494913 tn?1214637660

How big is an average gallbladder?

Hi, I am a 29yo female. I was dianosed with 2 large stones 1/11/07 after having gall attacks.

I won't type out a long story right now because I am ill and crying, I know, sad.

I found a lump at the beginning of this year near my belly button which was very tender, saw 3 doctors, including the surgeon that will eventually be taking it out, only to be told it was my bowel.
I knoew it wasn't as it was still there when my bowel was dead empty after drinking the fluid prior to a colonoscopy.

Finally got an ultrasound last week, it is my gallbladder, all 30cm of it and it is now 5 cm from my pubic bone.
Went to emergency only to be told that if I turn yellow to come back :(

I am not yellow, but I have been having hot flushes,feeling ill, finding it hard to breathe at times, feel like I have a babies foot under my rib.

My questions are: Can an enlarged gallbladder effect the lung(as in space) ?

                            How big is a "normal" gallbladder?

                            My gallbladder is 30cm long and 4cm wide, is it full of bile?
                            And what are my chances of not having a massive cut if it bursts?
                            Is this abnormally big? It has grown to this size since an ultrasound in december.

                            I have a stone stuck in the neck, is this dangerous?

Any answers to any of these questions would be greatly appreciated as I'm not getting any from the health proffesionals.

Kind regards, Barb .

30 Responses
494913 tn?1214637660
I forgot to add, I am on a waiting list, I just worry it will be too late by then.
i feel so sorry for you, hope you are okay. :)
Avatar universal
Gallbladder is positioned under the liver, that is under the bottom rib of the right rib cage - about 12 cm to the right from the middle body line.

Normal gallbladder is about 10 by 3 cm. 30cm large gb - this is huge!

Stone in the neck of gallbladder may press on the bile duct and thus prevent bile flow from the liver into intestine. So, it is dangerous only if blocks the bile flow, otherwise not. Anyway, gallbladder with stones, which causes symptoms, has to go out.

Flushes and hard to breath - when does this occur - occasionally or after the meal? I doubt gb would push the lungs up, gb is under the liver, so the whole liver would need to push up then. It's more probably that you have gastric reflux. Acid coming into esophagus causes heartburn, tight feeling in chest and short breath.
494913 tn?1214637660
Hi Boron.
The flushes have been nearly every two hours for the last 3 days, as has the diffucult breathing. I don't have tightness as such, just short of breath.

So can it burst? And what causes them to become so big?

I am really appreciating your information here, thankyou.
Avatar universal
Waiting for gallbladder to burst is like waiting if the train will stop, when you stay on railways. Please!

Well, it just distended. Beside the bile, fluid from inflammation may be collected within the gallbladder, and if there is a stone in the neck, all the bile and fluid can't go out, so they push on gallbladder walls from inside, and this way gb slowly grows. 30 cm of gallbladder in the stomach is not a waiting question.

Flushes, this would need exact description, so I'm not sure. If you feel a HEARTBURN, or funny acidic taste in the mouth, then at least difficult breathing is from gastric acid coming up into a mouth and lungs (yes, lungs). Flushes could be connected with meals - if your stomach empties rapidly...this in a consequence causes hypoglicemia, which triggers adrenalin release and hence flushing. The third reason for flushing would be food allergy - but this would be obviously connected with meals.

If you feel any skin itcing, then it may be from allergy.
494913 tn?1214637660
My stomach does empty quickly, hence my colonoscopy which I delightfully woke up during a few wks ago so they had to stop. I cannot finish a meal without it going through me, so I don't eat unless I'm at home. But that has been happening since October last year, which is when I had my first gallbladder pains but the doctor said they unrelated and gallstones don't cause diarrhea? Flushes come without eating as I have only ad 3 pieces of toast over the last two days(because i feel ill) No heartburn but I have had a funny taste in my mouth today, kind of metallic.

The ultrasound people and my gp both said last wk to go straight to emergency because my gallbladder was serious.
The first 2 doctors at the hospital also thought it was serious and were sure they would operate that day, but the head surgeon sent me home.

I don't know what to do :(

My whole life is on hold at the moment.

I can't bend over so can't work(have my own cleaning business) I can't sit for too long because of the pressure under my rib, can't be an active mum properly to my 4 little boys.

And to top it all off, I'm also a bikini model, have had 4 children without a stretch mark, and now I feel key hole might have gone out the window because of the size, and it's still growing!

Sorry, this has turned into a whine, I'm just sick, in pain and frustrated.
Avatar universal
"The ultrasound people and my gp both said last wk to go straight to emergency because my gallbladder was serious.
The first 2 doctors at the hospital also thought it was serious and were sure they would operate that day, but the head surgeon sent me home. "

Now who is telling you not to be operated? Grab your medical documentation, and go to emergency, and don't allow them to send you home. Bursting gallbladder is a life-threatening condition (just like appendix). I really don't get what's going on here. You have documented severe and dangerous gallbladder disease, don't let "head surgeons" to fool you.

Metallic taste is both in acid reflux and in increased billirubin (the later may be in your case). Billirubin is increased in obstructed bile flow - your case.
494913 tn?1214637660
He was the head of emergency that day and told me he would have my date booked the next day, haven't heard from them.

I am going up this morning after I drop the kids at school.

If I don't post for a bit you will know they have operated, feel free to hold your breath as I feel I will be sent home again.

I will be trying a different hospital today if that is what happens.

Kind regards, Barb.
494913 tn?1214637660
I went to a different hospital where they gave me morphine straight away, which I believe caused the gall attack that followed, so they gave me more, I slept for an hour while waiting for bloods to come back, the albumin was 48 and anion gap was 13, other then that it was normal, so they sent me home after stating they would send a letter to the hospital I am waiting on and telling them to do it a.s.a.p.

I give up!
Avatar universal
Have a phone call, push a little, push a lot...
494913 tn?1214637660
Hospital called today. having colonoscopy on tuesday and gallbladder out on Friday.
Avatar universal
You see, they've read this thread.
494913 tn?1214637660
Ha ha.
I had my colonoscopy yesterday. They found my bowel was inflammed and took a biopsy. Any idea's on that?
Avatar universal
Only idea:
They will check tissue samples under microscope, and result may sound like: Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis,(common word for both is inflammatory bowel disease -IBD), ischemic colitis or so. They will write it on the document or not, so when you get results, ask what exact type of inflammation it was. You haven't mentioned any diarrhea or other symptoms regarding this inflammation.


494913 tn?1214637660
That's why I had it done, can't even finish a meal without running off to the loo, have been like that for the last 8 months.

I will have a look at that link, thanks.

Off to have surgery tomorrow for gallbladder, fingers crossed.
Avatar universal
I just read through this thread.  I had a tumor on the inside wall that made me feel like my gallbladder was going to burst and that it was pushing up.

Surgery was such a relief.  I hope you have that same experience.

Take care.  Good Luck.
Avatar universal
Going throught the exact same thing except I have over 16 big stones. I now have liver disease which they say is because of the gallbladder, digestive issues... run to the washroom after I eat and I eat zero fat and meat now, nausea ect..extreme extreme fatigue. The "head surgeon" is making me wait until early august cause they have to do an open surgery not a laprascopy and he wants me to be healthier. I have been suffering for 2 years with major pain. Any thoughts. How was your surgery?
494913 tn?1214637660
You poor bugger :(
I'm not sure how he expects you to get healthier when that is the cause of your problems?

My surgery...hmmm. Painful.
Avatar universal
This is going to be long Barb and I apologize for that so far you're the first person that has experienced what my life has been like since October of 2007.  

At first it wasn't that bad, I thought it was just that I was getting older (36) and that my stomach was more sensitive than before.  But as it stands today - there is very little I can eat without going to the bathroom immediately after.  

The only tests that have been done so far is an ultrasound and an upper GI.  The upper GI came back normal but they could not identify my gallbladder in the ultrasound, it was a "dark, shadowy mass" which apparently indicates that it is "filled" with stones.  I have an appointment to have my gallbladder out on 06.23.08, however, just yesterday I believe that I have started passing stones.  They are a little bigger than a kernal of corn, they are bright yellow and they float.  By the way I have not eaten anything that resembles these things either.  So far I have seen 3 since yesterday.  Should I be contacting the surgeon to see if my surgery can be moved up?  That was the next available surgery appointment...  

So, I guess what I'm wondering from you Barb is that now that it's been a couple weeks since the removal - are you still having the same symptoms?  Can you eat freely now?  

Any information you could give me would be very helpful and I hope you are feeling better!!!

Avatar universal
Gallstones should sink, according to this source:

These yellow balls mystery appeared here in the forum few times lately, in your case it's probably fat.
Avatar universal
Thanks for your information - I tried to use the link but it comes back as invalid.  I did notice that the link says "images/google" and "oral+thrush" - can you repost the link?  Please and thank you!  
Avatar universal
Oh my, this is the right link:
494913 tn?1214637660
I'm sorry you are having these problems :(

I do find I can eat more freely, but fatty foods tend to make me have gall attacks, even though I have no gall bladder,lol.

Have you had a colonoscopy? I will be getting my results back soon, I had inflammation and they took a biopsy, they believed my gall bladder had nothing to do with my toilet problem.

As for the yellow things you are passing, I have no idea, I would be seeing my gp if I was you.

Keep us updated.
538870 tn?1213935406
I had cervical neck surgery 3 months ago. After surgery, there was no desire or feeling to poop. The MRI at fist showed full colon and intestines, then after about 30 days, nothing was still working and then we went to the hydrocolonics clinic and had everything cleaned out. Since then, nothing has happened, 100 days with no BM. I have to go to the Hydrocolonics clinic every 3 days now to get cleaned.  They tried everything form Reglan to you name it. THe doc who did the surgery will not talk or answer any questions, we found out that I had stopped breathing several times after the ventilator was removed in the OR. Then when I was finally breathing again after the crash cart came in 3 times, the doc ordered the recovery room anesthesiologist to give me 10 mg of Valium and 160 mg of Oxycontin.  No one knows what's wrong and I have been passed to 7 doctors now. All everyone seems to care about if I am suing the doctor who did the surgery.  Is there anyone who knows what this is??? I was 100% fine prior to surgery.

I was also given Reglan during surgery, and I had no problem for that medication.  
Avatar universal

Well, surgery was Monday 06.23.08 and I cannot even believe they call that an "outpatient" procedure.  I did stay overnight since they couldn't get my blood pressure under control nor could they get my pain even remotely tolerable.  

Today is the first day I left my house and it was a little challenging but I did it.  Most of the time I was in the hospital hyperventilating from the pain.  Silly me, thought I had a high threshold for pain.  The nurses did tell me that moving would make it heal faster and I suppose I must say that they were probably right since I am feeling even better tonight than I was this morning.  

I want to thank you all for your advice!  I haven't had any bathroom issues - then again, I've only eaten jello since Monday.  But if that changes I'll be going in for more testing.  I am curious about what happened with your results, are you feeling any better yet Barb?  

And again, thank you to you Boron because I was FREAKING out and your link made sense and put my mind at ease.  
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