Effects of Chemo on Gallbladder???

I guess I spoke too soon, or should have knocked on wood!

Yep, all done with chemo now...but when I went to the doctor today he said he noticed my enzyme levels have been increasing. I have also been having a dull ache on my right side. At first I thought I had bruised my ribs or something, but then I realized in was under my last couple of ribs on my right. But it's a dull, achy pain that only lasts an hour or two and then goes away for days at the time. He informed me that he believes it's my gallbladder and says it could be caused by the chemo.

They never told me chemo could/would effect the gallbladder. I was warned about the kidneys, but not this. So tomorrow I go for an ultrasound and he said he could refer me to someone. Has this happened to anyone else?? I was so happy and celebrating being done with chemo and now bummed out with these side effects. Should I be worried???

Oh, and I also caught a cold over the weekend and lost my voice...so I'm having a pity-party for myself now. I have questions about all this and it's hard to communicate when you can't speak above a whisper. :(

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It is my personal belief chemo can do a number on any organ, but hopefully, with time, things can settle down.

You didn't mention if you had IP chemo. I have, and since being treated, have struggled with occasional upper abdominal discomfort. Done all the tests, including ultrasounds, everything looks okay, so hopefully yours will be too.

I don't have a gallbladder (I'm a gallbladder survivor too) and no Dr. can explain it. When I first completed treatment an onc said it sounded normal to him because I had done IP chemo.

But, it is getting better. Note if it gets worse after eating and if anything in particular triggers it. You may have to "baby" your digestion for the next couple of months. Keep meals small but eat frequently.

Also, one more thought. Steroids can also cause digestion problems that can linger after treatment too. Feel better soon!!!

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Thanks....I only have a port-a-cath on the left side of my chest.

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I'm wondering if you've had a PET/CT since completing your chemo? If not, I'd certainly ask for one.

To my way of thinking the question is NOT "do I have a gall bladder problem"?

The question should be "is this discomfort related to ovca"?

And the best way to determine that is to do a PET/CT. If you haven't had one since your last chemo (or in the previous 3-6 months), I'd be asking my Onc for a scan. Don't settle for a CT. Insist on a PET/CT.

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My gall bladder was contracted in 2006 when I was diagnosed with ovca, but I never knew about it. The doctors didn't say anything! I think I should have been made aware of it at least, so it could be monitored. I didn't find out about it until November of 2009, when I had some gut issues and had a CT to be sure there was no recurrence of cancer (thankfully, there wasn't) but my gall bladder was contracted and full of stones!

I lasted another six months before having a huge attack. It was decided then to take the gall bladder out. I had gall bladder surgery June 24, 2010 (the day before my wedding anniversary...fun!) I feel a whole lot better. I'm still having some little issues, but they should subside. Overall, I feel pretty good...knock on wood!

Stay strong!


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I finished chemo in February in 2009, finished rad in April 2009, in August 2009 had emergency surgery to remove my gallbladder. I never had a single symptom of gallbladder problems until that day. In November of 2009, I had to have emergency surgery to remove my appendix. The surgeon who did both surgeries said he thinks it was either from the chemo, the radiation or both.

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I had the very same pains under my ribs on the right side, but I was told I could have bruised my ribs from tossing and turning in bed at night or any other jult movements. Just like you the pains come and go.
The only difference from you is my gullbladder was taken out in 07'.
I think I agree with kennebec when she said it just may not be your gullbadder but, maybe it is a side affect from chemo, or she said it should be your question.
My exray and cat-scan did not show broken ribs so the only thought was bruised ribs.
Good luck to you.

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my gallballer started it all. the doctor spotted some spots sent me to doctor found out both ov full cancer. now stage4

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I had pain under my right ribs throughout my first chemo. It continued after I finished and I had so many symptoms of gall bladder issues that I had an ultrasound and whatever that lovely imaging is where they give you a contrast that makes you temporarily more nauseated than chemo and you absolutely cannot move or you'll mess up the 45-minute-to-take picture.

I had an unbelievably healthy gall bladder. A few weeks later all the new lovely Victoria's Secrets bras I treated myself to after surgery were dirty, so I wore an old clean "ratty" bra. The pain stopped. Somehow, my new bras were pressing on some nerve. When I wear them, I hurt. When I don't, I don't!

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