Sunday, July 28, 2013

Gallbladder Disease...Cholecystectomy?????

In class we recently learned about the function of specific body parts. One important piece of the body we discussed was the liver. We learned that the liver is a power house that...
  1. Produces bile that carries away waste and breaks down fat
  2. It detoxes blood
  3. Regulates the blood glucose level with the process of glucose, glucagon, and glucagon
  4. Resists infection by cleaning the blood and filtering out some bacteria
  5. First to see nutrients
  6. Regulates blood clotting
While learning about the liver, we learned that it does not work alone. There is something called the gallbladder right under our good friend the liver that is supposed to be responsible for storing bile. The bile is made in the liver and travels to the gallbladder until it can be used to when breaking down fats. Knowing that the gallbladder and liver are connected in helping break down foods and fats while also storing bile, what happens when the gallbladder goes nuts?

I was interested in this topic while learning about the liver. Why? Well because I've had a laproscopic cholecystectomy...a big word for removing a gallbadder with small incision with a robot like instrument. I posted a question on Piazza asking how I can function with a lack of gallbladder if the bile and liver are so important?

Let me explain my situation pre-surgery. After having my son, I started to have gnarly pain shooting up my abdomen on the right side. When I inhaled it would feel like a daggar in my back along with the fact that I was puking my brains out and would often throw up this lovely acidy bile tasting yellow or brown crap forever. After going to the doctor, he ran a few test and concluded that I had gallstones. Which, in the words of my doctors looked like a little bag full of marbles. These nasty little stones are made up of hardened bile (composed of water, bile salts, protein, billirubin, fats, and cholestorel). They hardened because the bile has too much cholesterol.

It was removed laproscopically not openly. There are huge differences between the sugeries. One requires a big incision where the doctors literally "open" you up and the other is using a robotic like instrument. I recieved three microscopic incision and on slight incision right above my belly button. My gallbladder was sucked out of my body into a little bag through my belly button!!!!!!!!

After removing this troublesome organ, my body began to function normally minus the excessive vomitting, pain, and random acts of acid reflux. Although the gallbladder is not vital to every day function, it  make it easier for fats to be absorbed and digested. As a result, I have to watch the foods that I eat. Any food that has too much cholesterol will send me into a fit of vomitting and pain. This is something that I believe EVERY ONE wants to avoid in life. It is amazing how the body can adapt even with bits and pieces missing. The liver is an awesome organ. It compensates for the gallbladder who currently, in my body, does not exist.



  1. Thank you for sharing your story, I am glad that you are alright now! How long did it take for the doctors to figure out what you had to the time of your procedure? Also, did you have pain when you were still pregnant with your son?

  2. It is pretty amazing that you can have an organ removed and still have the body function. Do you know whether there are any other side effects to having your gallbladder removed? I would think that the extra load on the liver might cause problems later one, but I don't know.

  3. It was great reading this because my dad also had his gallbladder removed but he never told me any details about his symptoms or after effects. I know for sure that his issues were not nearly as severe as yours.

    After the surgery I was very worried that his life would be severely affected (It is an entire organ!), but he told me that he just had to limit certain foods for a while. He eats as he did before the surgery so it's definitely interesting to read that you still have to watch your cholesterol.

    I guess that all of this kind of adds to earlier discussions that were had on the Piazza site about health advice. You could give general information, but as the difference between your surgery and my dad's surgery shows, personalized advice is better.

  4. We have a collection of gall stones in our anatomy lab that we have removed from cadavers over the years. They are very interesting looking. They are geometric in shape with a hard outer white coating. Kind of like a big mutant M&M.