Sorry for not getting back to you sooner. We moved this weekend and I had no internet connection at home.
I am glad you pursued the issue with HIDA scan, it is often an under diagnosed and ignored condition. 14% is a very low gallbladder function and definitely explains your RUQ pains.
My question is this...are you still taking Prilosec? Are the pains that you have now located all over your abdomen or more concentrated in the area of upper abdomen (epigastric)? Are these pains separate from reflux you are having? Do you feel bloated?
Thanks for the additional information. Yes, my life has been crazy, on top of getting married and buying a house and moving, I am also 7-months pregnant :) I cannot keep up with all the things happening :) Now, to more serious things.
Knowing that you had a normal follow-up endoscopy and colonoscopy is very reassuring. However, just because you had a normal endoscopy (showing healed ulcer and no erosions), it doesn't mean that you cannot have reflux. Reflux is independent factor from ulcers/erosions. It is possible that Prilosec is not very effective to reduce your reflux so you might need to be switched to a different medication such as Nexium or Protonix (both are available by prescription only) or you can try adding Pepcid AC instead of Mylanta.
When you had an ultrasound of your gallbladder, it also looked at your liver and pancreas (it usually always does). If there is no report of any abnormalities, I highly doubt there is something wrong. Usually pain which is secondary to pancreas problems is up higher (epigastric area) and can radiate to your back. I dont think there is a problem with your pancreas, however, to be certain, CT scan of abdomen is not a bad idea. Sometimes on the ultrasound, pancreas is obscured by gas and is not fully visible.
Given the fact that most of your dull pain is around your navel points more in the direction of IBS (since besides small intestines, there is nothing else there).
You are correct about not 100% success rate following GB removal, however, its a guessing gain into which percentage you are going to fall. Since you are symptomatic with RUQ pain, I would definitely recommend removing GB. At least that should solve a part of your abdominal pain.
It sounds that you have 3 things going on - 1. Reflux, 2. Gallbladder, 3. IBS. Each one needs to be treated independently of the other. Following GB removal, if your pain continues, you might consider treatment for IBS. There are so many different options available now-a-days. You can even consider treatment for IBS even prior to GB surgery. For reflux. I think you should either have your prescription changed or try Pepcid instead of Mylanta.
Let me know if you have any other questions. I do have to step away from the computer for about an hour but will be back after 1:00.
We are having a boy as well. Its a first one for me so it is kind of scary but exciting at the same time. Any illnesses in such little people are scary so I completely understand how your wife felt when he didn't feel well).
I really dont think that your health should be stopping you from having another baby. You do have some resolvable issues, thankfully nothing permanent or disabling so having another addition into the family will bring everyone joy.
In terms of diet: I dont think you need to be on such restricted diet. For gallbladder, you need to avoid all greasy/fried foods, otherwise there are really no certain recommendations. For acid reflux the foods that you need to avoid are such: any tomato based products (especially meat/marinara sauces), pizza, spicy, citrus, chocolate, coffee, and mint. I dont really think you need to keep your diet so "blah". You can have fish, shrimp, turkey, lean red meat. Just make sure it is broiled or grilled or sautéed. You can have vegetables (other then tomatoes) as well as fruits. You can have regular eggs, oatmeal, cereal (fiber preferred). There are plenty of things you can eat. If you have more specific food questions, let me know, there is so much information available that I am just giving a generalized answer but would be happy to go into detail if you wish.
In terms of removing your GB: There is definitely no urgency in having it done. Maybe first you can concentrate on getting your reflux under better control and treating IBS. There are many medications available for IBS. Most of the IBS drugs are also used to treat anxiety and because IBS is considered a "nervous gut", these medications are quite helpful. However, some of them may have some sexual downfalls, such as decreased libido, inability to have an orgasm and others. These effects are transient, once you stop the medication, side effects go away as well and it is not guaranteed that you will get these side effects so if you think that your health right now is more important, you might give it a shot. One of my favorite medications for IBS is Lexapro. It is a 10 mg once daily pill, can also be taken at 5 mg. It is associated with least amount of overall side effects. Another medication which can work well but has more side effects is Amitriptyline. This medication needs to be started at a low dose (at bedtime) and titrated up).
If getting reflux and IBS under control satisfies you and your RUQ pain is not very bothersome, you might not need to or want to go through gallbladder removal. I still think you should have a consultation with the surgeon though. Chronic diarrhea is not common following GB removal although does exist.
I will not have access to internet until tomorrow again so if I dont get back to you right away, please excuse me. Our home internet will not be ready till August 5th.
I dont think small bowel capsule study will show anything, however, since you are getting it done this week, you can postpone surgery. If there is something wrong with small intestine (which, again, I dont think there will be), the same surgeon will take care of both things and can do it at the same time.
You might also want to postpone surgery if you would like to see if different therapy for reflux and new therapy for IBS will take care of most of your symptoms. There is no urgency in getting your GB removed, I do agree with the surgeon.
GB removal (called cholecystectomy) is one of the most common procedures done by the surgeons now-a-days. You will be in the hospital for a 23-hour observation following laparascopic procedure, you will not go home the same day. I also dont know of anyone who had cholecystectomy to have any kind of complications with the surgery.
I would love to know what small capsule endoscopy shows, if anything. Let me know know.
I dont think you should reconsider. Maybe surgical procedures changed since I was doing my surgical practice but in the past it was that you stayed in the hospital for a 23-hour observation. The only reason for it was to make sure there arent any complications that develop following surgery and also because they put a tiny draining tube and take it out before you leave. But maybe it has changed especially if other hospitals are now doing it the same way.
I would still wait for, at least, results of your small bowel capsule study. Usually that takes 48 hours after getting it done so you might even get the results before your scheduled surgery.