A cat scan revealed that mom has sludge in her gall bladder. I'm concerned she might not make it out of surgery. Any advice? - AgingCare.com

A cat scan revealed that mom has sludge in her gall bladder. I'm concerned she might not make it out of surgery. Any advice?

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Mom is 90 this month and they just now diagnosed her correctly. They always said she had a disappearing gall bladder. Now with the Ct scan they want her to remove her gall bladder. I'm concerned it might make her dementia worse or she won't come off the table alive. Any ideas out there! Mom is 84 pounds, super frail, has COPD, and celiac. Having said that she is considered pretty healthy.

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I had my gallbladder removed 15 years ago... Sludge and possible stones. The pain before was bad, but I have to say the symptoms after are awful too. I have had issues every since. No fun and interfer with my life. I would never do this too my mom.
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Lindylu ...no doctor just smiles a lot at mom.
She looked so pale and grey this morning. Her primary care didn't even suggest who to go to. Just said make an appointment with a general surgeon.
I just can't see my mom going in surgery. I guess I'll just have to let a surgeon give me his opinion and go from there. I do not like the idea of mom in a hospital as far as her picking up other infections.
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Hope your hubs is better already, Gershun!
Try looking up special diets if need be, and a lifestyle change could help.
You and hubs have already had enough stress and when we age, (you, ever so slowly);
taking on more stress just spells disaster. Has he thought of retiring yet? What about bicycling together, or just briskly walking your new neighborhood on purpose at least 3 mornings a week? Anything is now possible for the two of you to have a good life. imo.
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Hope hubs is feeling better soon, Gershun

Mom had her gallbladder out 25+ years ago when it was first being done laproscopically
Until surgery she was in Excruciating pain laying on the floor and lost a tremendous amount of weight from not being able to eat with pancreatitis

The real kicker was that ER doctors assumed she must be an alcoholic due to the pancreatitis - she doesn't drink at all
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It's kind of funny this topic should come up today. My Hubs who is 51 had his gall bladder removed today. Last year around this time he and I had been out for dinner on his birthday. After dinner, he was in excruciating pain. We went to Emergency and they saw sludge and apparent gallstones.

Midkid, I would be interested to hear how you were immediately following surgery. Any lifestyle changes you had to make etc. Could you post on here or private message me? Thx.
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I had this exact same thing--not stones, but sludge. It was beyond beyond excruciating, and I've had 5-9+ lb babies. Labor could not hold a candle to gallbladder pain. So yes, at age 39 I had the thing out!

Now, if mother were dxed with this, at 88, I'd be much less likely to want to pursue anything other than a low far diet and pain meds as needed. The surgery is pretty quick and usually done laproscopically, so the "downtime" and post surgical pain is not bad.
However, anesthesia in this case is probably really dangerous. Watch her for a while and see if she is trying to get attention or if this is a real "thing".
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Patti, did her doctor discuss whether she was at risk for developing pancreatitis, infection, or blockage as a result of the sludge? If the gallbladder isn't functioning properly it can be very painful. Many people don't have symptoms and are fine letting things go. However if your mom is in pain, and if the doctor is concerned she as at risk for one of the above complications, then a scheduled, elective surgery might be a less risky choice than an emergency surgery in an acute situation. Her surgeon's opinion about whether this is a necessary surgery or not should be clear; most surgeons, especially good ones, are not eager to take 80-90 year olds to surgery. If you think the surgeon is just trying to appease her, I would definitely get a second opinion, and likewise discuss the surgery with her pulmonologist.
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Oh and p.s. Mom has dealt with this so long I think she wants attention more than being in pain. I think her doctor is just pushing her off to someone else. Just my opinion.
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Thank you so VERY much for your replies! I am so grateful for having this forum to get help and understanding. Margaret916 your information with you being a nurse anesthetist confirmed my feelings. Bless each of your hearts for being there for me.
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No one yet is asking what will happen if it is not removed. Will there be more pain? Will not removing it hasten death? My mom had major surgery at age 93. She was confused for a few weeks tnrough rehab but she rallied and does not even remember it
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