Your ultrasound may not show
gallstones. But if your doctor still thinks you have a problem with your
gallbladder, he or she may order a gallbladder scan. In this test, a doctor
injects dye into a vein in your arm. Then a machine takes
X-rays as the dye moves through your liver, bile duct,
gallbladder, and intestine.
Most people have gallstones but don't know it because they do not have symptoms. Gallstones may be found by
accident when you have tests for other health problems or when a woman has an
ultrasound during pregnancy.
If you do not have
symptoms, you probably do not need treatment.
If your first
gallstone attack causes mild pain, your doctor may tell you to take pain
medicine and wait to see if the pain goes away. You may never have another
attack. Waiting to see what happens usually will not cause problems.
If you have a bad attack, or if you have a second attack, you may want to
have your gallbladder removed. A second attack means you are more likely to
have future attacks.
Many people have their gallbladders removed,
and the surgery usually goes well. Doctors most often use
laparoscopic surgery. For this, your surgeon will make
small cuts in your belly and remove your gallbladder. You will probably be able
to go back to work or your normal routine in a week or two, but it may take
longer for some people. Sometimes the surgeon will have to make a larger cut to
remove the gallbladder. It will take longer for you to recover from this type
Your body will work fine
without a gallbladder. Bile will flow straight from the liver to the intestine.
There may be small changes in how you digest food, but you probably will not