Gallbladder surgery coming up this week
To my complete surprise I have gallstones (am a 70+ year old female). My symptoms for 7 months have not been devastating; I could live with them. Only had 2 bad attacks (even they were not tremendous pain) – but they were not fun; others were minor. Problem is, you cannot predict when you will have an attack. I have the symptoms: urine that is pale half the time and medium YELLOW half the time; big pressure in upper quadrant of stomach for several hours here and there (longest was 8 hours); weird and diverse stools and a total change in regularity and amount. I was determined to manage this with diet. I had some success but every professional I speak to says “take it out!!”. Once you start having symptoms it is time to act before it gets worse and gallstone gets stuck in bile duct etc., etc. Their point is it is easy to manage “elective” removal than to have many problems if it develops too far. I object! to losing a body part. But I am going to have the surgery. Here’s the dilemma: Laparoscopic is easy with quick recovery – not invasive. However, you have to agree to having OPEN surgery if they have difficulty or discover something else. This is a more serious surgery, much longer recovery time and I guess more follow-up issues. I am very healthy – so I am disgusted to have to invade my body.
My surgeon is young and says he has a ton of experience in gallbladder and other surgeries. 2 doctors I know recommend him. I feel like I should wait until I am really sick; but, again, the common approach is to take it out once the gallstones start causing problems. What would you do?