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Date of last update: 10/15/2017.

Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: Dysfunctional Gallbladder

 Spencer1 - Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:01 pm

I am a 45 year overweight female. I have lost 65 lbs in approx 8 months. A couple of weeks ago I started having pain in my right side that didn't seem to let up. Nor did it get better or worse with or with out food. After about 5 days I went to the doctors and he sent me for an Ultrasound to rule out gallstones. The results came back as normal with no gallstones. As I was still having pain the doctor recommended that I have a HIDA Scan done. The results came back showing that my gallbladder was only functioning at 8% after 10 minutes and by 30 minutes it was only functioning at 29%. The results still showed no evidence of gallstones. My doctor recommended that see a surgeon to have my gallbladder removed.
I wanted to know what are the risks of not having your gallbladder removed when it is functioning low, and what level is considered too low? And the second thing is that in Sept. 2007, I had a bilateral hernia repair where I was told that I was meshed from under my ribs to my lower hips and that the mesh was wrapped around and attached on my back side. With that being done will a laparoscopic surgery still be able to be done? I have an appointment with the same surgeon in a couple of weeks that did the hernia repair.
Any help to these questions would be greatly appreciated.
 John Kenyon, CNA - Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:54 pm

User avatar Hello -

The low-functioning gallbladder could be due to sludge or could be due to stasis caused by some other local problem. In any event, it's not working very well so the result would logically be at least the same level of discomfort you're experiencing now, with the potential for it to get worse. The physical dysfunction could well worsen also, since a sluggish gallbladder will eventually collect more sludge which will make stones. If you're prepared to live with significant symptoms indefinitely you may be at less risk than people with known stones or bile duct blockage, since the gallbladder likely won't become gangrenous -- at least not any time soon.

If you do decide to have it removed, it seems likely laparoscopic surgery may be doable even with the mesh, but of course the doctor who did that surgery would also have by far the greatest insight into your personal, altered anatomy and the wisdom of trying a lap chole surgery through the mesh.

I hope this is helpful to you. Good luck, and please follow up here as needed.
 Spencer1 - Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:12 pm

Thank You very much for your information. I see the surgeon in about 10 days, so at that time I will see what her reccomendations are.
Thanks Again

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