Gallstones with thickened wall - others' experiences

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In October I had about 4 bouts for stomach pain in my Upper Right hand abdomen which happened about a week apart. The attacks woke me up during the night and lasted for about 4-5 hours. Nothing could shift the pain. After research and thinking it sounded like gallstones/gallbladder related I went to my GP start of November. I have since been for an ultrasound scan which confirmed the presence of stones and a thickened gallbladder wall. My GP has referred me to a hospital, GI dept I think. I've also had LFT done as GP wanted to check for fatty liver disease. My LTFs have come back abnormal twice but are improving slightly.

Thankfully I've not had the severe painful attacks for over 7 weeks, I think due to me eating a reduced fat diet. However for the past week or so I have been experiencing a different type of pain in the region of my gallbladder (RHQ). This pain is a dull ache with comes and goes. Feels like I've pulled a muscle but both the front and back side of abdomen are painful, particularly if I move a certain way. I does feel a little like the burning sensation I had with the severe attacks but just not as intense so I'm guessing it's GB related. Just feels a bit uncomfortable. Question: Has anyone else experienced this, should I been concerned enough to make another appt with GP before my hospital appt?

I have also been doing a bit of reading about the gallbladder removal surgery. I know that it can be done laparoscopically or by open surgery (with the laparoscopic method favoured. Of course that depends on the patient's situation and the procedure my go to open surgery during the actual surgery.) I have read that a thickened gallbladder wall may rule out the laparoscopic method. Question: Those who've had a thickened wall and had their gallbladder out, did the surgery go ahead as planned without surgery being switched from laparoscopic to open?

I have tried to look around the site to find answers to my questions but I was finding the search function quite difficult to locate specific answers, so apologies if these have been answered before.

thanks

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    Julie, I tried everything to keep from having surgery. The most common medical answer is that any time you have gallstones and are having pain it ends up in surgery. Why wait for the horrible attacks most of us end up with? Good luck!
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    • Posted

      Thanks for the quick response. I know the likely hood is that I will have surgery. The though of surgery doesn't faze me too much (probably will nearer the time). I don't want to seem complacent about it but it seems like the lesser of 2 evils. I do not want to have more attacks or be constantly scared that I might get one after every meal.

      I am concerned that it may go down the route of open surgery, with a longer recover time, etc Icry It's just a wait and see just now until i have had appt with GI/surgeon.

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  • Posted

     I had back pain and symptoms you describe all this last summer,(last 6 months) I was have attacks about once a week for a few months, (Sept-Oct). Until one brought me into Er it was so bad. There I was disgnosed with gallstone, sludge, and wall thickening , indicating inflammation.  I sheduled a surgery date fro Nov. I  also got an  appt with a natureopathic doctor  for a natural route of treating. She got me onto some supplements and stricter food diet that helped alot. It actually helped my overall health, as in lowering my cholesterol down to normal points.  But, about 2 weeks, my gallbladder symtoms reared up, gradually worsening around the holidays,(and richer foods).  I landed back into Er Christmas eve for 3 hours, for pain relief.  I was throwing up terrible, of bile and food. Until I had dry heaves.   Did lab work, and labs were generally all normal. Got sent home with painreilvers, after they gave me IV pain med. Had Christmas day at home, but by evening still didnt feel well.  By Sat. I could hardly move from the couch or bed. Kept trying to take pain meds they gave me .  Nothing was helping for more than a hour or so. By Sunday, I went back into ER.  They did labs and a cat scan.  Labs showed high white blood cells(meaning infection) and scan showed inflamed gallbladder. I got admitted to the hosital. I was on round the clock IVs for anitbiotics and painrelievers, I was so miserable, I thought I would die.  I couldnt wait to have it out by then.  I finally got it out on Monday afternoon laposcopically.  I had to spend one more night in the hospital. Which I was thankful being I was in such pain from the infection.  Today, I got out, and yes I am in pain, but nothing near the pain experiencing with a bad gb that went into infection. The worse thing I did was postpone that surgery that I had  in Nov. I started joining forums and pages that encouraged keeping the gb at any cost. I disagree. Yes, if you catch your symptoms early enough,you maybe can turn it around. Either way, we need to make food changes before or after. I realize my foods may be touchy after with digestion. But, I had to before to, foods werent agreeing. I plan on again consulting with ND, to help me with digestive need supplements without gb.  All in all, even in recovery. I dont have hardly and back and rib pain anymore. Just the tenderness of the incisions from surgery. Little nausea yet. But I am hoping in a week or two, I will be a much better person. I am not sorry I got the surgery. It beats the attacks and backaches.  Sorry this got so long,,
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    • Posted

      Thanks for your helpful reply. sounds like you've had a terrible time of it. Just the 4 attacks i had was more than enough to convince me that it needs to come out. Here's hoping I will get to the surgery stage without too many complications like you and others have had.

      I hope you have a speedy recovery.

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  • Posted

    I had laproscopic yesterday. I had gallstones, with sludge and thickened gb wall. which means inflammation. My first day after surgery today is sore, but alot of the presymptoms have lessened, I will report back after a week of post surgery. 
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    • Posted

      good luck elizabeth. take it easy and well done that you have had your op. lets hope things get much better for you . god bless you and take it easy dont lift anything heavy. and cafefull with the diet. 💐🌺🌹
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  • Posted

    5 days post surgery. Each day is getting better. Foods are going doing better. Dealing with some nausea after I eat, but just have to ride it out. Drinking lots of water, to keep digestive track flushed. Incisions are getting better. Sore, but healing.  This all takes time. And some people seem to bounce back 2 or 3 days after surgery. Some of us take longer, especially as with me, infection had taken place.  Good Luck to all!  And to a healthier 2016!
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  • Posted

    i had multiple stones and a thickened wall with adhesions and lesions with a large stone in my bile duct but i had it removed lapriscopically... i did go private though so whether that helped in any way im unsure but they will try there hardest to remove it without cutting u open xx good luck xx

     

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply. it's good to hear others' experiences. Hope you're feeling much better for having it out.
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  • Posted

    I had a thickened wall and it was infected.  This wasn't known until the Surgeon went in to take the thing out.  Mine was done by key hole, but I had bigger incisions that folk normally have.  But it wasn't full open surgery. 
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