Myth vs Fact

Myth: Cancer spreads if you expose it to the air.

Facts: There has never been any data to suggest this is true and our basic scientific understanding of cancer biology clearly shows that this is impossible. Cancerous cells will spread to distant sites in the body because of their inherent biology--a complex collection of various molecular markers. The air, and whether or not we operate, really has nothing to do with it. Thre is a phenomenon called "lead time bias" that often explains why it seems that an individual with cancer is "fine" until they are diagnosed and treated for their disease and then quickly succomb. Click here for more on that.

Myth: You can't digest fat after you have your gall bladder removed.

Fact: You should be able to digest everything after gall bladder surgery. The liver still makes bile and this bile is still delivered to the intestines to aid in digestion. Some people may notice diarrhea (specifically looser, fatty stools) after their gall bladder surgery, but it is almost always mild and self-limited, meaning it will resolve, on its own, within 8-12 weeks after surgery.

Myth: You cannot get addicted to opioid pain medications if you are taking them after surgery.

This is a complex subject. While most patients will not become addicted to opioid pain medications after surgery, most will develop tolerance to these medications even if they are taking them for only one week. Please speak with your doctor if you have concerns about managing post-operative pain and what to expect in the recovery period. Never use medications prescribed to someone else and never give your prescribed medications to another person. For more on post-operative opioid use and how to avoid opioid dependence and addition, click here.

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