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Gallstone Surgery Alternatives



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Gallstone No Treatment Option

For most persons who have no symptoms, no treatment at all may be the best course. The risk of complications and attacks is minute. This is the vast majority of people with gallstones. Usually these gallstones are found by some other routine test or exam that had nothing to do with the gallbladder.  The chance of these persons eventually having mild symptoms is 1 to 3 percent per year.  After having a diagnosis of gallstones, 10 percent of persons will develop symptoms in 5 years and in a period of 20 years, 20 percent will experience symptoms.  So, if you have gallstones, you have an 80 percent possibility of living with no symptoms at all.  It is an unfortunate truth that the biggest threat to a person with no symptoms is a meddling doctor.

You Need Your Gallbladder

You need your gallbladder to perform its intended function which is to store and dispense bile acids.  The liver is constantly producing bile.  This fluid is stored in the gallbladder until you eat a meal.  As you eat, the gallbladder squeezes emptying its bile into the small intestine.  Here the bile and food are mixed and bile is a necessary ingredient in digestion and especially the digestion of fats.  If there is no gallbladder to store the bile acids until needed, then the bile continuously flows into the intestine even if there is no food there. The bile acids are quite irritating and damaging to the intestine lining.  Irritation of the large intestine will quickly cause diarrhea and irritation that continues over a long period of time can cause colon cancer.  For this reason, colon cancer on the right side fo the colon is more prevalent in persons who are missing their gallbladder.

These side effects can be eliminated or reduced in persons who are missing their gallbladder by eating a high fiber, low fat diet. Fat is the main trigger for making bile acid.  Much less bile acid is manufactured in persons who are on a low fat diet.  It is also important to eat more dietary fiber which one can only get from plant foods.  This fiber will combine with bile acids thus reducing their effect on the intestines.

Gallstone Alternative Treatment Options

It is to your advantage to try and keep your gallbladder.  It has many important functions that would cause you discomfort if you have it removed.  It is not uncommon for gallbladder removal to fail in relieving symptoms and there are often serious side effects.

Your main goal is to prevent gallbladder stones with a no-cholesterol (no meat, eggs or dairy), high-fiber diet.

If you are one of the fifteen percent of the populace that has gallstones with no symptoms, consider keeping your gallbladder and your gall stones and adopt a plant based, low-fat diet.  This diet will keep the symptoms away.

If your gallbladder is causing pain and you have a diagnosis from your doctor, switch to a plant based, low-fat diet and start exercising to ward off any future attacks.

If this fails, you might think of taking a cholesterol reducing medication.  This will lower the cholesterol in your bile thus lowering the risk of forming new gall stones.

If change in diet does not relieve your symptoms, then one can look at Actigall therapy to supplement good diet and maybe “statin” (cholesterol lowering) drugs.

If pain persists then one can contemplate lithotripsy (use of shock waves to break up stones), diet, Actigall and a “statin” drug.

If this does not work then think about using MTBE (methyl tertiary butyl ether) to dissolve your gallstones.  This is not a commonly performed treatment and you will have to do some searching to find a doctor who uses this treatment.

If this doesn’t work, then laparoscopic surgery is to be considered.

If you have surgery, switch to a high fiber, low-fat diet to remove bothersome surgery side effects such as gas, chronic diarrhea and abdominal pains.

To read more about these gallbladder surgery alternatives, go to this article written by Dr. John McDougall, MD.  The information on this site was condensed from the article written by Dr. McDougall.

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