A Cholecystectomy or Not? This Is the Dilemma...

A gallbladder that does not work properly can definitely bring a person to the point of desperation and therefore the medical suggestion of a cholecystectomy  (removal of the gallbladder) is usually widely accepted without discussion. Unfortunately this solution is not always the best. The probable post-operatory side- effects are rarely discussed with the patient before surgery, giving the false hope that the operation will adjust the patient’s problem permanently.

But is this always the case?

Contrary to medical opinion, the gallbladder is a very useful organ to our body. It stores and secretes bile, a  digestive fluid that breaks up especially fat into small digestive molecules according to need. 
The bile stones form when the chemical compounds in the bile are not in perfect balance with each other – a diet with a lot of grease can worsen the situation.

And since bile is produced in the liver, one can also live without a gallbladder, but often not without unfavorable digestive complications. The gallbladder is like a pump. Without it, the liver cannot expel sufficient bile to digest an entire meal. And many must live with permanent symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloatiness, indigestion, constipation, an increase in allergies, hepatic congestion, skin itchiness and illnesses of the immune system. Some patients suffer from the “dump syndrome” where food passes too quickly from the stomach to the intestine.

The patient should be informed of the consequences before surgery and also taught how to live without a gallbladder after the operation.  The patient should also be advised of the fact that, paradoxically, bile stones can form even without a gallbladder!

Most of the information cited above with regards to “living without a gallbladder” has been taken from this website:

Recently I received the following email:

3 years ago I have had a cholecystectomy. After 4 months I started having pain again and last September they removed a 2 cm stone with the gastroscope. After 5 months I started  to have pain again. The surgery was well performed and my cholesterol  levels are perfect but nonetheless I feel that something is not right. My liver swells up so much that I have a hard time breathing. I do not drink alcohol, I don’t smoke and I eat a healthy diet.. I don’t eat fried foods or eccessively greasy food.

This email demonstrates as Dr. Clark pointed out that liver/gallstones are formed also in the liver and not only in the gallbladder as many professionals suggest.

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