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Gallstones...can anyone reassure me please?

(10 Posts)
Flightattendant Tue 10-Nov-09 17:38:50

Sorry to start a separate thread but thought it worth mentioning the actual problem in the title in case anyone's got experience they don't mind sharing.

My mum's been having stomach pain for ages now, on and off, but last week it got pretty severe and she ended up in A&E last night.

They have done an ultrasound as bloodwork came back with elevated something or other, indicating liver/gallbladder issues, and found her gallbladder is indeed full of stuff it shouldn't be.

She's waiting for an MRI now as apparently the bile duct isn't blocked, but there is something going on with the actual gallbladder? I am really worried and could use a bit of reassurance. Does this sound normal for gallstones?

She is only 57 and otherwise pretty fit but has had high cholesterol in the past.

ABetaDad Tue 10-Nov-09 17:46:55

Women in that age group are very prone. My mother had it too when she was 62. Men get it too and I had gallstones and biliary colic which is agonising pain in the pancreas on the right upper abdomen just below the rib cage and stretching round the back and up to the shoulder blade. It is only curable with gall bladder removal. Do not allow your mother to be fobbed off - it does not get better.

My mother was fobbed of for three years by her GP and ended up in A&E with a near rupture and peritonitis. The consulting surgeon was livid she had had a referal earlier and could not beleive she had lived with it for 3 years.

The stuff that has been seen on utltrasound is probably gall stones but the gall bladder can also get severely infected and will need treating with antibiotics before removal if it is infected.

It is not life threatening if treated early but very debilitating and very painful all the same.

Flightattendant Tue 10-Nov-09 17:55:33

Abetadad that is a brilliant post and very very helpful. Thankyou.

Sorry you had similar. I think it probably has already got to the point where it's acute, ie inflamed etc although she doesn't have a temperature so perhaps not infected (yet). I will certainly take your advice and tell her to make sure they remove it asap, I didn't know this so thankyou.

She's been avoiding dairy since Christmas last year and felt better for a while thinking it was just that, so will be a relief to be able to eat normally again.

ABetaDad Tue 10-Nov-09 18:02:22

Oh absolutley classic signs having problems with fatty cheese, cream. I suspect red wine or too much rich food in general is a big problem for her.

Had those pre-symptom signs of sort of indigestion feeling for a year before the big biliary colic attack. I ate a lasagne with red wine and plenty of cheese on top. Bnet double for two days in agony. Vomitng and fever.

Flightattendant Tue 10-Nov-09 18:13:30


it's a bit scary isn't it. Glad you are Ok now, did you have yours out too?

ABetaDad Tue 10-Nov-09 18:25:15

Yes. Had mine out after foolishly struggling on for 18 months.

If you have any probs getting an operation scheuled then do demand your mother be referred to another health district. I had mine done at the John Radcliffe Hospial in Oxford. They were brilliant. Bot me and my mother had it done keyhole.

Flightattendant Tue 10-Nov-09 18:33:03

Brilliant, that is so encouraging. I looked it up and they do offer laparoscopic surgery at this hospital so she shouldn't even have to be moved if all is standard.

Thanks for all the advice, I felt a bit out of my depth today and will be able to pass on some useful stuff now that she was worried about.

Cheers smile

alypaly Tue 10-Nov-09 19:06:49

flightattendant...i am 53 and had the same symptoms...had my gall bladder out in june after a visit in the 999 ambulance after collapsing with pain. gall bladder full of stones 200plus 4 x1cm ones.
I had pain for 3 years and the hospital kept sending me home saying i had IBS...idiots.

You dont need morphine for IBS!!!!!derrrrr)
like abetadad says dont be fobbed off

alypaly Tue 10-Nov-09 19:09:51

stupid thing is the pain normally passes within about 2 hours of getting to hospital and a jab of morphine.Then you feel like a real fraud. Then they send you home sayng we will send you for an ultrasound in x weeks. Get it sorted quikly as there is a better chance of keyhole rather than waiitng until an infection develops. If it gets really bad they may have to do the full op rather than keyhole ,so tell them to hurry up.

Flightattendant Tue 10-Nov-09 19:13:18

Thankyou very much will pass it on straight away.
Glad you got it sorted eventually x

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