Gallbladder removal wait length on NHS (UK)

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Over the Christmas period I had severe pain and jaundice leading to hospitalisation and the removal of a few stones that had become stuck in my bile duct. The doctors recommended that I have the whole gallbladder removed as there were large amount of stones and something about chronic inflammation. This was abroad and I have since returned home to the UK and saw my doctor last week who referred me to a hospital.

I asked about the online booking system which my doctor didn't seem to know about so I'm worried that I will be referred to slow local hospital. I have since become aware that I am allowed to pick any hospital in the country so I'm looking to pick a hospital with faster than normal turnaround for this operation.

If anyone has had any experience with a fast hospital in the UK with gallbladder removal please may you let me know. I am in a lot of pain and have lost around 15% of my body weight. Additionally I have had a job offer abroad for early March so I really want to get this done quick. I don't mind travelling far (I'm in Bristol right now). I've read online of some people who got it done within 4-6 weeks, but most it seems have to wait over 3 months.

I would appreciate very much any input, this issue is causing a lot of stress!

Thank you.

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  • Posted

    Royal Glamorgan hospital is brilliant with quick turn around,staff that are out of this world, so dedicated and caring, clean, foods not too good is the only complain x
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  • Posted

    I'm not aware of any fast turn around hospitals.  My understanding is it is done in terms of medical need.  I had stones and the gallbladder was also badly inflamed, to the point of bursting.  Once you get referred to a Hospital you normally see a Surgeon, they arrange tests, ultra sound, scans, bloods, then sort out a date.  I wouldn't have thought you get a date first off from a GP referral.  Prior to my GP referall, I had been admitted to A&E undiagnosed because I was poorly.  They sent me home saying to go to my GP to be referred.  My GP then referred me back to the Hospital that I'd been to the A&E of and I saw a Surgeon, had tests, had them reviewed, then they called me in and I had the removal.  From the first A&E visit to removal was 2 and a half months.  Good luck
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    • Posted

      Hi I am diagnosed with acute Cholecystitis and have gallstones and need to be operated and on a no fat diet completely until they operate me ... m curious about the operation procedure and that can I eat fatty food after the gallbladder removal surgery this is the things I am really worried about ... hope u can help me ... thnx 
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    • Posted

      Immediately following surgery, you will probably not feel like eating much anyway. I’d be cautious. Reintroduce foods gradually and don’t eat large quantities for a while. Slow and steady is the key. 
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    • Posted

      Thank u so much for ur reply ... yea I will be cautious but just concerned that even after introducing the fat or normal diet gradually can I eat everything later or I have to be on low fat diet my whole life 😱😫

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    • Posted

      Most people return to a normal diet with a couple of weeks. I know five people who had cholecystectomy without any digestive issues afterwards. For myself, I can only eat a certain amount of fat without getting uncomfortable bloating. I know myself, if the plate of food put in front of me is swilling in grease, not to eat it, but so long as I don’t overindulge I can eat pretty much anything. I also can’t eat large meals any more. If I go out, I can sometimes manage 2 courses but not 3. You just have to listen to your body and stop eating when you start to feel bloated. Think I’m the exception rather than the rule. I’m definitely a lot better than I was pre op on the reduced fat diet. My friends who’ve had similar surgery, all tuck into their food as before without any problems. 
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    • Posted

      Hi

      Thank you for the encouragement that really helped  cuz I m tired now of eating no fat diet since 3 weeks ... and don’t know how many more days I have to continue cuz didn’t hear anything from the hospital yet ...

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  • Posted

    I would think that the only way you are likely to get it done quickly is by going private lije Ivdid last year. Even that took almost two months including referral and various other investigations. Not wanting to be negative, but you will need to build in some recovery time. Good luck Maggie
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    • Posted

      Maggie, very good points too.  And everyone's different ain't they in terms of how it goes and how they recover etc.  Hope you are all ok now.
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  • Posted

    I came here back in November asking the same thing. It seems to vary depending on where you live. All I can do is give you my experience.

    I was admitted to hospital for 9 days in early October. Have multiple stones, thickened gallbladder, abnormal LFTs and inflammation of the bile duct. I was told I needed my gallbladder out but I had to wait for the inflammation to settle and it would be done in about two months. I was told to stick to a no more than 3% fat diet while I waited and told if I get another attack, I'd have to wait two months again.

    On 27th November I went for a pre op and expected to get a date for surgery. I didn't get a date and I was told I'm going to have to wait until at least march. I looked up the NHS choose and book and saw my hospital was supposed to be 13 weeks so I was shocked it was so long. I was also told my bloods would return to normal but they haven't. I've been on the list since the 16th October and still no date for surgery. I did ring the hospital after Christmas and was told I'm still looking at three months. I feel like I was discharged and dumped. I've lost over a stone since my pre op and still losing weight and I'm wondering what the hell the point was in having the pre op so many weeks/months before surgery. They aren't bothered. My 18 weeks is due up on 24th Feb but PALS said it didn't look likely I would have it done by then. I've written to my mp and I'm waiting for a letter from nhs England outlining my concerns because now the choose and book has shot up to 18 weeks wait suddenly (so don't take that as gospel) and my consultant also does private and I wonder what impact that has on NHS waiting times. I have said I'll accept any cancellations but none as yet...

    It probably doesn't help but I'd prepare yourself for a wait if I was you. I can only sympathise because it is like being stuck in limbo. I need to find work but I cannot until I've got this op out the way. Christmas was hard and thank goodness that is over.

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    • Posted

      Hi lisa its linda i know our symptoms and situation are very simular my lft are not back to normal yet either although much better than they were. went to see consultant on the 22nd of dec he said he was putting me on the list for removal isaid could he make it soon as ive been admitted to hospital twice he said jan or feb .i rang his secretary to ask if they had a date for me she said waiting was 18 weeks i told her he said he would do it in 2 months time and told her i was available to have it done at short notice .but ive heard nothing so in limbo again i had a holiday booked for may which i have now had to cancell  because balance was due in feb . its a nightmare waiting and waiting so scared of it all happening again and starting back to square one and i know you are the same .hope you get some joy from your  mp and hear something soon i will let you know when i do . linda
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    • Posted

      Hi Linda, I can't tell you how angry I've been being lied too by doctors. I was told exactly this: I couldn't have surgery until the inflammation had settled and as long as I did not have another attack I would be operated on within two months. Doc said two months was the optimal time to get it done. It allows the inflammation to settle and lessens the risk of being admitted again. I saw the same doctor every day of my hospital stay and I got him to repeat what he'd told me so I was CERTAIN. The nurse at the pre op told me doctors lie. I was so angry so I emailed PALS and they confirmed that doctors do not have access to the surgery lists, so indeed the doctor was LYING to me. I was due to see my gp yesterday but he went sick so I can't even get my prescription until Monday and an appointment with him on Tuesday. I haven't had my bloods done since November but they were still abnormal then. It was the practice nurse that said i need to make an appointment with my gp to have my bloods checked regularly. As I was an inpatient, I couldn't take advantage of choose and book either. But having since realised the figures have jumped from 13 weeks wait in November up to 18 weeks (for 9 out of 10 patients, wtf does that mean) in January, those figures were WRONG so it was about as useful as a chocolate fireguard. It's a testing time for the NHS with winter upon us and junior doctor strikes (which I support) but none the less, I think 18 weeks is too long for gallbladder surgery. I don't care how common it is, it can be a serious condition and a walking time bomb for those with active symptoms, not to mention the quality of life. I think 12 weeks should be the absolute maximum for those who have had to be treated in hospital for cholecystitis. I'm sure you can see that I am still very angry at the long wait and being lied too. But they leave you with no option. Sure, I could ask my gp to refer me to another hospital but the clock would start again. I can ask my gp to write to the hospital to speed things up but they won't because it's classed as routine or elective. I'm going to lay it on thick when I see my gp but then I risk them saying they can't operate because of my symptoms. 😬😠😤
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    • Posted

      I know just how you feel  its just not good enough . its like hitting your head against a brick wall . i could write a book about the incompetance whilst in hospital on both occasions . it doesent fill you with much confidence .does it ? seems you have to kick up a stink to get anything done . have they said if you will be having your op on a day surgery i have got to be a in patient because of heart condition maybe would of been sooner if i could have it done as out patient which i know most gb removals are done .. keep in touch x
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    • Posted

      So sorry to hear you are being messed about.  Word of warning for you too, there can be complications if they do the removal when the gallbladder is infected both during the removal procedure then afterwards.  Equally, if it's not taken out in a timely fashion then there is a possibility that it can burst and that is no good either.  I feel for you all that are awaiting surgery.  It is a horrible existence to have.  Most people have their operations and they are fine afterwards which is brilliant.  Some have difficulties, but they are not the norm.  But it does appear to be one of those things that when it doesn't go to plan, it's difficult to remedy.  Good luck to everyone.
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    • Posted

      They said it will be day surgery. Obviously I was warned that surgery could convert to open surgery or if it's an afternoon op I'll have to stay in. I will be eager to get out as soon as I can. Can't see the point in talking to doctors in ward rounds anymore because I can't trust what they are telling me. Funny story from when was I was in. There were morning and afternoon rounds. The one day, towards the end of my stay, I saw a doctor I hadn't seen before. He said how have you been, I said fine. He said, we'll get you up and walking round... and I stopped him and said, I think you've been doing too many ward rounds, I haven't had an operation and I've been mobile for the past week. I think he was just programmed like a robot. Still, I can forgive that more than I can being lied too. I don't blame doctors per se. I'm sure they want to be able to do more and I think they just say what you want to hear. I think I would have had a breakdown if I was told it would take five or 6 months to get surgery while I was in and I'm pretty certain NO doctor wants their patients to wait that long. So I think you just get flannel. Anyway my mp has written back to me twice so far and I'm just waiting for NHS England to reply to him then me. I'm not expecting it to help much but I'm not happy knowing that my consultant also works privately AND uses nhs theatres. I'm not convinced that doesn't impact on NHS waiting times and it doesn't fill me with confidence that each case is therefore judged on clinical need. But we'll see what they have to say. I too hope you get seen more quickly linda. In fact anyone waiting and waiting and waiting!
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    • Posted

      Those team ward rounds are a complete waste of time . like you say they are just like robots . the liver surgeon i was under said the gastro doctor will come round and see you later that day .WELL four days later he appeared i said oh you the elusive gastro doctor then . he was not impressed said he dident know he was supposed to see me .( typical) by the way what part of the country are you from ? im in notttingham
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    • Posted

      I'm in Dorset, Linda. I had some problems worst of which was that I got sick of the lack of choice to eat being so restricted so I asked if there was a vegetarian menu. Oh yes there was, not that anyone told me. So I ordered this 'marked down as low fat' vegetarian dish and it was bloody awful. I'd already ordered the same meal for the next day before the first meal had arrived but the next morning, before I could change it, a note came up from the kitchen to say I couldn't have it because it was 'marked as low fat' by mistake. Good job it was vile the first time eh? But by far the worst was being nil by mouth for the first two days with no fluids. I'd already been sick for 24 hours previous to my admission but I couldn't have my ultrasound until day two, late afternoon. I was then dehydrated and needed fluids for the next three days. Not good at all. Having said that the hospital was packed to the rafters that week and I was on a cancer ward for 6 days because there was no room on the surgical ward. That was bad enough, sitting through 2 do not resuscitate conversations and I wondered why, on day 2, a chaplain came to see me. It's a good job I was off my nut on morphine or else I may have panicked.
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    • Posted

      Hi Lisa, my story is identicle to yours. I was just wondering if youve had yours out yet? This diet is unbearable
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