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Firstly a little background - 

I am a female, 32 years old and had my gallbladder removed in June this year and I can honestly say it has CHANGED MY LIFE. 

I wanted to write this post to give hope to those who have come here and seen hundreds of horror stories relating to Gallbladder removals.

My symptoms were far from standard, the main reason being that my pain was only ever on the LEFT hand side of my stomach - just below my ribs. I never felt it on my right hand side or in my back. For this reason it took 18 months for me to receive the correct diagnosis as all medical professionals presumed that as my pain was on the ‘wrong side’ it couldn’t possibly be my Gallbladder causing it - even though we were all fully aware that I had massive stones that showed up on an ultrasound I had very early on.

The pain started one evening. I woke up in the middle of the night with what I though was terrible indigestion. However as time went on I began to think it was a heart attack. I have never experienced pain like it. I called 111 and the told me they would send an ambulance. I had some lovely morphine and the pain subsided after around 4 hours. 

It happened again the next night in the same place - the left hand side of my stomach. I did not call an ambulance as I assumed it would go away by itself again (which it did after about 4 hours again)

It happened every night for the next week. I have had 2 children and I can honestly say it is by far the worst pain I have ever experienced. I was LITERALLY paralysed by it at one point - just lying on the floor trying to stop screaming and not pass out. 

I had MANY tests - A Colonoscopy, An Endoscopy, A 24-Hour Esophageal pH Test, Ultrasounds, Full body MRI’s, multiple blood tests and everything came back fine. I tried so many different medications but nothing worked. 

Of course IBS was diagnosed but I just couldn’t accept that this absolutely soul destroying pain would just go on for the rest of my life. I had lost 4 stone in weight as I found the only way to guarantee I didn’t get the pain that evening was to not eat a thing after around 12pm.

So I pushed for a gallbladder removal as I knew I had rather large gallstones and I just wanted to eliminate them to make sure they were not causing the pain.

My surgeon even told me on the morning of my operation that he was ‘not hopeful’ that the surgery would help my pain. But I had lost my life. I wasn’t living, I was just surviving- constantly dreading the evening as I knew it was likely the pain would appear.  I was so depressed, if I wasn’t for my children I don’t think I would have carried on.

I won’t bore you with op details. Yes it’s not nice, but what surgery is! The worst bit of it for me was actually the trapped wind in my body for a few weeks after the op (peppermint tea works a treat!)

The pain was INSTANTLY gone. Like instantly. Obviously I didn’t feel up to eating much for a few weeks after the op but 6 months on and I literally eat anything I want pain free. It has changed my life. It gave me my life back.

So there’s my little story. Please - if you have gallstones and are experiencing pain ANYWHERE in your body, it may well be referred pain so I urge you to definitely explore the possibilities of a gallbladder removal. Hopefully your experience will be as life changing as mine.

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  • Posted

    I'm really happy to hear this.  Thank you for sharing.  I am also glad to hear about the left side pain.  I do have right side pain and back pain, but also on the left.  Truly happy for you!!

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  • Posted

    Thanks for this and glad your sorted. i have had gallstones for 20 years but they wont take them out here in UK
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  • Posted

    Hi Gemma - - what other symptoms you had apart from the pain? i get severe bloating/burping and dizziness. I have multiple gallstones. Do you had these symptoms ?
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