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ask: Gallbladder Removal Surgery, what causes thickened lining?

By Anonymous
 
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I've experienced multiple episodes (around 10) where I've had to be hospitalized following severe nausea and vomiting. Finally this last time they did an abdominal ultrasound and found my gallbladder lining was excessively and abnormally thickened and WBC was high, however no gallstones were found. The doctor said thickening could be acute, however has said we should just remove my gallbladder without further testing - and as soon as possible.

What causes the thickened lining? It seems gallbladders are removed usually for gallstones, however none were observed. Should I have more testing or just move forward? I'm pretty certain it will help all of my symptoms, but as surgery will be within the next week, should I be asking more questions? It's hard to think of everything to ask at the first meeting with the doctor, now I'm scheduled for surgery. For example, surgeon said thickened lining may prevent them from removing it laprascopically. Should I be concerned?

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Susan Cody HERWriter Guide

Hi Anon

Thanks for your post and I'm sorry you've been dealing with this for so long.

The lining of the gall bladder can be thickened due to something called Cholesterolosis - this is where cholesterol literally gathers in the bladder and the mucous membranes and causes the lining of the gall bladder to thicken as a result. Has your doctor mentioned "polyps" to you?

Feel free to get a second opinion and absolutely ask why the lining has thickened and what the surgery will accomplish. Ask how long recovery generally takes (traditional (invasive) surgery will take longer than laproscopic surgery although that can take some time, too) and what the risks and benefits are. I'm surprised your doctor didn't talk to you about this so please make sure you schedule an appointment (or a phone call, at least) to have these questions answered.

I hope this helps and we wish you the best with your decision. Please keep us posted!
~Susan

May 9, 2011 - 1:15pm
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