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I am a 5' 7" tall 53 yr. old Woman & in fairly good Health. Last month, March 16, 2012 I went to take care of my Oldest Daughter who got sick. One month later while I was still there, I suddenly got sever stomach pains & started to vomit Blood. The pain was excruciating! My Husband took me to the Hospital where we had discovered that I was experiencing a Gallbladder attack. I was told that I had to have my Gallbladder removed, now the prospect of surgery doesn't scare or bother me but I have been told several horror stories about Weight Gain after surgery & frankly I'm not sure I even want to go through with it now. You see 6 years ago I was put on some medication & one of the side effects was Weight Gain. At the time I weighed between 98 pounds & 105 pounds (on a good month) but that was my normal weight. I know that isn't normal for most people but it was normal for me, remember we're not all built the same. At the time I was taking the new medication I thought to my-self "Hmm I could use a few extra pounds" (as I always have had a really hard time gaining any weight, unless I got pregnant & that was an impossibility for me, because I had a Partial Hysterectomy when I was 24 yrs. old due to Uterine Cancer). Within a 3 month period I had gained almost 100 pounds, so I took my-self off of the medication I was on. Since then I have managed to lose only 20 pounds, so the prospect of Gaining more Weight kind of freaks me out a little bit. Plus there is another thing I've been thinking about, my Older Sister needs a Partial Liver Donation & it seems I'm the only person in my Family who's not only willing but able to Donate a part of my Liver to her & the thing that is worrying me right now is the amount of Tylenol I've been taking for the pain (although I've been trying to keep it to a minimal). I'm worried that the Tylenol might be causing some kind of damage to my Liver & I won't be able to donate a piece of my Liver to My Big Sister in June of this year (2012). My questions are, should I wait until after the Liver Donation to have my Gallbladder removed or should I do it as soon as possible so I can start the healing process? I really hope that I don't have any more Weight Gain but Weight Loss instead after the surgery.
Can some-one please help me with this dilemma? If you can PLEASE email me at

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Thank You for reading this.
Sincerely;
Linda J. Wilkinson
P.S.
It is already April 1st. I really need some answers soon. Thank You Again.

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Linda,

 

I am not sure where you live or what hospital you have been talking to about liver donation, but when they do a living liver dontation (from you) they will HAVE to remove your gallbladder, no matter if it is healthy or not.  This is because the gallbladder sits between the two lobes of your liver, and it is impossible to remove the one lobe for donation without removing the gallbladder.  Therefore, you do not have to choose to do it before or after...you do it durning your liver donation.  Talk to the doctors at the hospital.  But please, please make sure it is a reputable transplant center, as liver donation is a VERY complicated surgery and poses risks for both donor and recipient.  Do not let them sugarcoat it.  There are resources online such as http://livingdonor101.com/ and http://www.livingdonorsonline.org/ which can help you understand some of the risks/complications/benefits of donation.  I too am considering liver donation to a family member, and have gone for testing (three days of tesing in the hospital, which included 24 viles of blood drawn, CT scan, MRI, EKG, Ecocardiogram, Xrays, meetings with liver doctors, surgeons, psychiatrists, social workers, and nurses, among others).  Recovery takes an average of 3 months before you can return to work/school, and full recovery isn't seen until 6months to a year for some people.

Once your gallbladder is removed, you will most likely have an intolerance to fatty foods, as the gallbladder holds the bile that is secreted to help you break down fatty foods.  You will still produce this bile in your liver, but because the gallbladder acts as a sort of valve for this bile to be released after you have consumed food or drink, this bile will leak into your stomach/intestines, which can cause nausia/vomitting/cramps.  This pain may be more manageable than your current condition, so it is probably the best thing...though please know that there are more natural ways of dealing with gallbladder complications, and surgery is looked upon as a last resort.  My best advice is to do research on this before you make a decision.  But obviously if you decide to donate your liver, you will have your gallbladder removed anyways.

 

I hope this helps, and good luck!!!!

 

 

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Dear hbl;

Thank you very much for all of the information that you have provided to me, this truly helps me out a lot more than you may think. I will do some more research & speak to my Sister about this new information as well.

Once Again Thank You For Your Helpful Advice.

Sincerely;

Linda J. Wilkinson
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Linda,

You are welcome! I know how confusing this all can be, and how hard it is to find answers! The sites I listed above have a good deal of information, and they seem to be geared towards getting donors the right information (sometimes hospitals don't give you the information you are looking for because, honestly, it is a business too...and they rely on numbers of donors for funding). I found this article: http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/08/19/live.organ.donation/index.html that explains who started some of the websites and why.

Whatever you do, know it is YOUR decision and that YOU have to live with that decision for the rest of your life...so try not to feel pressured into doing one thing or the other (its impossible and unrealistic to think that you won't feel pressure).

Again, good luck to you and your sister. I wish you both the best. I will send positive thoughts your way, and ask you do the same for me as I continue the process of making my decision. This is an emotional rollercoaster!
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I would think it through and talk with the transplant team.I was also going to be a living donor for my sister.I knew my weight was an issue ,so I lost 35lbs and then had a horriable gallblader attack and then another one.I saw no problem haveing the surgery to feel better.The transplant team is now telling me that I can not be a donor because I had my gallbladder removed.I do not know if this is true or just what my sister would have me believe and has told the team to give me that out because she does not want me to undergo such a serious surgery.Has any one ever heard of this being a problem?

 

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No I have not heard of this being a problem, but if you really think that your Sister may be behind this then I suggest that you speak to the transplant team without your Sister being there & ask them to tell you the total & complete truth about the whole thing. I've lost the weight with out having my Gallbladder removed & I also haven't had any more Gallbladder attacks in quite some time now. I found that if I watch my diet I not only get to lose the weight & I don't have anymore problems with my Gallbladder. Now, I don't know if losing the weight had anything to do with not having as many problems with my Gallbladder or not but it seems to be working for me, that's all I know for sure. As for donating Parts of My Liver to My Sister, she has been asking me lately if I really want to go through with the procedure & that it's going to be very painful & that My recovery time will take longer then her's & so on. She may be testing my resolve or wanting me to back out because she's scared, I don't know, but I'm in it for the long haul & unless the Dr.s tell me themselves I can't do it then I'm not backing out! I Love My Sister & if this procedure will keep her alive & with us a while longer then that's what I'm going to do, no "If's &"s or But's" about it!
Sincerely;
Linda J. Wilkinson
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I too was going to be a donor for my sister.I am 53 and my sis is 55.Her transplant will take place in Maryland.I had a few severe galbladder attacks and had my gallbladder removed last march.my sister held my hand dureing that time.I was devistated when I was told I could no longer be a donor.if I had know I would have toughed it out.My sister is getting sicker every day.I feel horriable.If anyone could explain this to me it would be appreciated.BTW I lost 35lbs and quit smokeing too.I feel like c**p!!!
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I have been told by the transplant team that they would not touch any potential donor that has had their gallbladder removed.I do not understand why it would be a problem.Do you have any inside information on this subject?
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I have been told by the transplant team that they would not touch any potential donor that has had their gallbladder removed.I do not understand why it would be a problem.Do you have any inside information on this subject?
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