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Just had my gallbladder removed

May 23, 2009 - 5 comments

gallbladder removed

First and foremost: the pain after the operation is nowhere near as bad as a bad gallbladder attack.

Went in at 5:30am Friday morning for surgery at 7:30am. by 9:30 the operation was over. It took longer because the GB was worse than anyone had anticipated. Although I've had scans before which didn't show any stones, it turns out I had a bunch of stones, plus the organ was inflamed.

The first day was mostly spent in a woozy, groggy world, because I kept being medicated. Still at the hospital for observation. The worst thing was the nausea, which came and went, held down by anti-emetics, though the pain was a times bad, too. (Again, though, not as bad as a gallbladder attack). By 7PM that night I was surprisingly alert. I just wish I'd brought something to read. I didn't expect to be so awake.

The next day, today, was spent mostly waiting for the doc to show up and give me the all clear to go home. Pain's not too bad at all. In fact, less than 2 days after the surgery, I don't really need pain killers anymore. Sure it hurts, but it's an annoying hurt not a panful hurt. Sort of like if I just strained a muscle in my abdomen.

So that's about it. I'm still feeling a bit out of it, so I'm going to sleep. Just thought I'd update.

Having second thoughts on gallbladder removal

Apr 27, 2009 - 5 comments







Gallbladder removal

I've gotten so many mixed signals I don't know what to do.

My first gastroenterologist (Mekjian) did a CT scan on my GB then a HIDA/CCK. Results were no stones, EF of 19%. My current gastroenterologist doesn't trust the HIDA/CCK and after reading this piece...

... I can understand why, particularly given my history. No stones, GB filled up fine, but it didn't empty properly. This statement really made me think:

"It's been my impression that some motility disorders can affect the gallbladder (that, after all, is what biliary dyskinesia is.) I don't believe it's the other way around; ie, gallbladder dysfunction wouldn't be the cause of other motility disorders."

Well, I was diagnosed with gastroparesis. Expected 1/2 emptying time was 70 minutes, I 1/2 emptied in 80. Needless to say, I'm now wondering whether it's the gastroparesis (or rather, whatever caused the GP) causing the GB troubles, not the other way around.

Well, things have changed a bit: I now have stones in my GB, as per a recent CT. Not many, only one, in fact, a tiny one. Still, my primary says "get the gallbladder out NOW." My new gastro (Mamel) says "Yes, you have stones, and yes you have symptoms, but you were having symptoms before the stones, and the HIDA is an untrustworthy test."

I've asked him about the possibility of SOD and he says it doesn't look to be the case with me: my bloodwork doesn't indicate any liver or pancreatic issues. But then, of course, there are questions. There are always questions.

Wednesday I'm to meet with a surgeon, the same one my mom used to get her GB out. She had a stone the size of a gallbladder, so her symptoms were easy to explain. I wonder what he'll say about me. And then there's the very, very real fear that I'll simply be making matters irreversibly worse by taking the thing out.

I meet with Mamel again on the 12th to have a Ph test done, to see whether my heartburn is really due to acid. I think it is. He's not so sure. After that there's a whole battery of tests waiting for me. I wish he would tell me what he's looking for, what he suspects.

So I'm having doubts about going through the GB surgery. Yes, I've had attacks. Too many of them. Most very minor, nothing more than discomfort. Some last between 1 and 4 hours. These are the medium grade ones. Then there are the ones that have sent me to the hospital. It was after one of those that my primary said "out with the GB. Now." After moving to a low-fat diet, I've yet to have another one of those. Only small and mid ones. The heartburn continues. So does the occasional bloating, but I can't help think that's the gastroparesis, not the gallbladder.

Then there's my mother's testimony. She had GB issues. Had heartburn, had bloating, even had vomiting of undigested foods (food that should have by all rights been digested). Almost all the same symptoms I have. (She doesn't remember her stomach twitching, and I don't vomit undigested food, just get a little nauseous once in a while.) GB came out and everything was fine again. Will it be the same with me?

So here I am, having questions. Appointments upcoming and maybe some will be answered, though I bet that for every question answered three more will take its place.


The reason for my illness?

Sep 04, 2008 - 3 comments







biliary dyskinesia




back problems



My weight. My dog. My years of violin playing with bad posture. My stress levels. These may now all be culminating into my current illness.

What's happened: my digestion is at 50%. My gallbladder's EF is at 19%, no stones. I'm allergic to my dog, which means constant mucus coming down to my stomach, kicking up the acid. My weight has added pressure to my LES. My back has a huge spasm and numb spot which may have permanent damage due to bad posture, stress, and lack of exercise. All of this results in me feeling REALLY crappy right now, with an increased risk of cancer and a lack of a bility to enjoy some good eating.

After months of research, I may have stumbled upon an answer: I have a section of my back which has been spasmed for years. This caused a big misallignment in the celiac plexus area of my back which caused damage to my gallbladder. The gallbladder, in turn, reflexed to the back in the same area and damaged the nerves there. Suddenly, I had a turnstyle of numbness  and pain in my back (visceral-somatic/somatic-visceral reflex). This damage increased over the years to the point where the gallbladder's EF is now 19%. In addition, the nerve damage was so extensive that it started slowing my digestion. This took an even bigger hit when my allergies started going haywire after I got my dog and I got sick for a few months. My continually lowered defenses allowed a viral infection to attack my nervous system, particularly the part which controls digestive speed. In addition to all the mucus from my allergies, my heartburn went haywire, since due to my weight (I used to weigh 320 lbs) my LES losened and I got GERD. (I'm now at 245, by the way. Still have about 50 lbs to go.) I'm working now with a gastroenteroloigist, a chiropactor and an acupuncturist to help heal all of this damage. It took a long time to create (over 15 years) and may never fully recover. I may lose my gallbladder as a prerequisite to improvement, since once the visceral-somatic/somatic-visceral reflex gets going it's hard to stop, but the root cause was my back which, had it been left unattended, would eventually wreak all forms of havoc on my system.