BMI 33- refused gallbladder surgery

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Despite having recently been admitted to hospital with cholecystitis and having my life interuppted by bouts of biliary colic and continous nausea. Im very angry and havent encountered ANYONE else with a bmi the same as mine be refused and there is a lot of evidence to suggest this op is safe.

Im vexed, this issue has controlled my life what I do where I eat, what I eat, cant drink alcohol and have had lots of time off work. I have asked to be refered to another surgeon but this will now restart the waiting time for me which tbh I can ill afford.

Any suggestions on what next?

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  • Posted

    I can't believe you've been turned down for surgery soley because your BMI is 33. Is that the only reason they gave? If they're not happy to do a laparoscopic procedure would they be prepared to do open surgery?

    My BMI was just within the obese range when I was referred. There were people on the same wards much bigger than me too. I was otherwise in good general health, fit and active. However, I did lose almost three stones by eating a low fat diet to try to control the pain before I actually had surgery (in 4 months). The weight loss was a welcome side effect of eating very low fat.

    I don't blame you for being angry. Gallstones can be very dangerous and the longer the delay, the more likely you are to have complications so obviously you don't want to hang about. I was admitted last October with jaundice and was in danger of septic shock which is life threatening. I had passed out with the pain. Have they suggested a BMI level at which they would be prepared to operate? Could you lose enough weight to get to that BMI do you think? They do bariatric surgery on people with much higher BMIs so why not cholecystectomy?

    Maybe you could try contacting your local Patient and Liaison Service (PALS) stating your case? They are the patient's advocate and have to investigate and give you an answer. Could your GP do anything? I really don't know what else to suggest to help.

    I'd certainly change to a low fat diet if I were you. It helped me as they attacks weren't so severe nor did they last so long. If it gets really bad BRATS : bananas, rice, apple sauce, tea and toast is medically proven. Obviously this is just for times of severe attacks and not a long term solution.

    I'm not sure if the 18 week referral to treatment thing (look up in NICE guidelines) is still being used. I was referred last October and had open surgery in February. It's worth checking out.

    I really hope you manage to get the surgeons to change their mind.

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  • Posted

    I was 297 lbs, the surgeon refused to do my surgery, he said he wanted me to try to lose some weight first. When I went in 4 months later, I had lost almost 40 lbs.  he said I wasn't even trying. I was so discouraged, I lived with it gallstones for 2 years. 

    I decided a few months ago to get a second opinion. And low and behold, I am on day 5 of my recovery from my surgery. I'm doing pretty good I think. I can move around and sit up. Pain was worse in the first 2 days. 

    I believe if I had lost more weight my recovery would have been easier. But it's not impossible. They warned me they might have to do an incision and I would have to stay in the hospital. But the laparoscopic surgery was successful and went home the same day. 

    Oh oh and if you do get your surgery, get a tank top that fits snug around your belly, not restricting. And cut the top off, it will help with little added support to your abdomin. Good luck. 

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  • Posted

    I'm very overweight and waiting for my appt with a surgeon for my painful gallbladder

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  • Posted

    My partner is having the same sort of issues, she has had a gallstone that is getting bigger trapped in her bile duct for about 2 years then in March 2017 she became very ill and had to go to hospital due to infection at that point she was put on the emergency surgery list but kept getting bumped off it due to other "more important" surgeries. Then she was sent home without the surgery. at this point she was 26 stone and had a BMI of about 56. She saw a surgeon who said they wouldn't do gallbladder surgery but he would do weight loss surgery. She decided not to have the weight loss surgery due to the problems that it can cause. Since then she has been in and out of hospital 6 or 7 times with various infections and inflammation caused by the gall bladder problems. She is now down to 19 stone and has a BMI of 40. Today she has seen on her discharge papers from the hospital "not eligible for surgery due to BMI"

    So my question is why is she eligible for weight loss surgery but not gall bladder surgery? Surely the risks are the same or higher and Do Consultants get more money to perform the weight loss surgery?

    How do we get a second opinion from a surgeon who is not in cohorts with her current surgeon? Due to being on the same team.

    I was so angry about it I have written to my local MP as PALS were useless.

    Sorry rant over


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  • Posted

    I had my op last Saturday. In the end I asked for a re referral to a different hospital so nobody in cahoots with the other surgeon who said there was no reason not to operate. I feel much better now and low and behold the moment I had a surgeon who didn't wet himself over me being a bit overweight and was confident enough in his abilities to perform surgery on a lump as myself I lost weight! Funny that 

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