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I would like to know what could happen if you do not have your gallbadder out when you have stones? Thank You
Thank you for your inquiry. The function of the gallbladder is to store bile, produced by the liver, until it's needed for digestion, but having said that, you don't notice any difference to digestion if your gallbladder "reservoir" is removed surgically, along with the stones in it. Gallstones are common - depending on the country (i.e. the diet - diets which are high in cholesterol and fat and low in fiber increase the risk of gallstones) they are found in 8-15% of the population. The main reason for removing stones that cause symptoms is to prevent complications. The most typical complication of gallstone disease is (severe) pain in the upper abdomen or right flank. The pain may last for as little as 15 minutes or as long as hours, and episodes may occur every few weeks, months, or years. The pain results from a stone blocking the tube out of the gallbladder duct. If this blockage is prolonged over hours, the gallbladder may become inflamed (acute cholecystitis) which is definitely worth avoiding as it causes fever, prolonged pain and infection of the gallbladder leading to hospitalization for treatment with antibiotics, and not infrequently surgery. Even more serious complications can occur if the gallstone makes it out of that tube and blocks further down, where it can cause inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) and / or jaundice. Many people with gallstones have no symptoms and the gallstones are found coincidentally. These so-called "silent gallstones" are likely to remain silent, and generally surgery is not recommended. BUT if you are living in a remote place and you know you have gallstones and local treatment for complications would be difficult or dangerous to get - you might decide to have even "silent" stones removed. Suggest you discuss the balance of these risks with your GP. The reason for removing the gallbladder as well is that if you were to extract only the stones the chances are at least 50% they would return several years later... Hope this helps.
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