10 years ago they found a 1.2 cm gallstone and the surgeon adamantly insisted that I HAD to have my gall bladder removed - he had me convinced with all the nightmares he indicated I was at risk of, but, my primary care physician at the time was "old-timey", and he recommended I do nothing because I had NO SYMPTOMS. So I passed and have had NO PROBLEMS for the last 10 years.
I have a new PCP now, and he, along with a different surgeon, are urging me to have my gall bladder removed (the gallstone is now 1.5 cm, but still "immobile"). I am 71, and, I have decided not to do that. I posted elsewhere on the forum under the name jbones, so there is more about it over there.
I discovered a website (http://whatisgallstone.com) where they describe, with videos, how a team of surgeons in Panyu, China have been removing gallstones while leaving the gall bladder in tact and functioning. Those considering gall bladder removal might look into this.
My previous PCP, now retired, also told me that lots and lots of folks die of old age and, upon autopsy, they find several large gallstones lodged in their gall bladders and they never even had a hint of it during their lifetimes. Think hard before you let them remove your gall bladder. It might be a crapshoot and there is NO GOING BACK.
My previous PCP retired and my new PCP ran several tests and found a 1.5 cm gallstone and recommends that I have my gall bladder removed. What are the symptoms, other than the mere presence of a gallstone, that would indicate a need to remove the gall bladder?
History: I am 70, and in general good health except that my systolic blood pressure has been elevated (from 130 - 170) for about a month, before which it was usually 120. Diastolic pressure remains between 65 - 80. I am at a loss as to this recent condition where my systolic blood pressure rises, even while dozing off or sleeping.
Ten years ago my previous PCP discovered this same gallstone at 1 cm, but, disagreed with the surgeon, at that time, as to having my gall bladder removed. Since I had no symptoms, my previous PCP advised me to decline surgery, but to take note should any symptoms arise. I have enjoyed 10 years of being able to treat myself occasionally to tasty fatty meals, which i understand would be ill-advised were I to have had my gall bladder removed back then.
I still do not have any symptoms, as best i can tell, even now, so, I am meditating to myself as to why I would need to remove my gall bladder at this time. The gallstone has grown from 1cm to 1.5 cm, but, still, I have no symptoms that I know of which would indicate malfunctioning of the gall bladder.
For example, I can eat Pizza, fried eggs, fried potatoes, and other fatty meals and not suffer any ill effects after the meal - it is actually calming and I sleep like a kitten.
If anyone here can respond with a list of symptoms that I might not know about that would indicate gall bladder removal, please advise. My life expectancy, from my parents and grandparents, is probably no more than another 5 years.
Specifically, does a recent rise in systolic blood pressure have anything to do with a 1.5 cm gallstone?
The tests ran by my pcp indicated some enzyme abnormalities which might suggest a liver problem, but, again, I have NO SYMPTOMS. There was also a moderately abnormal thyroid function. The pcp advised that, since the gall stone is very prominent, then the gall bladder should be removed first and then maybe the other abnormal readings will correct themselves. I am not impressed with this logic.
I finally got the test results which show the gallstone near the neck of the gall bladder, but, also, show no abnormalities as to gall bladder function. It also indicated a moderate case of "fatty liver".
The lab reports indicate two liver enzymes (SGOT and SGST) as being 3 times normal, but, of all the causes, the only one that for sure applies to me is fatty liver.
The only cause I can relate to for this fatty liver was that I was taking a steroid for about 3 months to treat an enlarged prostate.
I just don't see how removing my gall bladder is going to solve anything, since the gall bladder is functioning as it should.
I am 70, and, I am thinking more and more to just let nature take its course and try to live as healthy a life as I can (diet and exercise).
Taking out my gall bladder at this time seems unnecessary to me as it is not involved at all in the high levels of SGOT and SGST, nor the low blood counts (RBC, Hemaglobin, and Platelets).