Should I have my gallbladder removed? I’m a healthy woman, age 52, with absolutely no digestive problems: no pain, no heartburn, no symptoms whatsoever. My ordeal began when a CT scan ordered as a follow-up to a routine colonoscopy revealed “an irregular enhancing appearance to the gallbladder wall especially in the region of the gallbladder neck”. A subsequent ultrasound was inconclusive: a “shading contrast” was noted but there was no mention of stones. My blood work revealed a slightly elevated liver & pancreas enzyme. My gastro doctor thought there was enough evidence of abnormality to refer me to a surgeon. He scared the heck out of me, because he seemed to think the problem may be something other than stones, such as scar tissue from repeated infections (which I’ve never suspected of having), or tumor (a very low probability). My surgeon thinks the shading referred to in the scans may be caused by stones on the order of a hundred or more. Both doctors recommend removal of the gallbladder but I am agonizing over the decision. On one hand, I feel like “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” but at other times I worry that I have a serious, if silent, disorder.
Gallbladder removal surgery is usually done to treat the following conditions:
* Gallbladder disease
o Infection or inflammation (cholecystitis)
o Gallbladder cancer
* Abnormal gallbladder function (biliary dyskinesia)
I'd have to agree with you, personally. I think that there's no need for invasive surgery if you're not experiencing pain or symptoms. And as this is a big decision, I'd look for more diagnostic results before proceeding.
I had a similar situation but I was only 35. I had a CT scan for endometriosis and then they saw my gall bladder was abnormal. I had no symptoms but now at 41, I have had increasing symptoms of gall bladder disease. I got blood work today and an ultrasound tomorrow but my GI thinks I will need it out and may also have an ERCP (endoscopy) to possibly widen the connection of my gall bladder to my duodenum. I was told to get it out when it can still be done laparoscopically. Otherwise, it is a big surgery. I am a physical therapist and from what I have read and those I have consulted...it seems there are more risks to leaving it in that to taking it out if you are otherwise healthy. It sounds like you are concerned and it could also be good for your piece of mind. I hope this helps.