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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Life After Gallbladder Surgery??

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Author Topic: Life After Gallbladder Surgery??
faithful777
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Calling all those who had to have their gallbladder out....how do you feel after getting it out?

I am hearing all the horror stories, that many still have symptoms and do not feel better.

Hearing that people get diarrhea so severe that they have to stay home and be near a bathroom.

Has anyone had their gallbladder out because of low HIDA scan but did not have ny stones?



I had a lousy HIDA scan and have mild symptoms. Have Lyme and coinfections galore. Scared to get it out and have more problems. Can someone please help me get off the fence about whether to get it out or not?

--------------------
Faithful

Just sharing my experience, I am not a doctor.

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LymeGoAway
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I had my gallbladder out in May 2009. I didn't have any stones when it was removed, although I passed a large one in March 2009 (as shown by a CT scan at the ER).

My HIDA scan showed that it was functioning at something like 34% and the ultrasound supposedly showed a polyp and no other stones. I was having quite a bit of pain under my right ribcage, and the surgeon recommended that I have the gallbladder removed.

Report upon removal was that there were no stones or polyp. The wall showed signs of thickening, which is a sign of inflammation (I assume from Lyme, since I never had any problems until I got sick with Lyme a year earlier).

I did have diarrhea for a while, but it wasn't bad--I certainly didn't need to stay at home. I still get pain under my right ribs sometimes, but it comes and goes and is not severe.

About six months after I had it out, I started getting middle of the night hypglycemia attacks. I haven't been able to determine why I get them--it could be adrenal fatigue from the Lyme, but I also sometimes wonder if it could have something to do with the lack of a gallbladder. Hard to say.

The surgery itself was a breeze--it was laparoscopic through my navel and I don't even have a scar! I missed a week of work and was tired for a few weeks, but compared to everything else I've been through with the Lyme, it was easy.

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Lymetoo
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I can't remember my HIDA scan score, but it was low. I had 5 HUGE stones and had had pain for a year and a half before finally giving in to the surgery.

I HAVE had trouble since then, but not as you described. I had to have a supposed stone removed from my bile duct 3 yrs later. Had severe symptoms and could not eat any fats at all.

When the dr got in there, he said there was no stone, but the surgery relieved my symptoms. Doc said maybe there was a stone he couldn't see. It HAD shown up as one on the diagnostic tests I had prior to surgery.

I still have pain in that area more often than I like. Most of the time I can ignore it.

And yes, the GB surgery is a breeze... unless you get an infection.... and I did.

Many with Lyme have non-functioning gallbladders.

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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terv
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My hida scan was 35% but as the doctor said, a lot of people are just fine functioning at that level. The gold standard for him was that it reproduced my symptoms (pain and nausea). I had no stones.

I am opposite from the posters above. I thought the surgery and recovery were dreadful but I have no problems now. It took a while to get symptom free though - like 6 months to a year. To this day it was the best thing I ever did.

I had 4 lap incisions. I think there is a surgery now where there is only one. Research the surgeon. That is where I went wrong. He did an ok job but the post surgery care was less than desirable. I had to do it with no pain meds because I turned out to be allergic to what he prescribed. He basiclly told me to tough it out because he didnt want to write me another script.

When you said your hida scan was bad, what do you mean? Did you have a lot of pain and nausea?

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Keebler
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-
As you don't say that your doctor has suggested surgery, it sounds like you have some time to pursue various avenues.

You might be able to avoid surgery if you can find a good naturopathic doctor or one with similar education in herbal medicine. I assume your doctor has offered no suggestions but, I hope, he/she at least gave you special diet advice.

Rhubarb Root (in combination with other specific herbs) is just one formula that has helped me. Chanca Piedra, too (which has also helped me with a kidney attack).

Does your doctor think you can help balance your body to correct that "lousy HIDA scan"?

I hope you can find someone to help you work to keep your gallbladder, if possible.
-

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Keebler
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-
For someone with lyme, it is usually best to seek out only an ILADS-educated LL ND.

However, if you don't have one near you, most other NDs should be able to help you with good gallbladder care. Some N.D.s are also certified in Acupuncture.

----------------

http://www.vaanp.org/

Virginia Association of Naturopathic Physicians


http://www.vaanp.org/Find%20ND.htm

Find a N.D.

================================

Acupuncturists are also trained in herbal medicine:

http://www.acusova.com/

Acupuncture Society of Virginia

Left side menu: Find Licensed Acupuncturists (L. Ac.) in Your Area

==================================

Chapter from "The One Earth Herbal Sourcebook" (Tillotson)

http://oneearthherbs.squarespace.com/diseases/gallstones.html

GALLSTONES

ExcerptS:

. . . Each year hundreds of thousands of gallbladders are surgically removed, at great cost. 75% of all gallstones consist primarily of cholesterol, while the rest are formed from pigments (calcium bilirubinate), bile salts, bile pigments, inorganic calcium salts, and other minerals.

It is important to know the composition of the stone because pure cholesterol stones are far easier to dissolve with prescription medicines (Roda et al, 1982).

Therefore, it is necessary to see your doctor for the appropriate tests to determine the size and type of stone before trying herbal therapy.

Herbal and chemical medicines do not always work, or may only work temporarily, so as with most diseases, prevention is the best strategy. In traditional terms, gallstones are a result of heat and dampness leading to blockage.

. . . Cases of blockage or severe pain require emergency medical attention. . . .

[see section] Guidelines for Prevention and Treatment of Gallstones


===================================

In the link below, I don't agree with the heavy use of Olive oil or with oral ingestion of Epsom Salts which can really burn the throat (Rhubarb root formulas are much kinder to the body), but this blogger has many good points:
----------

http://xenophilius.wordpress.com/2011/02/20/how-and-why-to-keep-your-gallbladder/

How and Why to Keep Your Gallbladder

==================================

With some Google searches, you may find even better articles. Education is key when you have some time to consider things. Of course, if it becomes an emergency, go for the surgery if it is necessary.

Good luck.
-

[ 10-27-2011, 03:25 AM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

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Kramberry
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Will most of us lose our gallbladder im the future? Is it because also of the abx wer in?

Im afraid of that time to come

--------------------
 -

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Keebler
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-
Kramberry,

There are many ways to protect and support the gallbladder. They may not always work but, very often, they can.

Find a good N.D. or L.Ac. as they will be worth their weight in gold even if just to help you keep your gallbladder.

CALDA can help you find a LL ND in California. Ask at the lyme support groups what others are doing to protect their gallbladders.

The problem arises mostly from the use of Rocephin without the Rx (Urisol) that is intended for gallbladder protection when on Rocephin.

Diet (no bad fats, lots of produce and fiber) and even moderate movement also play key roles.

Magnesium is also a major help.

====================================

http://www.drmyattswellnessclub.com/Gallbladder.htm

Gallbladder "Attacks" and Gallstones

How to End the Pain and Save Your Gallbladder

- by Dana Myatt, N.M.D. (naturopathic medical doctor)

Excerpts:

. . . How Allergies Cause Gallbladder Attacks . . .

. . . The Dangers of Gallbladder Removal . . . .

. . . When the gallbladder is removed, vitamins A, E, D, K, and essential fatty acids are not absorbed properly. Unfortunately, the symptoms of declining fat-soluble vitamins and essential fats come on slowly and most often, unnoticeably.

Health problems can be many and varied, associated with a deficiency of any or all of these fat-soluble vitamins. . . .

. . . Low stomach acid can cause or contribute to the development of gallstones. Correcting a stomach acid deficiency is of primary importance when addressing gallbladder health. . . .

. . . Magnesium deficiency is extremely common among people who suffer from gallbladder pain and stones (even when the stones are not the actual cause of the pain).

And if magnesium deficiency relates to the development of stones, the news gets even worse for those who don't supplement: 60% of post-GB removal patients suffer from magnesium deficiency and 40% from calcium/magnesium deficiency. . . .

- much more detail at link above.
-

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faithful777
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My LLMD wants it out. HIDA scan was 5% two weeks ago and 3 years ago it was 26%. I have lost a lot of weight in the past two years. I eat lots of fats eggs, cheese, nuts, meats and usually don't have any upper right quadrant pain, but I can only eat small amounts of food even with digestive enzymes.

I have had right upper pain issues in the past and every time I try to take the weight off that Lyme puts back on, this whole cycle will start again. I stop all fats while losing weight and then when I resume, the gallbladder is really mad at me. Most of the women in my family has had their gallbladder out.

I am not doing flushes as I know too many people who ended up in the emergency room with a stone that got stuck. As of now, I was not showing any stones or blockages from my scan, but they are not perfect. My ND is no help. He just mentioned taking betaine hcl which hurts my stomach so I can't take it.

The past two weeks all of a sudden I am getting heartburn and I have low stomach acid so it has to be the gallbladder doing something. I have fullness in my upper stomach but no sharp pain, but now I am on pain meds from my Lyme doctor so who knows what would be going on if I stopped the meds.

--------------------
Faithful

Just sharing my experience, I am not a doctor.

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faithful777
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I also have to say, even though I do not want surgery, sometimes an organ is just diseased. My LLMD says it is full of inflammation from Lyme.

--------------------
Faithful

Just sharing my experience, I am not a doctor.

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lymeinhell
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Not sure if you all are aware, but Milk Thistle helps desludge the gallbladder. Had I not remained on it all these years after antibiotics, I would have had to have mine out as well.

http://www.skyeherbals.com/materia_medica/milk_thistle.php

Gall Bladder Disease:
Because Milk Thistle is both a demulcent and it stimulates bile flow, it is a natural for treating a wide array of Gall Bladder diseases and Symptoms. Milk Thistle can calm down an inflamed Gall Bladder while at the same time clearing out any stagnation that might be present. When using Milk Thistle to combat Gall Bladder symptoms, it is important to verify that there are no Gall Stones present which would be too large for the gall bladder to pass. The only way that this can be known is to visit your local physician and get a clearance from them to proceed.

--------------------
Julie
_ _ ___ _ _
lymeinhell

Blessed are those who expect nothing, for they shall not be disappointed.

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Laura_W
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Faithful- At 5% your gallbladder is barely working at all!!!! Get it out! I bet you will feel much better.

--------------------
10/10 EIA 1.4+, 41 (IGG), 23 (IGM)
Bitten over 20 years ago.
Currently not treating, looking for a Dr who will work with my insurance lol.

More muscular, cognitive, nerve issues than joints. Facial droop and blurred vision.

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Laura_W
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BTW... I have had my gallbladder removed, and felt much better afterwards.

--------------------
10/10 EIA 1.4+, 41 (IGG), 23 (IGM)
Bitten over 20 years ago.
Currently not treating, looking for a Dr who will work with my insurance lol.

More muscular, cognitive, nerve issues than joints. Facial droop and blurred vision.

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kitts
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All I can tell you is my own wierd story. I was so sick before I had my gallbladder removed. I couldn't function. Little did I know at that time that many of the symptoms that I thought was gallbladder was really lyme. I didn't recover from the surgery as I should have and it took 9 months to figure out that the surgery really kicked off the lyme disease that was already working at my body for years. My body healed very slowly from the surgery but I am so much better now--3 years later. I think the main source of the illness was lyme. I wonder now if I had treated the Lyme and known about it--if I would have had to have the surgery? Who knows! I know that as sick as I have been with lyme that I would have to think long and hard about any type of surgery that would put my body in such a compromised position.

--------------------
Kitty
Lyme, Babesia, XMRV virus Diagnosed 2008
Mepron, Zithro, Cepaflexin, Fluconozol, Vitamin, Herb therapy

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faithful777
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Thanks for all the responses. I have been doing milk thistle since March and it hasn't helped enough.

--------------------
Faithful

Just sharing my experience, I am not a doctor.

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Lymetoo
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Have you tried prescription Actigall? Might at least tide you over until surgery. And lay off the fats until then.

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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faithful777
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In the past I have had a lot of pain, but since going on the Geno Type Diet for blood type A, I don't get a reaction to good fats.

What I am getting, and this still may not change when I get the gallbladder out, is that I am full after a few bites, it takes forever to digest food even with good digestive enzymes and now I am getting intermittent heartburn.

Constipation has to be kept under control with magnesium. There are days I just don't want to eat.

I have low stomach acid, am hypothyroid, low adrenals, now lyme and co, a history of stress, losing the lyme weight and have had many females in my family who had to get theirs out.

I am on Marinol for pain so I wonder what might be hurting if I weren't on that.

I am uncomfortable yes, but not having the horrible knife pain I have had before. I can't clean up my diet any more than I am so I don't think there is a choice anymore.

Weight gain is a side effect of malabsorption that happens with gallbladder removal because you are not going to digest foods well, but that is already happening with my pretty non functioning gallbladder.

Lyme has put weight on me and I keep going on a strict diet to get it off. I gained over a hundred pounds when I got sick and got all that off in the past 20 months.

I am not sure but doesn't Actigall help with stones? So far, I don't have stones and my LLMD wants it out so I don't suspect he is going to give me a prescription for Actigall.

I am praying that my symptoms won't be worse for doing this. Lots of good and bad stories here about gallbladder surgery.

I had two kids natural childbirth and I am a wimp about doing this surgery! I am not as tough as I used to be.

I am guessing this is going to delay the start of antibiotics for me. I am supposed to start on the 7th of November, but surgery would be the 7thg or the 14th. I will have to email the LLMD's office and ask them what to do.

--------------------
Faithful

Just sharing my experience, I am not a doctor.

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faithful777
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Pre-op is tomorrow and surgery to remove my gallbladder is scheduled for Monday, November 7th. Prayers would be greatly appreciated.

--------------------
Faithful

Just sharing my experience, I am not a doctor.

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sk8ter
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I had mine out and I am fine with that..If things get backed up I take choline and beet pills ..that will keep bile thin and moving and help digest fats.
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seekhelp
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Best of luck faithful777 with the surgery. [Smile]
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Jane2904
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Good luck with the surgery.
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momintexas
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I had mine removed as an emergency procedure because I had lots of stones that escaped.

I was sick almost 9 months prior to having it removed. If yours is not functioning properly, you should feel a lot better once it's out.

After it's out, lay off harsh foods until your body learns to readjust.

I still cannot eat red meats, cheese, spicy, greasy food or salad.

Different people respond differently. My neighbor and my mother didn't have to change their diets at all.

I carry Papaya enzymes with me everywhere and find they help break down food.

Try not to be scared (I know it's hard not to) - but I'll bet you will feel better once it's out.

Good luck - will be thinking of you on Monday.

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bcb1200
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I believe it is within everyone's best interest to try and keep their gallbladders. It is there for a reason, like so many other parts of the body (tonsils, appendix, foreskin (for guys)).

The docs in the USA are way to quick to cut out / off parts of our bodies that actually serve a purpose.

I have pressure in my Right Upper Quadrant (RUQ) in the area of the Gall Bladder from time to time. I've had ultrasounds...normal. I have not yet had a HIDA scan.

This discomfort can also be IBS like symptoms caused in your Large Intestine. That same area is right where the large intestine bends. It is famous for causing discomfort / pain. So, it may not necessarily be your Gallbladder. (Google Right Upper Quadrant Pain.) So, there are lots of people who go on to have discomfort after having their GB's out because the problem was never with their GB's...and now they have a whole bunch of other issues as they no longer have a gallbladder!

That being said, Dr. B's research shows that lyme LOVES the Gallbladder. Which is why so many folks have issues even if they didn't do Rocephin (like me.)

Here is a good site.

http://www.gallbladderattack.com/

I would do everything and anything to try and save it. Period. I would only take it out if there clearly were stones visible on an ultrasound that had zero chance of passing and were in danger of being lodged somewhere else in the bile ducts.

--------------------
Bite date ?
2/10 symptoms began
5/10 dx'd, after 3 months numerous test and doctors

IgM Igenex +/CDC +
+ 23/25, 30, 31, 34, 41, 83/93

Currently on:

Currently at around 80% +/- most days.

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Razzle
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I had mine out 12 years ago and haven't looked back...sooooo much better without it (it was full of huge stones and very inflammed, according to the pathology report).

No more troubles with constant nausea 24/7, can eat fats again, no more troubles with my Hiatal Hernia or Ileal-Cecal valve getting stuck, less constipated, stool color is normal brown instead of pale/grey color...

--------------------
-Razzle
Lyme IgM IGeneX Pos. 18+++, 23-25+, 30++, 31+, 34++, 39 IND, 83-93 IND; IgG IGeneX Neg. 30+, 39 IND; Mayo/CDC Pos. IgM 23+, 39+; IgG Mayo/CDC Neg. band 41+; Bart. (clinical dx; Fry Labs neg. for all coinfections), sx >30 yrs.

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faithful777
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quote:
Originally posted by bcb1200:


The docs in the USA are way to quick to cut out / off parts of our bodies that actually serve a purpose.

This discomfort can also be IBS like symptoms caused in your Large Intestine. That same area is right where the large intestine bends. It is famous for causing discomfort / pain. So, it may not necessarily be your Gallbladder. (Google Right Upper Quadrant Pain.) So, there are lots of people who go on to have discomfort after having their GB's out because the problem was never with their GB's...and now they have a whole bunch of other issues as they no longer have a gallbladder!

That being said, Dr. B's research shows that lyme LOVES the Gallbladder. Which is why so many folks have issues even if they didn't do Rocephin (like me.)


I hear you. I have done everything there is to avoid this. Sometimes, the gallbladder is too diseased to save. That is where I am.

When it is that diseased and you don't remove it, you are a ticking time bomb for emergency surgery.
You are also sabotaging your lyme treatment leaving a diseased inflamed organ in your body to add to an already distressed immune system.

There are many who emailed me who were in that exact position, and the majority of people who had to have a cholestectomy, are feeling better.

--------------------
Faithful

Just sharing my experience, I am not a doctor.

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bcb1200
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I agree...there are times when it must be removed due to too many stones, etc. If there is no other choice, it must obviously come out.

My frustration is docs tend to rip it out for just minor complaints that can usually be reversed.

--------------------
Bite date ?
2/10 symptoms began
5/10 dx'd, after 3 months numerous test and doctors

IgM Igenex +/CDC +
+ 23/25, 30, 31, 34, 41, 83/93

Currently on:

Currently at around 80% +/- most days.

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randibear
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having mine out was one of the worst medical decisions i ever made. i should have let the darn thing rupture.

i had sludge and they said "oh no got to come out right now." bull.....

i've had digestive issues since then and have attacks so severe i end up in the er at least once or twice every so many years.

for me, not so good...

--------------------
do not look back when the only course is forward

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jkmom
LymeNet Contributor
Member # 14004

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I had mine out and I can eat whatever I want without problems. I had no problems from the surgery.

However, taking it out did not solve the problem I was having. I was having abdominal pain so I had a some kind of a scan done. I think ultrasound. It supposedly showed I had an inflamed gallbladder with stones, so they thought that was my problem.

My pain came and went but I was told those stones would be a severe problem at some point, so I went ahead and had it removed.

When they took it out, there were no stones and I still had the problem off and on.

I rarely have the problem any more and I think when I do it is gluten or Lyme related. I am confident my pain was not related to my gallbladder. Back then, I was still in the days of blindly believing what a doctor told me. Nowadays, I wouldn't be so quick to have the surgery.

Still, I did have it without any problems during the surgery or since.

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mojo
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If you have a sick gallbladder and/or stones, etc I feel it's best to get it out.

I had mine out with Lyme and only had issues because I went back to work in a couple of days and did a lot of bending.

Make sure you rest (the stuff they tell you about doing "normal things" after three days is bull. Baby yourself for a full week and then listen to your body.

I felt so much better after the surgery.

Posts: 1761 | From USA | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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