I can't speak for everyone, but eating is one of my favorite things to do. If you have gallbladder disease eating becomes one of the worst parts of the day because you know it's only a matter of time before you start feeling awful. We introduce you to two women from the Mitchell area that had a lousy 2009 thanks to lousy gallbladders.
Sarah Olinger and Ann Jost are sisters-in-law with more in common than a family tree. Both are registered nurses at Avera Queen of Peace Hospital and both felt miserable every time they'd eat. Ann got so sick she lost 50 pounds. Eventually they both ended up at Dr. Dennis Leland's office at Avera Mitchell Surgical Center.
Ann says, "When I started eating greasy foods I immediately had right shoulder pain and pain in the middle of my back."
Sarah says, "Anything I ate I would be retching over in pain in the stomach. It didn't matter what I ate. It was anything."
Both would find out within months of each other that they were suffering with biliary dyskinesia, their gallbladders weren't functioning correctly.
Dr. Leland says, "Gallstones can be life threatening. Dyskinesia is not life threatening but it is dramatically life altering. People who have this are absolutely miserable."
The gallbladder is a small muscular bag attached under liver. Its job is to store bile made in the liver that gets squeezed out of the gallbladder into the small intestine. It acts as an emulsifier to break up fat into small particles so it can be absorbed in the intestine. The only real treatment for biliary dyskinesia is to remove the gallbladder. That's what Dr. Leland did for both women laparoscopically. Ann had her surgery on July 17, 2009. Sarah had her surgery December 31, 2009.
Dr. Leland says, "Yes, we can live without a gallbladder. We are basically removing the reservoir of bile. The liver still makes bile. It still secretes it into the small intestine; it's just at a slower continuous rate instead of squeezing it in there all at once."
Sarah says, "The next day I felt great. I just had some pain around the incision sites, but nothing bad at all."
Ann laughs, "Following the removal of my gallbladder I felt 110% better. I even asked Dr. Leland if I could have my gallbladder back because I started gaining weight back."
One more thing the sisters-in law has in common, they are both satisfied patients of Dr. Leland and happy to be down an organ that was a real downer on their lifestyle.
Since both women had laparoscopic surgery, they were back to normal activity within a week.