Gallbladder Removal - What to expect afterwards

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Hi, my name is Imogen and i've only recently had my gallbladder removed via keyhole surgery. It all started after one night i had an intense pain in my right side underneath my ribcage, where upon it spread to my back and left side. Then came the nausea, shaking and loss of appetite for a week. Went to doctors several times until they did a blood test and sent me to hospital immediately because they thought i had hepetitis (something to do with the billirubin levels). This was scary because i do not drink, have never been near a cigarette or a tropical country, no tattoos and am only 15 years old.

So i went to the hospital and they did an ultrasound and found out i had gallstones instead. They said that that was also rare for a young healthy girl to have too, which wasnt much of a confidence boost i must say. They also believe that i have had gallstones for a couple of years now ( which really does explain alot of things to me about why i am so weird with how and what i eat, and the comstant pain). So they had to send me to an adult hospital for them to perform an ERCP because they believed i had a few trapped. This did not work so they put a stent in the pancreatic duct instead, then they found out that i had 20-30 stones in my common ducts aswell which prevented the ERCP from working to get into my bile duct! I was a bloody bag of marbles i was.

Luckily, after a few weeks out of hospital the stent had cleared the stones mostly from my ducts, but there were still many within my gallbladder. So hence why i have had it removed completely, and now i am confused as go how to carry on with daily life. When we tried to ask doctors about how i should approach eating without a gallbladder, each said an entirely different thing, so am left worrying about what i can or cant eat. Also, i am excruciatingly emetophobic ( frightened to death of throwing up) so anything that could cause me to throw up scares the hell out of me! Also, no one really explained why i have so much pain even though my gallbladder is now out, and for how long it will last ( including the nausea).

If anyone could help me that would be much appreciated, because i don't know what to do.


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33 Replies

  • Posted

    I was told quick recovery time by many, it was only in passing that my surgeon told me this. Gasses lasted about two weeks on and off. If I get the sick feeling then take an anti sick tablet, but that's not so often now. I was folders what you want but try to keep it low fat. Due to other medical problems I do a fodmap diet anyway. Best to just take it slow and let your stomach get used to eating more normal food again. I am now eating foods I would not have had before. If anything up sets you leave well alone. Let me know your doing.
  • Posted

    Hi! I lost my gall bladder Nov. 11. You need to drink lots of water and rest. Low fat diet. Eat white fish that's not fatty, chicken, turkey and other low fat meats. No red meats. No ham. Milk and other dairy stuff is a no no for awhile. It is harder to handle these foods now. Skim milk is o.k., just not to much. Eat veggies and fruits. Stay away from greasy and fried foods. When shopping look for low fat foods. Check the fat contents, it should be very low. Reduced fat can work, I have reduced fat oreos. I also found icecream.

    You are pretty young but gall stones usually run in the family, my mom had hers removed when I was a kid. My uncle other side of the family lost his a few years ago. So I got a double chance to get it. I just hope my daughter doesn't.

    Anyway when hurting drink water and use an ice pack. I got to the point I would go to bed with one on. Sleep on your back. Don't lift heavy stuff. Bending is hard to do.

    You can exspect gas and a bloating feeling. Getting tired easy. Walk around inside your house, start with a lap or two, then rest. Walk around at least three times a day.

    Man thing to do is a low fat diet and rest. I have found this sight very helpful. Any other questions just ask.

    At 15 you are a student. Do you're home work some at a time. If you over do it it will slow the healing time or set you back. Hang in there. I'm still weak, went to the store yesterday, husband drove me walking I love to do, I feel like I'm a snail walking these days. Let me know how you are doing.from Lori

  • Posted

    How are you doing today? I hope you are better. It will take a few days with a low fat diet to feel better. Most of us are a month since our surgeries.
    • Posted

      I'm doing much better thanks, still getting the odd shoulder pain but the gas has toned down a bit to just discomfort. Right now I think this is day 5 for me, and I've found that when in pain the best thing to do is to walk around the house stretching my arms above my head. For some reason this helps with the pain and feeling of gas momentarily. I haven't been able to cancel out cheese or chocolate from my diet due to how much my family eat of it, but I have taken to eating little and often instead which is much better. But I don't know what I'm supposed to do with the paper stitches and the big square dressing on the belly button. Do I take them off or leave them?
    • Posted

      I add this plastic over steryl pads. Under that I had tape,. Under that stitches and glue. When you left the hospital they should have given after hospital care papers. One thing no showers for about three days after surgery. If you have the plastic over pads, you take those off after three days before shower. The tape will come off on its own, you can trim the ends that start coming up if it bugs you. My stitches disolved on their own. Do you know what type of stitches you got? Some stitches have to be removed by the doctor. They glue if done comes off on its own. Don't your parents have the paper work. The nurse also told us what to do.

      I'm from Oregon! Where are you from? You don't have to say the town.

      My whole family went on the ow fat diet with me, but snacks nope. Oreos has reduced fat cookies, yummy. Whoppers didn't bug me. Just do what you did and cut your food down on size.

      I get back pains a lot, its par of my everyday life. I see a chiroprator for it. Sitting around or laying around all day makes it hurt. So I get up and stretch and walk around. Showers help too. But I was very tired after my first shower. Its hard to bend, so I didn't shave for awhile.

      So if you are on day five you should be able to take the outer covers off. But please check with your parents they probably know the information. If they don't check with your doctor.

      I had one that was really bloody and under it a huge bruise. Your bellie button one will hurt the most, that where I was told they cut the deepest, I don't know if that is the same with everybody.

      Glad you are doing better. I just had my post op with my surgeon he was happy with the healing. Not happy that I was still in pain, he thinks its my fibro slowing things down. Plus the nurse took my temp and I have a fever 99.5. So I caught a bug. My daughter has been sick a week now. So I am not surprise I'm sick. I just hope my husband doesn't get sick.

      Hang in there and don't over do it. Drink lots of water. I'm sure your sick of it but it does help. Let me know later how you are doing.

    • Posted

      Im not entirely sure what kind they are, but i know 3 of them are paper ones. The belly bytton one has this sort of square plaster over it, so could that be a plastic over pad? 

      I am from the UK smile and i dont think we were given any paperwork after we left hospital. Were we supposed to?

    • Posted

      Here in the USA if you leave a hospital they give you papers on how to take care of your self after any visit. Plus info to take care of stitches, when to take a shower, signs if something is wrong and what to do.

      I would leave your covers alone until you get permission from your doctor to remove it.

      It sounds to me we have different banages. Hang in there.

    • Posted

      Lori, I was given the info from the hospital, so can't understand why steelimo9 did not get it. Maybe an oversight. Lucky had my wounds glued together so not having to worry about stitchesMaybe been lucky as had all info needed along the way. The only issue I find is that sometimes doctor's have conflicting info on after care.
    • Posted

      The nurse told us what to do any gave us the paper work too. I was stitched, clued, pad with clear plastic and strip of tape over the stiches and clue. The c- section I had in 2002 I was stapled and before I left they took those out and taped me up. My surgeon for the gall bladder hard to look real hard to find the scare. I just hope steelim will be o.k. with the banages. I'm not even sure how they did it. All my cuts were done the same way not different. I'm feeling better. But caught a bug. I'm grateful for less pain. Yes I agree doctors aren't telling people how to eat or what to do. Luckly they have us.
    • Posted

      Hi Steelimo

      I am in Uk too!

      A lot of hospitals do not give follow up appointments now to see surgeon after gall bladder surgery.

      The discharge letter is all you get and I was told if I had any problems

      to go and see my GP!!

      They are just finding more ways to take pressure off the NHS resources!

      My surgery was done on a saturday...the surgeon is regularly doing extra

      lists to keep up with NHS targets!rolleyes

      I would not want his job!!



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