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Page 2 | Gallbladder Removal 2019 - support thread

(842 Posts)
UserThenLotsOfNumbers Mon 31-Dec-18 10:39:06

Who is or is likely to have their gallbladder removed this year?

There seem to be a lot of threads on the topic (I've read most of them lol) so thought it would be a good idea to start a support thread for people for people having the op soon?

My story:

I'm 35, married with one daughter. I'm about half a stone overweight but reasonably fit. I work full time, husband is SAHP.

Comfort ate and ate irregularly after having my daughter and I have had issues with overeating, which I've now mostly conquered. I also have ulcerative colitis which is being controlled successfully with medication.
I was diagnosed with gallstones in Feb 2018. At the time, I had 2 large ones, 1 and 1.1cm respectively. Could be more by now!

Had been having symptoms for about 6 months before that. It started some time after my daughter was born. She's now 2.2. 12 years ago I had v similar symptoms which ended in a terrible night of pain then nothing for years until 2017. On reflection I wonder if I passed a small gallstone?

So after a year of dithering and fear, plus waiting to get over a colitis flare up earlier this year, I'm now having the op on 18th Jan.

My symptoms started as a dull ache upper right side, feeling sick and occasional vomiting. Now I get back ache, wake up with sore back, twinges, soreness, some acid indigestion. I don't (frantically touch wood) have the terrible colic. But I have some symptoms most days and I feel overall it's getting worse. I want to be well again.

I sometimes feel my gallbladder is swollen, especially at night. I do panic about it.

I've read all the post op horror stories, and all about the post op conditions, although I know that's comparatively unusual. Of course the op is sold as being easy and problem free - I don't believe that's the case! Most common outcome seems to be people are mostly fine unless they have something very fatty or take codeine. Ok, can live with that (hopefully).

What's your story? What are your concerns?

My fears are having digestive issues and pain after the operation, also am apparently being discharged with paracetamol! That doesn't even cure a headache for me! I was on oromorph for 3 days after having my c section, although I know that's not really comparable.

OP’s posts: |
MooseBeTimeForSnow Sun 06-Jan-19 02:10:08

I had mine removed in June. I woke up early that morning with a pain in my right shoulder which slowly moved through to my chest, like someone was slowly impaling me with a red hot poker.

I rang our equivalent of nhs direct. The nurse seemed reassured I wasn’t having a heart attack but suggested I go to our local hospital to get checked out.

I was immediately checked in, attached to a morphine drip and given fluids. After a couple of hours I was sent for an ultrasound. My gallbladder was swollen. The consultant suggested IV antibiotics overnight. However the surgeon came by and said it needed to come out. If I waited to tomorrow (Fri) I’d be at the end of the list and possibly in hospital all weekend. Or he could do it that evening and I’d be home tomorrow. I went into surgery at 8:30 that evening.

No real issue with post op gas pains. Fatty food sometimes loosens things up a bit but I’m pretty much eating the same foods.

In hindsight I had an attack about 8 weeks earlier, but put it down to bad indigestion.

I’ve lost a little bit of weight post op. Not sure if it’s related. I am classic FFF - fat(ish), female and in my forties.

MooseBeTimeForSnow Sun 06-Jan-19 02:11:24

I saw the surgeon again post op. He said it was infected and full of sludge.

MissMarplesKnitting Sun 06-Jan-19 09:54:55

I had a lovely great 2cm stone in mine, and sludge. No wonder it hurt 😵

I feel so much better now it's out. I too can eat most things without too much trouble (& the indigestion keeps a control on my appetite at the all you can eat Chinese....) and post op I had spectacular burps for 2-3 days but no gas pain really.

Had mine out on a Friday and taking no painkillers by the Wednesday. It was really very little bother. Immediately post op I felt a bit rough but that's normal after a GA. It was the dry/sore throat that was as bothersome as anything.

Alabasterangel6 Sun 06-Jan-19 13:50:16

It’s so helpful hearing everyone’s stories. Still hanging in for my scan tues.

Q - When you’ve all had scans did the sonographer tell you there and then if they could see anything?

Also (and I appreciate this is probably stupid) but if I think about food or eating the rib pain comes back. I wonder if you can get your gallbladder to contract just by salivating ??!!!

Pain is all but gone except the odd under-rib phase. Gurgling stomach is passing too. I’m eating so little I don’t know about the yellow poo! And I am famished. And tired from it. But I am so scared to kick it off before the scan and knowing what’s going on. Today I’ve had half a piece of toast with the lowest fat spread I could find, and a probiotic yogurt drink. Yesterday I managed the same toast and a toddler sized portion of plain pasta. It’s not that I don’t want it or it makes me sick, it’s the fear of kicking it off again. I’ve lost over half a stone in 5 days.

So fed up sad

UserThenLotsOfNumbers Sun 06-Jan-19 14:13:55

Dahlia, Moose and MissMarple - thanks for sharing and welcome smile

Alabaster - at my ultrasound I was told there and then that I had 2 gallstones, and that my GP would be in touch, and I'd probably need surgery but this would all be discussed with a consultant.

OP’s posts: |
UserThenLotsOfNumbers Sun 06-Jan-19 14:16:18

Alabaster I'm sorry to hear you continue to suffer. Will you go back to your GP? Sounds like it might have to come out sooner rather than later? Ovaltine/Horlicks is soothing to the stomach and has added nutrients, might be worth a shot?

OP’s posts: |
MissMarplesKnitting Sun 06-Jan-19 16:36:08

The sonographer showed me my major one, it was really obvious on the ultrasound.

OP drink lots and lots of water. Mine definitely benefitted from frequent, regular drinks of water, and any dehydration made symptoms worse. No idea why but it definitely did.

UserThenLotsOfNumbers Sun 06-Jan-19 19:28:44

MissMarple - thank you, will do!

OP’s posts: |
Alabasterangel6 Tue 08-Jan-19 10:18:43

Going in for my scan shortly. Nervous!!

UserThenLotsOfNumbers Tue 08-Jan-19 17:52:20

How did it go Alabaster?

OP’s posts: |
Alabasterangel6 Tue 08-Jan-19 19:46:19

Well, I shall bow out, for now! I have no gallstones or inflammation. Or liver problems. However! I can’t have had the symptoms I had (particularly with the yellow poo!) and pain without some issue in the biliary system. Bloods back with GP and they show no liver or infection issue. By elimination therefore they think that a) I had a small stone and passed it or b) there may still be a teeny tiny stone in the exiting duct between the GB and the stomach. If the yellow poo doesn’t resolve, they will do more but they are confident that it will go. No one can tell me (GP or the nice BUPA doc) what the gnawing pain is. It was there during the scan even. I do have a small liver cyst but he said these are benign and don’t cause pain and very common.

So that’s that for now! My premonition of him saying ‘nowt there’ was spot on shock.

UserThenLotsOfNumbers Sat 12-Jan-19 09:36:38

Hmm, keep an eye on it Alabaster! Sometimes sludge doesn't show up on ultrasound.

Went for my pre op assessment yesterday. Very anxious now!

6 days to go...

OP’s posts: |
UserThenLotsOfNumbers Wed 16-Jan-19 19:31:44

2 days to go...

...I had my pre operative assessment on Friday. Spoke with the anaesthetist and nurse, had an ecg and blood tests. Went back to hospital today for a further blood test, and need to call tomorrow morning for my arrival time on Friday. Been drinking loads of water as advised and wow I feel a LOT better!

OP’s posts: |
GetInLoserWereGoingShopping Wed 16-Jan-19 20:28:22


Im 24 and I had my gallbladder out 12 weeks ago and canner whatever I want now which is a relief after cutting out fat and losing 4 stone since September! I’m still getting a few twinges at the surgery site even tho i had keyhole! Hopefully this sorts itself out soon!

Mine started 7 weeks after having my little girl when I was doubled over with pain, convinced I was having a heart attack. I felt like I had been kicked in the sternum and could only describe it as a winded sensation. I had pain al up into my shoulder blades and under my ribs. It initially took around 8 hours for the pain to go.

The following day I had the same “attack” after going for afternoon tea. This time I ended up at my local a&e where straight away after learning of my symptoms they said gallstones. I had an ultrasound scan which confirmed Lots of little stones and sludge and also pancreatitis as a result. I was sent home after a night on IV fluids and was told to keep a low fat diet.

This lasted for 8 weeks when I ended up back in hospital via ambulance with pain worse than the first. After 10ml of morphine and 15 hours of the worst pain Iv ever experience, I had my gallbladder taken out.

The pain of the gallstone “attacks” was honestly the worst pain ever. I’d give birth a millions times over before one of those attacks!

thebigmaniswatching Wed 16-Jan-19 22:31:12

I had mine out 5years ago(I think, totally lost track!!). The attack’s started after my son was born and it wa s always in the evening, the first time I honestly thought I was dying and having a heart attack!

Anyway after several attacks and seeing several HCPs, who were never very sympathetic once gallstones were diagnosed, I always felt as though they were judging as I was overweight and thought it was my own fault. Anyway after a particularly bad attack I ended up at a&e as I jst knew it felt different and had lasted two days. The doc on duty took me seriously and ran lots of tests where they found my liver function to be way off ge chart, I got there at 730am and was on a ward by 12, having gradually turned a vivid yellow by this time. I was kept in for a few days to get my liver back to normal and I can still remember the bliss of the morphine they gave me!! I was booked as an emergency case and had it removed a week later to give the inflammation time to reduce.

The recovery was fine, I was back at work less than two weeks later and have been left with no after effects, I can eat anything and the relief of knowing that I dont need to think what I’m eating is amazing. To anyone suffering, get it out as soon as you can!!

Chocolatedeficitdisorder Thu 17-Jan-19 19:05:48

I had mine out in September after a terrible summer of frequent, short, very painful attacks. I've known about my gallstones for many years but I had previously refused the offer of surgery because I didn't get frequent attacks. In hindsight I wish I had the surgery back then as I wouldn't have had to endure all the pain last summer!

My attacks came on suddenly and were very severe. I would break out in a sweat, salivate and usually vomit. I had a couple of attack while driving a car and had to pull over and sit it out for 30-40 mins. I was latterly getting attacks at the rate of 3-4 per week, sometimes more than one in a day. I felt permanently tired, nauseated and my urine was brown.

My surgery was brought forward when my Gp took my bloods and discovered that my liver enzymes were extremely high after these attaks (more than 10 times the upper limit of normal). I was experience 'Obstructive Jaundice' due to the gallstones.

I had the surgery at 11am and was home by 9pm with Tramadol to take. I won't lie, the next couple of days were very rough and I did little other than sleep and take painkillers. By day 3 I was on the couch watching Tv and by day 5 I took a trip to the supermarket, although I regretted it and came home earlier than planned as my abdomen was still sore and I got really tired very suddenly.

I had two weeks off work and felt fine by then. I did have, and still do have, episodes of bile-acid diarrhoea if I eat fatty meals, but I don't have the horrible attacks of pain and my liver tests are back to normal.

I'm so, so glad that I had the surgery.

UserThenLotsOfNumbers Thu 17-Jan-19 19:41:56

Thanks for sharing your stories thanks
It's good to hear of realistic but positive experiences.
I have to arrive at the hospital at 12:15pm tomorrow. No food 6 hours prior, no water 2 hours prior to this.
I keep thinking this time tomorrow the op will be done and I may be home.

OP’s posts: |
thebigmaniswatching Thu 17-Jan-19 19:47:27

I’m not saying that this will happen but be prepared to have to stay in, if you don’t have to be there till lunch time then you must be on the afternoon list so they will want to make sure you’re ok after the anaesthetic. Better to have toiletries etc and not need them rather than be uncomfortable. Good luck tomorrow and it will all be well worth it!

UserThenLotsOfNumbers Thu 17-Jan-19 19:50:50

Thanks thebigmaniswatching. Yes I am on the afternoon list (apparently they do 3 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon at this hospital) and have an overnight bag just in case. My dressing gown (that they insist upon!) is taking up most of the space lol

OP’s posts: |
NancyWho Thu 17-Jan-19 22:47:27

Placemarking to share my story and read up on others.

I'll be thinking of you tomorrow UserThenLots.

UserThenLotsOfNumbers Fri 18-Jan-19 07:05:14

Thank you Nancy, I really appreciate that thanks

Well, I've had my 6am toast and black tea! No food 6 hours prior.
I will be drinking lots of water this morning until 10am.
I have been drinking about 2 litres of water a day for the last week on the advice of the pre-op Nurse. She said it will help healing etc. That remains to be seen, however I will say all my muscle stiffness and a lot of tiredness has gone! Definitely recommend drinking loads of water!

Packed my overnight bag so all ready. Taking it easy this morning with a bit of light exercise here and there.

Hoping I won't be in too much pain on waking up.

OP’s posts: |
thebigmaniswatching Fri 18-Jan-19 08:04:48

Good luck!! I can’t say I remember lots of pain, I think I was more uncomfortable than anything, if it’s keyhole the wounds are so small it’s unbelievable. I’ve got three across my abdomen then one through the top of my belly button. I think the sooner you can get up and moving the better, the first time you get out of bed will be uncomfortable but jst keep moving as soon as you’re up to it. Hope it all goes well

UserThenLotsOfNumbers Fri 18-Jan-19 08:18:08

Thank you that's really helpful to know!
Feeling ok at the moment but I expect nerves will kick in nearer the time.

OP’s posts: |
NancyWho Fri 18-Jan-19 09:00:54

You'll be fine UserThenLots. I'm wishing you well thanks

thebigmaniswatching Fri 18-Jan-19 09:56:29

Sorry, I keep remembering things! For the first couple of days I took alternate paracetamol and ibuprofen every two hours jst to keep any pain at bay, that’s probably why I don’t remember any painblush

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