Gallbladder post-op 4 weeks, soreness?

Posted , 5 users are following.

Hi all,

I had my gallbladder removed four weeks ago. I recovered well and I'm able to eat what I want etc.

Unfortunately I seem to have twisted myself and fell asleep on my right hand side in my sleep... I'm finding that I still can't sleep on my right hand side in general but I woke up with a lot of tenderness deep inside where my gallbladder used to be. There's no stabbing pains, it's just soreness, kind of like inflammation. There's also discomfort in the area, a bit like what I can describe as "swelling" though there's no visible signs of it.

How long will this go on for in your experience? I don't want to go and pester my GP if this is something completely normal and in the realms of recovery.

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9 Replies

  • Posted


    I'm just about 9 weeks post op and I still have slight soreness on and off too. Sometimes it relates to eating but most of the time its just randomly throughout the day. I actually felt fantastic about 6-7 weeks after surgery but around that time the pain started to creep back slowly.

    I'd say it's pretty normal, especially at only 4 weeks. My surgeon said it would take about 7 months for your insides to completely heal from all the cutting that went on. I definitely still refrain from any lifting or intense movement at this point. Even bending over or turning too quickly can hurt me.

    Fortunately I don't notice much of a problem with food. I've been eating fatty stuff and digesting it just fine, no diarrhea or any symptoms of poor bile secretion. Sadly the pain still comes on sometimes though.Hang in there. Try gentle massages all over your body.

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for the reply. It was what I thought but I was a little bit bothered as I seemed to be pain free... Then one little twist while I was asleep and I woke up on that side and now I've had the discomfort that has lasted a few days.

      I will just keep taking it easy and take some paracetamol which eases it all. I'd take ibuprofen but they worsen my asthma so I avoid it sad. Yeah, I'm glad to be back on my own diet again!

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  • Posted

    hi,every one seems to be different after gall bladder removal, main thing is take it easy,no lifting,etc, mine was done xmas 2016, still sore stomach area,eating okay,no pains in back like some here, i think it will take time, just dont over do it, if your still unsure visit docs,see what they say,but at this stage dont worry,remember we have had iron rods inside of us,prodding and probing,plus a camera, ;;
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  • Posted

    Exactly how I'm feeling!

    I had mine out 4th February by open surgery as there were stones in the common bile duct which had to be reconstructed. Labs found a growth in tissue they removed, so five weeks later I had a liver resection through the same incision. I have a 10inch horizontal scar which has healed well. I'm now 11 weeks post op from liver resection. Like you I'm feeling well and can eat anything in moderation, however still get tired (I'm a 67 year old female in otherwise good health).

    I have tender area on rh of scar and just below and it feels swollen and tight. I find myself massaging this area almost subconsciously. Appearance of slight swelling but otherwise nothing remarkable. I had put this down to the fact I had my bile duct reconstructed and having two major surgeries within five weeks. I can't sleep on my rh side either. If I do accidentally roll onto that side during sleep, I wake up even more sore. Cannot lie on tummy either. Some days worse than others but as you say it's not like gallbladder pain was and I have just been putting up with it- not even taking painkillers.

    You don't say which surgery you had. Was it also open or laparoscopic?

    Thinking of going to GP, but mine is rubbish. (Asked for emergency appointment three times when I was having gallbladder attacks and was refused and told to go to urgent care centre. In end every time I had an attack I just went straight to urgent care centre.)

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    • Posted


      Mine was done laproscopically and like you, yes, there's still some tenderness deep inside rather than on the surface. I guess we still had the same things cut so that may be why it hurts despite the incision method.

      There were some things they only found out when they opened me up. There was an infection and pus in my gallbladder so the operation took a lot longer. I had constant dullish pain in the run up to it and decided I couldn't wait on the nhs so I paid privately. Apparently I wouldn't have made an nhs waiting list but that's the background.

      Thanks for the reassurance though. It's my first operation so I'm unsure of what is normal.

      Like you I ended up in a walk in centre. They suggested further investigations of which my GP was reluctant to carry out and I had to push very hard for. I was already being treated for anxiety so they told me the pain I was having was all in my head... Glad I forced the issue of referral.

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    • Posted

      Yes I had to push hard to get the surgery I needed too. I looked at going private but my son-in-law is a consultant and my daughter an ex nurse sill working in the NHS so I felt I had to go on a waiting list. My daughter says just because it's private doesn't make it better, but that certainly doesn't apply to the accommodation or the facilities!!! In the end, because I had two surgeries within five weeks, two ERCPs, ultrasound, MRI, and a CT, I don't think we could have afforded it. Goodness knows how much I cost the NHS !

      I think the way people with gallbladder issues have to wait whilst in pain is disgusting.

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    • Posted

      It's very true, it doesn't get you better care, it's just a way of jumping the queue. They all want their beds because that's profit. In the nhs it's because of the lack of them and the sick people that they need to treat.

      In my case they'd have ended up spending a lot more money on me because I'd likely have been an emergency case in the end. It's crazy to think about that v the one hour operation it's meant to be.

      All non-urgent care on the nhs can be a long drawn out process. It's only going to get worse before it thinks of getting better. The nice guidelines state that you're supposed to get your gallbladder removed within a week or something like that if you have chronic pains (I think). You'd be lucky to get a gp referral in that time xD.

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    • Posted

      Yes you're right about getting a referral but of course that's when the 18 week referral to treatment kicks in, so they just try to ignore it. I was just on the limit but others seem to have been waiting even longer. I was getting so much pain, despite eating next to no fat, I couldn't sleep so was absolutely exhausted.

      When I was admitted last October with cholecystitis and jaundice and was in hospital for a week, they were going to do it then. I was really ill and was catheterised, on IV fluids and antibiotics and had to have oxygen, yet as soon as there was an increase in demand for beds I was discharged! They tried to manage me as an outpatient - ERCP in November and laparoscopic cholecystectomy in February, but when I turned up, nil by mouth, for the laparoscopy they realised I needed to have the open procedure. Nobody had realised up until that point that laparoscopy just would t work in my case despite two ERCP reports saying there were too many large stones in the bile duct to be removed with ERCP. Had they done the surgery in October, which was my date of referral, as they originally said, I'd have been saved eighteen extra weeks of agony. I'd been having bad attacks since July (pain, sweating and shivering plus no appetite) which were misdiagnosed as kidney stones, so I'd had a lot of pain over the course of eight months but looking back I realise I'd been having minor issues long before then.

      Pain like that is the body's way of indicating something is seriously wrong, so why is it being ignored? My GP actually laughed when I told him I was on the waiting list - "elective cholecystectomy! Good luck with that!". So they just put off and put off surgery until it often becomes a more serious medical emergency.

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  • Posted


    Just wanted to let anyone know who might be wondering or have a similar question to me and stumble on this... All that pain went away by about week 8/9. I can sleep on my sides now. There's still some residual pain but nowhere near as bad as it was so I'm almost back to normal smile.

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