Advice / experiences with gall bladder removal please.

Posted , 15 users are following.

I have an appointment this Friday (17. 01.2020) for my gallbladder to be removed after one 3cm gallstone has been causing me lots of pain over the last 3 years or so.

I have been doing some research and am so anxious about having it done, I've even thought about cancelling the operation.

I've heard the bloating stories, the pain, shoulder pain etc but the thing I'm most worried about is weight gain! On other forums people have continuously said how after having their gallbladders removed they had piled on as much as 30lb and can't shift it even with a diet.

Another lady explained how she is on a diet of 800 calories per day and is still putting on 1lb a day.

I've done my fair share of diets, and do still continue to struggle with weight loss. I'm so worried I am going to have it out, gain 30lb and no matter my diet, I won't be able to loose any weight. (I am quite immobile due to my fibromyalgia and CFS so a diet is my only option for loosing.)

I have spoken to the hospital who have said though in their experience it isn't common to gain weight, you have to go on a very strict diet after (will I ever be able to eat a pizza or have a chocolate bar again without putting on a ton of weight or being in pain from gas/bloating/acid)

Any experiences welcome. I'd prefer something that's not one sided. I'd really appricaiate having a bit more information or I'm worried I'm going to phone them tomorrow to cancel.

Please help

Steph.

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  • Posted

    ive been doing a running commentary over the past week " pre op / post op" you can see it on here.

    i had it done a few days ago. absolutely nothing to worry about trust me. go and read my daily diary ive gone in quite some detail

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  • Posted

    Hi Steph i think you need to weigh up the pros and cons. i had no choice having my gallbladder removed as it was infected and in bits. i don't get the bad pain anym0re but i have put on a few pounds. i am going to see my consultant end of the month so will be asking her how i can loose the weight. i hope the op will go well at least you won't be in so much pain. seems like a lot.of people seem to put on weight. many Blessings Barbara.

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    • Posted

      Hi Barbara.

      Thank you, this is what I've been trying to do. I did phone the hospital today to enquire and they did say that if left it could be a case that it gets worse and then comes in as an emergency. The likely hood of it getting smaller is very rare. Thank you for advice.

      Steph

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    • Posted

      Ill be honest i could have left mine, few polyps and no real symptoms. admittedly id delayed the process and up until the last week was contemplating canceling. That was until very recently when a member of the family was rushed in for emergency. they had no prior issues or even knew what a gallbladder was. I can tell you now their experience recently was the main reason i went in and had it done last week. never would i like to be in that terrible situation.

      you will be absolutely fine i am sure.

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  • Posted

    Hello. If you are just worried about weight gain. Which will happen I suggest not getting it removed. But if you put off any longer you will be in more pain as the years go by. Think about your health. It is more important for me to feel better and getting my life back after removal. You will just be hindering the recovery and well being that you kindly deserve. It is up to you. All of us here are trying to help you. Good Luck dear.

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    • Posted

      Hi Fernando.

      I'm not concerned about a couple of pounds, I'm concerned about putting on lots of weight and not being able to control it via dieting alone as I'm not able to be very mobile. I did phone the hospital today who confirmed that and that the gallstone is likely to grow and may end up being taken out in an emergency. I expect I will get it done as the gallstone causes me so much pain, I just wanted to hear if anyone had gained this much weight and was unable to loose it. I suppose I wouldn't want to remove my gallbladder and be pain free, but then be obese and not be able to do anything about it.

      Thank you for your message.

      Regards

      Steph

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  • Posted

    I am very surprised that anyone with one stone (cholesterol based) does not research Ursodeoxycholic acid. This is available from your GP in many instances but a Gastro specialist will hopefully let you try it. After 6 months I eliminated 3 stones and reduced a 17 mm stone to 10mm & another to a small stone which I feel 'passed'.

    It has been said that the stone must be 20mm or less but I cannot see for the life of me why that criteria should be applied because if a piece of material is put into acid that will dissolve it then it will obviously take longer to dissolve the bigger amount of cholesterol but it sure as eggs is eggs dissolve it.

    Your Doctor will do a liver function test before and during the course of dissolution treatment.

    There are scaremongers about on here who say the stone will come back but if it did then another course can be done. In any case taking urso in a smaller dose can prevent Cholesterol stones forming. It is worth noting that Ursodeoxycholic acid is given on a regular basis to help those with liver Chirosis. I did not know when I took my 650 mg of Urso during my evening meal that the dose can be split if it is easier to do that but it must be taken day to day but I feel if you succeed in getting rid of your gall stone by that method rather than removing your gall bladder you will have achieved a better outcome. Over three years now with my existing gall bladder intact and no diet apart from Dr Mosely's fast diet now and again to keep fit.

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    • Posted

      Hi Micklemus,

      I have never heard of that drug. Initially the doctors didn't believe me that I was having this pain and even after finding it the first time when it was 2cm they ignored my pleas for help, it's only when I kept on and on about removing it one doctor reffered me.

      At my pre op I did ask the surgeon if there was any other methods and she did say there was medication that "could" dissolve the gallstone but as its big, and there's no evidence that this drug worked well without them coming back she said the best course of action was removal. Maybe that's because my gallstone is so large.

      That being said I wish they did let me try something medical first, but at that point in time I was in so much pain I just wanted it gone completely!

      Thank you for your message, I'm so glad it's worked for you 😊

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    • Posted

      I have the letter which was written by an eminent surgeon. Another eminent doctor told me Mr Parsons is a thinking surgeon. The letter states clearly Urso WILL dissolve gall stones. He also said he would be happy to re do the script any time in the future.

      There are many so called professionals who do not know what they should know on their chosen subject. One of Mr P's registrars aid I've not heard of that =the only way is to 'have it out'. She added that she was an expert on digestion and knew all there was to know about gall bladders but she was lacking in the full sense of the word If I had followed her advice I would now not have my functioning gall bladder.

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    • Posted

      I had my first (and only, so far) severe GB attack / infection a couple of months ago - overnight stay in hospital, intravenous anti-biotics & Paracetomol + oral Cocodamol, and OraMorph, then a week's course of two anti-biotics (Co-Amoxy and Metro). I was referred to consult with a surgeon after an 8 week interval, and spoke with them yesterday. We discussed the risks of surgery, and I also expressed concern about PCS - Post Cholecystectomy Syndrome - where people get long term side effects from removal of GB. I was told that this didn't exist, but I have definitely read about it online. From ultrasound scan, my gallstones are small, so I thought would be candidates for dissolving using Urso. However, I was told tablets don't work, and nobody uses them. I'm not sure whether this view was purely efficacy-related, or whether budget also plays a part here...? It seemed the only option available was removal, and nothing else. At the moment, I have opted to continue my low-fat diet, to postpone surgery for as long as possible. However, I just wondered how I go about getting a second opinion, and get to try the tablets somehow? The consultant I spoke to when I was first admitted said there were non-surgical alternatives, albeit possibly not as effective, but the surgeon yesterday said there are no non-surgical alternatives. Is the only way, to go Private? How expensive are the pills?

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  • Posted

    Hi Steph

    I've just had surgery 12 days ago to remove a 4cm large gallstone. I already can feel that it was the best decision. Unfortunately it doesn't get any better it gradually gets worse. I honestly couldn't stand the pain or discomfort any longer. I waited 4 1/2yrs for surgery and can already feel the relief. I was like you.....absolutely terrified and if truth be told I even contemplated cancelling right up to the night before. Honestly you wont regret it. I'm surprised how well it went. Apart from them finding a hernia in my belly button which had to be repaired and not coping very well with the G A everything was all good! We are all here to help each other 💕 xx

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    • Posted

      Hi Fifi.

      Well it's the morning of surgery and I'm still so nervous. Currently having a glass of water before I have to stop drinking anything (5am) everyone is trying to reassure me however, it is still very worry some for me.

      I did pull up my doctor on any other avenues to take on which he said this is the only one that will have a good result so I am just going to have to get it done and hope for the best. Thank you I'm so glad your surgery went well. I will come back with an update once mine has been done I'm just hoping and praying things go well in theatre and I don't have any of the nasty post op complications xx

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    • Posted

      Good Luck Steph, Keep us posted, you will be absolutely fine i am 100% sure.

      try not to worry too much. theres no sensation, experience in the procedure as your asleep so all good. just a feeling or tiredness, bruising and bloody starving when you cone around.

      im now one week since surgery, i feel great albeit a tiny bit sore on the outside but another 2 days and i know ill be good. you will too.

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    • Posted

      When you say 4½ years, was this how long you tried to cope without the surgery, or was this the length of the waiting list?! I'm just checking / wondering, in case I have to be re-referred for surgery how long the wait is between accepting the offer of surgery and going on the list, and the day of the actual procedure...?

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    • Posted

      Ruq in my own experience i avoided surgery for 5+ years. My condition was not related to stones but instead polyps. Therefore 5 years spent monitoring the size and/or change in the polyps. I always knew i wouldnt totally get out of surgery but at least an option to prolong the process

      I was having 3 scans per year, one provided by the NHS and another 3 i was taking privately. About 2 years ago the scans started showing polyps increasing in size but also some "sludge" forming in the GB that was likely to turn into stones. It was at this time i started to feel symptoms and myself spent 2 occasions in A&E overnight, on meds and waiting for the pain to die down.

      Last 2 years i became more or less pain free by eating only a low fat diet with some foods completely removed from the diet, ie bacon, cream, steaks, spices etc. I maintained a healthy diet and lifestyle and completely removed any sensation. I also drank a lot of hot lemon juice and every morning took apple cider vinegar. (Seems like they helped) organic beetroot juice definitely helped me also.

      I had to finally succumb to surgery 2 weeks ago today, not because of stones or pain but because the Polyps had slightly increased in size. If i could have kept going on the diet i was i would have, it was working and everything was good. You can definteily manage it but ultimately you will have to do something about those stones one day

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    • Posted

      If it helps.. My experience. 2016 found a stone which was 2cm. 2019 found the stone had grown to 3cm. Refered to surgeons approx Sept. 2019. Appointment Nov 2019 and accepted surgery procedure. And then removal Jan 2020.

      This was through the NHS, though was done at a private hospital (waiting lists were less)

      In all fairness you are prolonging it the longer you wait. The surgeon told me that if I was to wait it will grow overtime and may have to be taken out via emergency surgery which would probably be open surgery as apposed to key hole.

      Hope that helps.

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    • Posted

      Yes 4 1/2 yrs was my waiting time for surgery. The waiting list is quite lengthy. My RUQ pain became almost unbearable. Unfortunately it doesn't get any better if anything it gradually gets worse.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the reply. I'm starting to have second thoughts about my diet decision now; perhaps I am just delaying the inevitable. However, at the same time I am dreading any invasive procedure, even keyhole Lap Chole, but realise recovery will be double for (emergency) open surgery. I'll have a think, and see if I can read your diary post at some point. If I go back to them now, cap in hand, I expect I'll have another two month wait for another appointment.

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    • Posted

      as crazy as it seems Lap Chol was to me at least not at all invasive. i imagined being torn apart and holes all over me with a dreadful healing period. in actual fact its extremely the opposite

      just 2 weeks later i can barely even see where they did surgery. The one in my belly button has totally healed and no evidence at all of any surgery. the others are slight pink blemishes. another week or so and they are probably gone completely.

      i know whatever they did affected my health in a positive way. i actually have whites back in my eyes rather than a light grey id had which was a clear indication my liver and GB were struggling with something. i feel 10 times healthier than i have in a few years so extremely optimistic

      but i get it, its worrying and can be frightening. i was there just weeks ago and know how your feeling. as someone mentioned earlier forums like these are usually full of the bad experiences. rarely will people with good experiences think about posting it online. its the same for all ailments. But please just be assured chances are youll recover perfectly and the experience will be behind you in days/weeks. feel free to PM me anytime even with questions you think are silly. its all good 😃

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    • Posted

      OK so it's now day 8.

      I'm feeling somewhat normal tho still a little discomfort when getting on/off the sofa or in and out of bed. Sleeping on my back is making me wake up all achy with a backache. I'm so used to sleeping on my side.

      I had a nice aero mint chocolate bar yesterday with no adverse reactions. The family bought McDonald's but I declined. Don't want anything dripping in fat just yet.

      Weight wise I'm doing well. I lost 2lb in the week leading up to surgery and in the week after surgery I've continued to loose 3.5lb so regarding my worries with weight gain and what I've previously read it must certainly be down to diet alone. I'm going to continue to eat healthy with the odd treat once I brave it and keep watching my weight loss.

      I do have this weird feeling tho. Right underneath my ribs. It's like a empty, dull ache. I was wondering if you or Ant had this and it was normal?

      I also seem to have had a reaction to my dressings and have come up in really itchy, raised lumps on my stomach which isn't helping and is sore from where I'm scratching at night.

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    • Posted

      steph so today im at 16 days and i feel fantastic. in fact im just getting ready to go my local gin bar and have a few drinks lol.

      so i did have a dull ache inside up until about 5 days ago but this has gone completely. dont forget they did more work on the inside than they did on the outside therefore normal to feel a little strange.

      i went cinema with my daughter last night and we both ordered nachos with cheese / salsa etc. half way through i realised what i was doing and panicked but they had absolute zero effect on me. ive also eaten bacon today for first time in 5 years so even more amazing. im at a 5lb weight loss since surgery and i expect that due to foods i have eaten over last 2 weeks

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    • Posted

      Hey Ant!

      I'm so glad you're doing well! That's amazing! I too, went out today, took the kids to their grandads and nans and they had cooked us a lasagne (one food that is high in fat, but also one I couldn't tolerate for years before surgery it would always set me off) and chips! I felt bad saying no so ate it, and no change what so ever. Was completely fine.

      Oh that's great to hear about the emptiness, as long as its normal that's fine but what a weird feeling!!

      Well done re the weight loss & bacon!!

      Have a lovely evening at the gin bar. I'm currently at home with a cuppa, but counting down the days until I'm able to join you on that one!

      Take care Ant. Will probably speak shortly anyway.

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    • Posted

      Hi Steph, Great to hear you are doing so well. I'm so glad to hear about your weight loss as I know it was a major issue for you before the surgery. Yes I had that empty feeling also but not so much of the ache, strange feeling though isn't it? I still have to pinch myself that I have finally got rid of that horrendous pain forever! I've had a little discomfort in my tummy area but I think it's more down to the umbilical hernia repair they had to do before being able to remove my gallbladder. Although I'm feeling the best I have done in a long, long time! xx

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    • Posted

      Hey Fifi!

      Thankyou, yes I'm glad too! It was a real concern for me. Such a weird feeling! Oh no. Well I hope it isn't uncomfortable for too long. I'm so glad your feeling great 😊

      I had to phone the hospital today, apart from the empty feeling which they also agreed is normal. Since yesterday I've had this really strange pulling sensation below my belly button. I don't know if I've got up to quickly, or doing too much etc. They think it's just me healing so I'm hoping it goes away soon. The only way I can explain it is, when I lean forward or back, but mostly forward it feels like a stitch has been done up too tight and the muscle is being pulled, though it's nowhere near or above my incision so I'm not really sure what that is. Very scary when it first happened tho I thought something may have came undone!

      Plus side I had a domino's pizza for tea, with wedges and went down a treat. I also feel better than I have in a long time. Glad I got you guys on here to speak to about it, its nice 😊 xx

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    • Posted

      Same here...both you and Ant have been absolute gems! I had like pulling down feeling in my abdomen aswell. I put it down to pushing myself too much. But yes it's frightening incase you do reverse something. I remember Ant saying in one of his previous posts about 2 little clips shutting everything off inside.....eek!!🙈 We are absolute troopers.....still can't believe I actually have done it! 💪 lol xx

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