Mumsnet hasn't checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have medical concerns, please seek medical attention; if you think your problem could be acute, do so immediately. Even qualified doctors can't diagnose over the internet, so do bear that in mind when seeking or giving advice.
This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Gallbladder surgery(19 Posts)
I'm due to have my gallbladder removed in a couple of weeks and I was hoping to get some advice from people. I've never had surgery of any kind before and am incredibly lucky in that I have never really spent any time in hospital
What do I need to do to prepare? Before and after the operation? I have a 13 year old DD at home who is fairly needy sometimes. What do I need to be thinking about?
Take your painkillers regularly for first few days even if you don’t feel you need them. You might feel bloated from the Co2, you probably will struggle to sit for extended periods at first and rolling over in bed must be done carefully! I had to remind my DH to try not to fling his arm over me during the night as it hurt!
Rest when you need to in first 24-48hrs but don’t “take to your bed”, go for a short walk after a few days and build up slowly. No exertion for at least 4-6 weeks.
And smile knowing that bloody awful pain is behind you
Loose clothes and if you need to wear a bra a soft vest top type one for the first few days post the op partly because you will be bloated from the gas but also the incisions can be quite sore.
Definitely take it easy. Even key hole surgery involves your insides being pulled about a bit so don’t underestimate the recovery time. Be especially careful lifting and pushing things.
Pain wise I ditched the codeine after about three days but did keep on with the paracetamol and nurofen for about a week I think. Codeine can make you constipated so you may need something like movicol or glycerine suppositories.
Lots of fruit and veg plus fruit juice and lots of water in first week to flush out any bloat and prevent constipation. I booked the recommended 2 weeks off work and felt like a complete fraud for the second one as I felt fantastic - hope you do too!
Agree with the soft bra top and similarly I would suggest wearing trousers with a fairly soft waistband if you have any because one incision runs down from your bellybutton.
If you are being picked up from hospital by car or taxi, I found putting a pillow between you and your seatbelt made the journey home more comfortable and stops the seatbelt pressing directly on your incisions.
This is all really really helpful, thank you!
Giving this a little bump in case anyone has any more helpful advice
Bumping for you I'm having mine out in a week. Good luck OP.
are you a single parent?
If so you need to think about how you get home and having another adult in the house for 24 hours. Have some ready meals in or frozen stuff that can be heated up without too much faff. I didnt have much appetite for several days so a good stock of soups came in handy.
Soft bra tops and waistbands, loose clothes generally.
Key hole surgery is pretty straightforward but people do respond differently and recover at different rates so don’t feel pressured into getting back to normal before you are ready, just because other people do.
Some people will tell you they were running marathons after a week, I could only walk for about 10 minutes, I couldn’t bend at the waist for 5 or 6 days.
I was much better at the end of two weeks but not ready for work. I had just over three weeks off.
I have a physical job and have to lift heavy bags which concerns me my surgeon says he'll sign me off for 3 weeks but more if I felt I needed it
@fizzyp0p yes you do need to be careful.
Although with keyhole the wounds are fairly superficial, they are digging away in there and you can be bruised. You need to be careful about giving yourself a hernia.
I think a lot depends on age and how I'll you were before I'm in my 50s and had been quite ill for a year so I was recovering from a year of I'll health, not just the op.
Its amazing how different you feel afterwards though.
My friend who picked me up said although I was pale, I looked so much better already, even a few hours after the op.
Thank you @Ted27 I'm 37 in good health apart from I have type 1 diabetes. I've had lots of people tell me they felt almost instantly better with it gone. Fingers crossed!
You will be fine OP, I had a baby & a toddler when I had my gallbladder surgery, it was fine, wasn’t in pain, took painkillers regularly which kept it a bay. My stitches were dissolvable. I recovered well. Of course I was tired due to anaesthetic, but better in no time, and such a relief not to suffer with gallbladder pain & sickness again. Good luck.
Giving this another little bump just in case anyone has some last minute words of advice. Surgery tomorrow!
Just saw your thread, I hope today went well and you are not in too much discomfort. I'm well over due my gallbladder op (thanks covid!) so found your thread useful for tips
Hope all went well had mine out 3 weeks ago back at work in 2 weeks. Still can only sleep on my back and the wounds are still sore to touch
@jellybeanz1212 have you been on the waiting list long? I've been on it since October last year, was meant to be done within 12 weeks. Only had 1 letter in november apologising that the 12 week will be longer!
I waited about 4 months for a surgery date which then got cancelled due to covid so was a 10 month wait in the end.
I hope you don't have to wait too long, obviously in the mean time if you end up with lots of severe attacks they'll take it out as an emergency.