Dx of gallstones and fatty liver disease

Posted by marshabittinger @marshabittinger, Jun 10, 2020

I have had abdominal pain, bloating, indigestion and just had MRI that reports gallstones in gallbladder and slight fatty liver disease. I am waiting to hear from my surgeon whether to have gall bladder removed. From my research today, I feel reluctant to remove gall bladder and more towards trying to eat better and exercise more. What are your experiences or thoughts about this?

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Welcome to Connect @marshabittinger There are several members talking about being diagnosed with a fatty liver and also multiple people discussing gall bladder removal. Since there are a few different discussions from the past, I wanted to share the links with you and also invite @fighter, @contentandwell, @tjgisewhite, @tennisgolf and @claytamos to the discussion so they could perhaps share their experiences.

Been diagnosed with Fatty Liver https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/liver-1/
Gall Bladder Surgery https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/gallbladder-surgery/

@marshabittinger Are you currently experiencing any symptoms with gallstones or the fatty liver like sudden and rapidly intensifying pain in the upper right portion of your abdomen, back pain between your shoulder blades, pain in your right shoulder, a feeling of fullness, nausea or vomiting?


@marshabittinger – I’m sorry to hear that you have gallbladder problem. I don’t know your age, but it is common to start causing symptoms in mid- life- women mostly. It often runs in families.
I had my gallbladder removed in my 40s, my mother was about the same age and my daughter was only 19.
I understand your dilemma- trying to improve diet so you can avoid surgery.

The problem is that holding off surgery until it gets too bad may not make you the best surgical candidate. You may have developed Infection, fever, pancreatitis etc. and recovery will be more complicated. The risks are minimal if you go into surgery in good health.

You could discuss these issues with your doctor who also knows about other health issues you have.
In the end you will make a decision that is best for you.


Hi, @marshabittinger Welcome to Connect.
I had fatty liver that led to cirrhosis, but I never had gall bladder problems. Interestingly though, when you have a transplant, which I had, the gall bladder goes with the liver.
I never thought that they removed your gall bladder when you had gallstones, I thought it was if your gall bladder was not functioning. I could be incorrect though never having had that problem.
I will be interested in hearing what the doctor recommends as a solution to your problems. If the recommendation is to remove your gall bladder then I would not worry too much. Obviously, mine was removed and I have felt no ill effects from that. My mother had her gall bladder removed when I was much younger and I know she had no problems afterward. Both she and I had/have been able to eat an unrestricted diet without our gall bladders. I remember that before she had her gall bladder removed she couldn't eat any fat, she would have a terrible attack that would literally double her over, and my mother was not the type to give in to pain at all other than that.


Thanks so much for your reply. I had a virtual consult with my surgeon this week and asked about the gall bladder functioning test. She said that is risky with gallstones as the tests pushes through the gall bladder and can cause more problems. The fact that I have significant sized gallstones and the symptoms I have after eating, she feels the gallstones are the problem and should have removed before it becomes an emergency situation. I may get a second opinion before scheduling surgery. Thanks again.


@marshabittinger – I think it’s a good idea to get a second opinion before you decide on surgery. Following that, you can make a better decision.
Let us know what you decide!


Hi this may not be the right place to ask but I saw the connection to fatty liver.. I had a CT scan a couple of years ago for right upper pain, they found my liver to be marginally fatty and huge. It is was 19 cm and now is 22.8 cm ( had mri last week because right pain is still present) still growing and has a lesion, they did a biopsy on my liver because function bloodwork was wonky not for leison. They believe the lesion is hemangioma, but is growing. I also had thyroid cancer around the same time my liver started hurting..so liver had taken back seat for a bit. My Drs are not sure what is causing or how to go forward( I think they are all waiting for the other to make a move.) my question is, what can be done for fatty liver and does it help bring liver to normal size? I eat low carb, have Gerds and autoimmune gastritis so restricted diet and my gallbladder has been removed in 1994. Any help is appreciated, I have bloating, low appetite and feel nausea daily…thanks

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