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Gallbladder sludge-Surgery???



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I was sleeved in May, 2018 and before Christmas was having moderate pain in my upper right side. Was sent for an ultrasound and they found gallbladder sludge which I wasn't told about until this week cuz doc was on vacation. Over the holidays, I did indulge in some favorite high fat treats. Last week, before I was told and after N.Y.'s Eve & day (with more fatty favorites) the pain did get worse and seemed to spread upwards into my chest. It didn't last long but was intermittent for days. When the doctor called I told him this and he immediately went to removing the gallbladder. I asked about medication and he said there's only one and I'd have to take it for the rest of my life. He's a surgeon, so naturally, he's recommending surgery. I'm just not sure if it's really necessary. I went back to the low fat diet after NY's and the symptoms are getting better. I still feel something like cramping and/or quivering in the area but it's milder and less frequent.

I'd really like to hear from anyone/everyone who has had experience with gallbladder problems after WLS and/or anyone who might have some insights into this problem. I really don't want to have surgery unless it's absolutely necessary. I don't understand how the WLS causes gallbladder problems in the first place. I'd like to know if there are any other approaches to the problem I'm experiencing? Any thoughts you have will be very much appreciated. thanks!

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I had mine pre-wls and also pre-internet so I just had it removed without questioning it. They told me at the time that my super low fat/ no fat eating triggered it. I had awful morning sickness all 9 months so I would eat dry toast etc. Leading up to the surgery date (a few months after childbirth) I ate no or low fat because I thought that triggered the gallbladder attacks but they told me in the er that was totally wrong. I've had mine gone for 24 years and i dont miss it.

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I am pre WLS but had gallbladder attacks (worse than labor pains) and multiple days per month of a chronic dull ache near my right shoulder blade. I could eat low fat and be miserable and other times eat ice cream and be fine but I did find that high fat usually meant I would be in pain. An ultrasound did not show stones so they did a HIDA scan and it showed the gallbladder functioning at 15%. The GI doc and surgeon said you can put it off but eventually it will need to be removed and probably in an emergency situation. So I decided I would rather have a scheduled procedure when I can choose the surgeon, hospital, date etc verses risking being out of town and have an emergency surgery.

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I had the same thing happen this fall. They found sludge and small stones. The attacks are transient. They did all kinds of tests and my surgeon told me they do not remove a gb just because of sludge and small stones...that a ton of people have them and live with them. So we're opting just to watch it and hope it doesn't happen very often.

Sorry you are having this issue. Hope you feel better and don't have to have surgery. I really can only tolerate pretty lean food.

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38 minutes ago, FluffyChix said:

I had the same thing happen this fall. They found sludge and small stones. The attacks are transient. They did all kinds of tests and my surgeon told me they do not remove a gb just because of sludge and small stones...that a ton of people have them and live with them. So we're opting just to watch it and hope it doesn't happen very often.

Sorry you are having this issue. Hope you feel better and don't have to have surgery. I really can only tolerate pretty lean food.

Thanks so much for responding. I've done research online and have read both what you wrote above and what 2bsmaller18 wrote. From what I can tell, if I had stones and regular attacks, I should be planning my surgery asap. Everything I've read about just sludge and a few irregular pains (not having full blown attacks) says to wait and watch. I also read there are medications that can help but my surgeon only mentioned the surgery. Of course, he's a surgeon, that's what they do! So I really appreciate your input. For me, with what I've experience SO FAR, surgery seems extreme. Certainly if it gets worse, I'll do what I have to do. I'm mostly concerned because my husband and I have a much awaited trip to Hawaii in 10 days, with my new 175# figure. My husband thought of cancelling the trip so I could have the surgery but I think I'll eat very low fat, as I was doing before the holidays, and worry about this after we get back. Hopefully this will be ok. Thanks again!

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Have fun in Hawaii!!

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I just had the sleeve and have been prescribed gallstone medication or 3 months to prevent the onset of stones . The dr said that quick extreme weight loss can cause gallstones

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2 hours ago, HopefullXOXOXO said:

Thanks so much for responding. I've done research online and have read both what you wrote above and what 2bsmaller18 wrote. From what I can tell, if I had stones and regular attacks, I should be planning my surgery asap. Everything I've read about just sludge and a few irregular pains (not having full blown attacks) says to wait and watch. I also read there are medications that can help but my surgeon only mentioned the surgery. Of course, he's a surgeon, that's what they do! So I really appreciate your input. For me, with what I've experience SO FAR, surgery seems extreme. Certainly if it gets worse, I'll do what I have to do. I'm mostly concerned because my husband and I have a much awaited trip to Hawaii in 10 days, with my new 175# figure. My husband thought of cancelling the trip so I could have the surgery but I think I'll eat very low fat, as I was doing before the holidays, and worry about this after we get back. Hopefully this will be ok. Thanks again!

That sounds like a good plan. I wonder if once your weight loss stabilizes if the gallbladder issues resolved since it seems to be a sudden big weight loss triggers it. Have a great time!!!!!

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Thank you!

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