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How bad is the recovery from Gallbladder removal?

34 replies

ThrowAwayOne · 28/05/2023 19:53

I'm due to have mine removed in the next few months but unfortunately the hospital doing it is 4 hours away. I've been told it's a day case procedure and I'd be sent home the same day unless medically unfit. I'm just worried about a 4 hour car ride (not me driving and I can try sleep most of it) and whether it's doable? If you've had yours out how was the pain that first day and would you have been ok to travel that long within a few hours of having it done?

Also, how long before you were 'back to normal' as such? Doing school run/cleaning etc?

OP posts:
CoreyTaylorsSoggyTshirt · 28/05/2023 19:56

Mine was absolutely fine. Out the same day (a wednesday), felt a little rough for a couple of days, but I think that was the anasthetic, and I was back to normal and out for a meal on the Saturday night.

SummerCyclist98 · 28/05/2023 20:01

It was 10yrs ago but I was last on the list so nearly 5pm op, and had it done laparoscopy so 4 port holes. I had to stay in overnight as I took a while to come around felt sick as well from the GA and gas bloat. Take peppermint tea.
I had also expected to have 2weeks off work but ended up with four weeks off as I got a slight infection in the one wound that my bra band sat on. I think having two young children at home contributed to my longer recovery as my DD was only 2yrs old and full on at the time. It was very worthwhile for me having it done, no regrets at all though. Hope it goes ok for you.

ReignOfError · 28/05/2023 20:04

I had mine out late at night as an emergency. Went home the next afternoon. Took it easy for a day afterwards, and then eased back to things over the next couple of days. I had less than a week, including a weekend, off work, and I was driving an hour each way for that.

i must have been completely back to normal after three weeks, because I tore my bloody rotator cuff lifting boxes of books then.

i was in my mid-60s at the time.

FatAgainItsLettuceTime · 28/05/2023 20:11

It's absolutely fine. I had mine out as an emergency because it became infected. That meant the surgery was a bit longer and they had to do a wash out of the whole area and put in a drain to get rid of all the goop.

I stayed in for 2 days after the surgery because couldn't leave with a drain fitted but I was up and wandering around the hospital within a couple of hours it was very warm so I would go and sit in the courtyard to get out of the stuffy ward.

I had the surgery Wednesday, left the hospital on Friday and was out at Sainsburys on Saturday. Bit uncomfortable bending down, standing up and twisting for about 10 days with each of those days getting a little better. Once up or down there was no pain it was just the actual bend bit that hurt.

Gas can be uncomfortable because they inflate you to do the surgery and that gas can take a day or 2 to fully exit, so as said above have peppermint tea on hand. If they send you home with codeine remember to have plenty of fresh fruit in your diet as codeine can cause constipation.

ThrowAwayOne · 28/05/2023 20:15

Oh these replies are very reassuring, thank you! I was a little worried the pain after would be too much to travel home with but this has eased my mind a little. I know not everyone is the same but hopefully I'll be fine on the way home. I'll just be glad they're finally taking it out!

OP posts:
AuntieDolly · 28/05/2023 20:28

Sorry to say I felt very ill after mine and was kept in hospital for 3 days. Took 2 weeks to feel well again

jenn88 · 28/05/2023 20:34

I went home the same day, I was quite sore for a few days and suffered quite badly with the shoulder pains from the gas used to inflate your stomach, I found moving about helpful to ease that!

allthegoodusernameshavegone · 28/05/2023 20:35

Mine was fine, slept like a baby the day of the op, I was up and about the next day, I was so pleased to get shot of the little blighter.You will probably sleep on the journey home.

bloodywhitecat · 28/05/2023 20:43

DH had a Whipple's (half his digestive system removed!), he tolerated the two hour journey home well 11 days post surgery and 14 days after surgery cut the lawn with a petrol lawn mower. Hopefully you will be fine.

SockQueen · 28/05/2023 20:49

I had mine as a day case - first on the list and home by 3:30pm. I was on mat leave, so didn't go back to work any time soon, but probably would have been fine to do so within two weeks. Struggled a bit with lifting DS2 in/out of his cot for a few days (he was a chunky baby, 8 months and about 8kg). Only needed ibuprofen/paracetamol, though some people need more.

Hannahthepink · 28/05/2023 20:54

Honestly felt fine afterwards. Had mine out about 2pm, woke up about 4pm, by 6pm I'd been up and about to the loo, got changed, had dinner, and left the hospital before 7pm with a little walk to the car park. This was a Thursday, was doing the school run on Monday. I took 2 weeks off work as it's a really physical job, although if I was office based I genuinely could have been doing it the next day.
I did take all the paracetamol and ibuprofen that I could for the first couple of days just in case though.
Be excited for it, having it out is such a wonderful relief, you'll be a new woman afterwards!

Hannahthepink · 28/05/2023 20:57

I Will say though that my dad had his out recently too and he found it much harder, and the woman in the bed next to me in recovery was having a really hard time too, so we're all different. These were both much older people though, I think it makes a HUGE difference if you're young and generally healthy.

StandUpForYourRights · 28/05/2023 21:00

The GA wouldn't have fully worn off and together with some strong painkillers, you'll be fine on the way home. You might be sore the day after, but you'll be in your own bed by then.

ohtowinthelottery · 28/05/2023 21:08

Dh was fine after his. Took paracetamol for 24 hrs after the op but didn't need anything after that. Day after op we had to go and collect DD and someone asked DH if his op was cancelled as he looked so well.

junebirthdaygirl · 28/05/2023 21:17

I stayed in hospital for one night. Got a desperate pain my shoulder. They had warned me about this as its due to trapped air that enters during keyhole surgery..or something. They gave me painkillers and l was fine. So bring painkillers for the journey home
Also there is a little while before you are allowed to drive as far as l can remember. But overall it wasn't a big deal.

caringcarer · 28/05/2023 21:22

My Mum was released the same day as my sister was getting married the following day and they had a lot of guests over from Australia so could not really cancel and reschedule. Poor Mum looked drained at the church and reception where my sister pushed her in a wheelchair. She kept saying she was fine but looks awful in wedding photos.

Frightenedbunny · 28/05/2023 21:22

I had mine out as a day case but had to stay in as my blood pressure was low. I had shoulder pain for a couple of days (which was caused by trapped wind, they fill your abdomen with air). I was feeling ok and back to normal after 2 weeks, back to work at 3 weeks. It was much better than gallbladder attacks.

ThrowAwayOne · 28/05/2023 21:35

Oh I will absolutely be like a new woman once I've recovered! It's no fun not being able to eat out and my attacks were so frequent for a while that I was afraid to eat when not at home.

Glad most of you had good experiences, I don't think people can even imagine what the pain is like unless they've had gallbladder issues themselves.

OP posts:
LittleBumblebee3 · 28/05/2023 21:45

@ThrowAwayOne Looks like you’ve already had lots of reassurance 😊 I had mine done as a day case too. Had a 2 hour journey home from the hospital which I really was dreading but it was actually completely fine 😊 the speed bumps in our village were the only thing that caused me slight discomfort!

As others have already mentioned - get some peppermint tea in for coming home. The shoulder pain from the gas in the abdomen was definitely the worst part for me. Aside from that, it was just a bit uncomfortable bending up and down for a few days - I just felt quite bruised.

I’m not sure if everyone’s incisions are in the same places - I have 2 on my right side, 1 in my belly button (🤢) and the 4th is right underneath where the band sits at the front of my bra. I was more comfortable in a soft bra for a few days so that might be worth keeping in mind 😊

The doctor signed me off for 2 weeks because I had a physical job working 10-12 hours on my feet a day. Going on how I felt, I probably could have been back at work after a week if I’m honest 😊

Hbh17 · 28/05/2023 21:47

It's all very straightforward. I only stayed in overnight because I had been an emergency admission and also had pancreatitis and jaundice.
You will just sleep in the car, so no issue. You'll also be so delighted to have the offending gallbladder finally removed that you really won't care about anything else.

Hbh17 · 28/05/2023 21:49

PS There is no pain. Just take whatever medication you are given as instructed. As any doctor will tell you, if you wait until you are actually in pain to take meds, then you have left it too late.

LittleBumblebee3 · 28/05/2023 21:50

ThrowAwayOne · 28/05/2023 21:35

Oh I will absolutely be like a new woman once I've recovered! It's no fun not being able to eat out and my attacks were so frequent for a while that I was afraid to eat when not at home.

Glad most of you had good experiences, I don't think people can even imagine what the pain is like unless they've had gallbladder issues themselves.

@ThrowAwayOne It’s not a pain I ever want to experience again OP! I had weekly attacks for 18 MONTHS 😳 The doctors refused point blank to scan me or entertain the possibility of gallstones because I wasn’t “fair, fat and over forty” - which apparently you have to be to have gallbladder issues 🤣
When I had it removed the nurse looking after me said she’d had gallstones too and it was the worst pain she ever experienced - including birthing her kids. I was 23 at the time with no kids and thought she was just being dramatic but I can confirm that I have since had my own child and found gallstones worse than labour 🙈😂

Deathbywhy · 28/05/2023 21:50

I had an 18 month old when I had mine out and was lifting him within a few days and I remember hoovering the living room after about a week. I kept on top
of pain before it started and alternated paracetamol and ibuprofen every two hours. The recovery was remarkably quick for me and I’ve had no problems since

Buffypaws · 28/05/2023 21:53

I had what felt like a gallbladder attack after mine. I actually think it was the drugs they gave me. So I stayed overnight but was fine the next day. Went home first thing and then got a train to London that night and went partying. Two weeks off work.

Groutyonehereagain · 28/05/2023 21:56

I was kept in overnight, as I kept vomiting. It took me about a month to feel better. Everyone is different in how the recover but a four hour journey on the same day sounds too much.

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