Your symptoms are termed as dyspepsia and are likely due to (as you mentioned) hiatus hernia and reflux. There are some objective finding needed to know whether your gall stones are symptomatic or asymptomatic. The first thing is absence of any acute attack or co-relationship of fatty foods. If this is not there, the second thing is to know about the gall bladder thickness. A symptomatic gallstones will usually have thick walls of the gall bladder (termed as chronic cholecystitis). In the absence of this; again it is likely to be asymptomatic gall stones. The third criteria can be getting an HIDA scan done. If the gall bladder is functioning well, which can be seen on the HIDA scan, then again there is no need of removing the gall bladder and it is unlikely to give you pain during your China visit. Another way of knowing whether gallbladder is working nicely or not is getting an ultrasound done immediately after the food. A good contracted gall bladder (post meal) will denote functioning gall bladder and indicates that it does not need surgery.
Please feel free for your follow up questions.
Dear Dr Phophalia,
Thank you for your answer. In response, I have had some aversion to fatty foods, but that has passed, I have not had any acute attacks and the scan shows the bladder walls to be of normal thickness. So do you think there is any chance of my condition or symptoms getting worse if I don't remove it? Could these stones remain unchanged for many years? Or are they likely to need treatment in the future?
The asymptomatic gall stones can convert in to symptomatic and the incidence of this conversion is about 5% per year. But there would be almost 25-30% people who would remain asymptomatic.
It is pleasure and privilege assisting you.