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Gall bladder removal?

(16 Posts)
fruitloopsandfruitshoots Mon 15-Dec-14 12:57:16

Hi all,

Does anyone have any experience of having a gall bladder removal? I was diagnosed on Friday with gall stones, and have been told I need to have my gall bladder removed- and I've got a few questions if anyone can help?

Is it possible to get rid of gall stones without an operation? I am not in that much pain at the moment, which suggests maybe they aren't that bad, so would be keen to avoid surgery if possible!

If I do have to have it removed, how long are you out of action for? I rely on driving to work as I live in the middle of no where, plus I have a 2 year old, so am hoping to get back to driving/normal within a week- is this possible?

How long do you need to stay in hospital for?

Sorry, I am seeing my Dr next week and I know he can answer these for me, but i'm impatient to know the answers!

Have anyone experienced this?

Thanks smile

yetwig Mon 15-Dec-14 13:03:45

I had mine removed two years ago but I was very ill before hand, think I was a day case and was back to work after four weeks smile

Schoolaroundthecorner Mon 15-Dec-14 13:06:16

There are other treatments they can try for gallbladder stones but the likelihood of the problem recurring and you may have to stick to a restricted diet for a long time. I was so relieved to be rid of mine but then the attacks were getting worse and more frequent and I couldn't bear it anymore!

I think a week of recovery is a resonable estimate assuming you have keyhole surgery (the standard now unless complications arise). I was pretty bad for a few days but others have said in earlier threads that they were ok after a day or two. I was only in hospital for one night.

fruitloopsandfruitshoots Mon 15-Dec-14 13:40:05

Eeeeek, back to work after four weeks?! That is a very long time Yetwig! Poor you.

Yes that is my worry school, I don't want the problems to return. Do you know whether your diet has to change once the gallbladder is removed, or can you basically live a normal life? On the one hand, i'd be happy to have it removed and be back to normal and not have these pains, but then again I don't really like the idea of surgery...silly thing to say really, who does?! Does it cause you any problems now that you don't have a gallbladder?

Keyhole surgery was what was said, so I guess it would be that, so hopefully would be a quick recovery.

PinkSparklyJumboStocking Mon 15-Dec-14 15:49:38

I had mine out in May. I'd had pancreatitis so I didn't really have a choice whether to have the op. I was home the same night and off work for 4 weeks.

A lot of people go back to eating what they like after the op but I haven't been so lucky. I can't eat red meat, fruit or anything high in fibre and only small amounts of fatty food. I also get quite bad indigestion but Rennies deal with that!

Although I've been left with some side effects I don't regret having it done as the pain of gallstones and pancreatitis was unbearable and there was no way I could live with the fear of it coming back.

Good luck whatever you decide.

turkeyboots Mon 15-Dec-14 15:54:38

I had mine out this summer. Was driving after a week and went back to work round then too. No impact really on what I can eat either, which is great as had seriously limited diet beforehand due to the pain.

elelfrance Mon 15-Dec-14 16:05:49

Had mine out 4 years ago. Was back at work 3 weeks after op, but could've gone back a week before that. No diet restrictions since

Schoolaroundthecorner Mon 15-Dec-14 20:36:22

No real impact on what I can eat. I have a touch of ibs so if I eat something very fatty it can be triggered but there's no way to know if that's made worse by not having the gallbladder or would be the same regardless.

I'm glad I did it though, I couldn't deal with any more attacks. No regrets from that point of view.

Schoolaroundthecorner Mon 15-Dec-14 20:39:42

Oh and although keyhole surgery is definitely the way to go I feel I should tell you (as I didn't realise myself!) that they pump gas into you to lift/swell your abdomen so they have room to get at the gallbladder. This was what actually caused me the most discomfort after the surgery. I was a bit bloated and gassy (ahem) but once that passed I was fine.

goshhhhhh Mon 15-Dec-14 20:41:06

Don't leave it too long. My dh left his & was in lots of pain. Ended up ambulances in with a very infected gallbladder & then complications - peritonitis & liver damage. Absolutely sure none of that would have happened if he dealt with it. He is fine now btw & pretty much can eat what he like.

animaniac Mon 15-Dec-14 20:48:39

I had mine out in August. First week was sore and needed rest (had an 18 month old so not easy) but actually found the anaesthetic effects the worst - was really sick for the 2 days afterwards. I was back at work and driving after 2 weeks. No residual issues at all. No diet restrictions. Very glad I had it done.

tiggy2610 Mon 15-Dec-14 21:06:12

I had mine out just over a year ago and my opinion is just whip it out as soon as you know there is the risk of it going wrong. At the grand age of 25 I was diagnosed with gallstones completely by accident while having an abdominal ultrasound for something else. As they werent symptomatic they asked me if I wanted surgery or to leave them - I decided to leave them which was a huge mistake. 2 emergency admissions to hospital following stones becoming stuck in the bile duct and I have never known pain like it. I've been told my more than a few people (the surgeon included) that they would rather go through labour again than suffer from a gallstone attack.

I was in overnight purely because I didn't get to surgery until 6pm but was home the next day. I was lucky that the nurse warned me about the air they 'blow' you up with causing pain if you don't disperse it and encouraged me to get up walking as soon as possible and drink peppermint tea, it must have worked as I didn't suffer any discomfort from the air.

Felt a little bruised for a few days but was back at work in 2 weeks. smile for the first few months my body took a little adjusting diet wise, but you are loosing an organ so it's to be expected. If I was sensible I didn't suffer at all but any fatty or rich foods and I would suffer from an upset stomach. 12 months later I can eat whatever I want.

fruitloopsandfruitshoots Mon 15-Dec-14 22:35:11

Thank you so much for all of your replies smile

Okay, it seems like the general consensus is that it is a good idea to go with the doctor and have it removed!

I have no desire to go through pain which is anything remotely similar to labour pains again, unless it is for the purpose of actually having a child!

I had read about the gas thing, sounds less than pleasant. Does it basically make you pass wind a lot afterwards? That could be awkward on a hospital ward!

Thank you for sharing your experiences, it is very helpful to hear from other people who've had gallbladder problems.

Schoolaroundthecorner Mon 15-Dec-14 23:36:00

It does make you pass a bit of wind but for me not for a day or two afterwards so you should be ok until you get home! It just takes a while (well it did for me) to work it's way out of your body but it probably depends on how much they use and how good your body is at dealing with it.

PinkSparklyJumboStocking Tue 16-Dec-14 22:49:53

I didn't have wind but I was warned that the gas can cause referred pain in shoulders. I didn't have too much of a problem but I was drinking peppermint tea by the gallon! I was also given an excellent tip by one of the nurses - if your shoulders start to hurt raise your arms above your head. On the few occasions I had a twinge I did this and it really helped. I still do it now when I've got indigestion.

lemisscared Tue 16-Dec-14 22:57:07

Seriously. Get it out!!! If you get billiary colic you'll be in hell. I gave birth to a 9.5 pound baby. 27 hour labour. No pain relief. Walk in the park compared to an acute attack of gall bladder pain.

Op was fine. Keyhole. Recovered within a week.

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