Medical Q&As

Gallbladder - surgery too risky?

My grandmother has an infected gallbladder. The doctors say that she is too weak for an operation and that this would kill her and without it she will die anyway as the gallbladder could burst. Do you think that her chances are good?

The situation you describe is a great dilemma. It would appear from what you have been told that your grandmother appears to be too weak for surgery and might not survive an operation. On the other hand if she doesnít have her gallbladder removed she is at risk of dying anyway through bursting of her gallbladder. On the basis of the information you have given me her chances of recovery are not good. However, where there is life there is always hope and it is remotely possible that her condition could improve to the point that the surgical risks might reduce for her. Alternatively the infection in her gallbladder might diminish with antibiotic treatment. Your grandmotherís case is a classic example of a medical dilemma where you, your grandmother, your family and the medical and nursing staff take one day at a time. Whatever the eventual outcome might be for your grandmother the overriding priority must be to keep her comfortable. It is also very important that you let your grandmother know that you love her. If she does not survive you will feel a lot better for having said that to her. It could also be a great source of comfort to her now as she lives through this difficult time.