (it releases bile through contraction, which it cannot do when it is full of gallstones).

I had my galbladder removed a couple of days ago. Let me talk you through the experience:

1 - Arrived at the hospital on Tuesday at 7 am. Was immediately given a room because ...
2 - ... my surgery was scheduled for 8 am. Yay, no waiting for the surgery.
3 - Got a pill to calm me down. Not sure if it worked since I was tired anyway.
4 - I admit that arriving at the operating room was still impressive because it was a first for me, but the friendly people there made it easy to not get nervouce. We had some good laughs until they applied the infusion needle and gave me propofol to put me to sleep.
5 - Then seconds later I was sleeping. The next thing I knew was that I woke up in the recovery room two hours later with mild pain. Novalgin made the pain go away in seconds.
6 - After three hours I was back on my room and able to get up, walk around, change clothes, text my friends about the sucessful surgery and send them a picture of the impressive gallstone that I was carrying around. After four hours I had lunch (Fricassee) and met friends in the garden for a smoke. No further pain apart from sore muscles.
7 - The infusion needle and the drainage were removed on the next day, and removing the drainage was by far the most painful experience in all this (imagine a veeeery slow depilation with hair wax on a hairy male stomach). Took a got shower that night which really helped with the sore muscles.
8 - Released after four days (today) with very mild muscle soreness. No heavy activites for the next four weeks. So far absolutely no trouble with eating and drinking.
9 - Very little scars if any (can't tell yet obviously, but that kind of surgery has very little to no scars).

So, the way I see it you have two options:

1 - Try a diet that will most likely not do anything (again, once you have gallstones, you have gallstones and they will always come back even if you remove them through a surgery) and more importantly not prevent further colics and all the consequences that might come with them.
2 - Have the gallblader removed with a simple surgery that has very little risks and cause way less pain than the colics you already experienced. Honestly, if you have gone through a biliary colic, the surgery will be a walk in the park for you.

One last thing just to make that clear: I had the exact same thought process as you and were stupid enough to believe that a simple diet change could get the gallstones under control. Three months later I ended up in the ER with an inflammation of the gallbladder. The next colic could have had terrible consequences. Don't try your luck.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hi...i had my gallbladder out about 18months ago after chronic pain, attacks and a whopper of a stone! Unfortunately once you develop stones, they say its gonna keep happening, stones and attacks will be a normal occurrence. But your GB is like your appendix, you can live without it.

Basically you have to weigh up the pros and cons for you. Work out if the attacks are affecting your quality of life or your pain is debilitating. If yes, id go with the surgery.

Regardless, I'd stick to a low fat diet and reduce or stop any alcohol intake, it will help immensely....trust me! Im certainly no doctor, just letting you know what i experienced. Hope it helps a little. Good luck with whatever you choose and i wish you good health and speedy recovery.

Annelie x
Helpful - 0

You are reading content posted in the Gallbladder Community

Top Digestive Answerers
Learn About Top Answerers
Popular Resources
Learn which OTC medications can help relieve your digestive troubles.
Is a gluten-free diet right for you?
Discover common causes of and remedies for heartburn.
This common yet mysterious bowel condition plagues millions of Americans
Don't get burned again. Banish nighttime heartburn with these quick tips
Get answers to your top questions about this pervasive digestive problem