Hi, im having my gallbladder removed and really scared about being put to sleep and not waking up, and the risks that comes with it

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My consultant was telling me worst case scenarios for the op, one of them was if the tube leading to my bladder gets damaged during the op it will turn into a big problem. Im now more worried and concerned than ever

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  • Posted

    I think the best thing you can do is do some reasearch the I internet is great now a days for information. The doctors have obviously advised you to have it removed for a reason. Aslong as you don't have any major heart or lung problems the general aneasethetic will be fine. I had my gallbladder out in Feb ad I had choleocystitis but no gallstones I was having really frequent attacks so they took it out. I have since had no end of problems but that's the risk you take. My advise is if you really have to have it done then you need to... As i said I would just do my homework just incase something happens post op as I was told once you have it out you will have no pain and you can eat what you want... It couldn't b further from the truth. I don't want to scare you but I wish I would have been more prepared how old are you if you don't mind me asking and how long have you had the problem?
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    • Posted

      Thank you for your response. I have done some research on it but wanted to hear real experiences too. Im 30 years old, ive had the pains on/off for about 2 years and beenhospitalised with it last November and its only just now they are doing something about it.
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  • Posted

    Why did your surgeon give you worse case scenarios? So if you become the one in a 1000 or 5000 you can't  sue him for not informing you of risks. Mad world. There are risks with any procedure but this procedure is a routine low risk op. I was like you terrified before my op. But it ran so smoothly I went down to surgery at 12.00 was back in my ward at 2pm drinking camomile tea for wind .... I went home at 8.30pm . Only took paracetamols for pain and felt so much better very quickly.  Was careful with food for 3 days but everyone bought me chocolate soon discovered I could eat it no problems smile . So started eating normal food experimenting gradually . Fantastic. Remember even if they do nick you inside they can stitch it up. It's not major heart surgery it's day surgery which tells you how safe it is .... Try not to worry. And believe me once that rotten inflamed and diseased organ is removed your body will sigh with relief .. Hope all goes well. 
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    • Posted

      Glad I helped a little. 

      I get panic attacks and anxiety about stressful situations. And I really worked myself up about the anaethetic .  My anaesthetist was so kind and explained they have newer and safer anaesthetics now than they had 5 years ago. 

      She explained that these newer drugs enable them to not put you under so deep and for shorter  periods of time , hence you are able to go home in the same day ... Quite amazing .. And I asked my surgeon how he got the gall bladder out ? Absolutely ingenious . He said he clamped then removed the gallbladder put it in a little plastic bag then blended it in the bag and then sucked the contents out of the bag , then removed the bag all through the tiniest little holes . All done inside you because they inflate your abdomen . So I guess when they inflate your abdomen they will be able to have a good look around . And then decide if your gallbladder is the culprit . What a difference to 30 odd years ago when it would of been a major operation with a massive scar . Not always been the good old days wink 

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    • Posted

      Sadly you can't be awake through it because you're gallbladder is too high up for an epidural or spinal to be effective.

      if they numbed you that high up you wouldn't be able to breathe, so they'd have to tube you anyway!

      (I already knew this, but I still asked all the anaesthetists, just in case)

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    • Posted

      I'm due to have my gallbladder removedin a few days by key hole surgery. I have a large gall stone which isn't presenting too many symptoms apart from a constant dull ache on my right side but have been reccomended to have the surgery as it's not something that will go away and could give me serious problems in later life (I'm 57) Everything I've read about gallstones points out that they are caused by a high fat diet. This really annoys me as I consider I eat  a fairly healthy diet and am not at all overweight.

      i've never had surgery before involving a general anaesthetic and I don;t mind admitting I'm terrified of having it done. Reading of your experience has been very encouraging and made me feel a bit braver about it. However, I had'nt realised that after the op theres the possibility of having more problems with digesting certain foods than I do now. At the moment I find I need to limit wheat products or I suffer bouts of diarrhoea.I know it's wisest to limit fatty foods post op,but I try to follow a reasonably low fat diet anyway. Reading other peoples experiences of how they feel worse now than they did before their op is making me feel more worried again! I don't think I want to have this op after all!

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  • Posted

    Hi Natalie. I had the same fears, but the hospital staff were very thorough which helped me feel better and also I asked the anesthesiologist for a shot of something (versed, I think) to relax me just before they rolled me to the operating room. That helped a lot.

    this is a very common surgery and it is likely that they won't even use a catheter in your bladder at all (they did not with me

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  • Posted

    Hi Natalie

    I was exactly like you, and I am an ex general nurse, so have a little knowledge which in my case was both a positive & a negative I think.

    I suffer with a lot of allergic reactions so was very concerned about all the drugs for anaesthesia as I'd never had a general anaesthetic before. My surgery was cancelled twice (once at the stage where  I was bedside in hospital, I'd been consented and given paper knickers, surgical stocking then the surgeon got stuck in extreme traffic due to an accident so I was cancelled etc) before finally my surgery was performed yesterday, so by the time yesterday arrived I had driven myself up into a frenzy of worry.

    I arrived at 7:30am was told there was a possible bed situation and I'd have to wait. I finally got a bed at 10am chatted with the anaesthetist who was a lovely guy but looked a bit crazy as looked like a a cross between zz top and Santa Claus and an extra from lord of the rings lol I was taller than him when I was sat down. He reassured me that in 25 years of doing anaesthesia he has never seen anyone have any form of serious allergic reaction that was not able to be controlled. I also have had cardiac surgery for a heart arrhythmia a  few years ago so was worried my heart might go into a wobble and again he told me everything is closely monitored throughout and he would counteract anything my body did along the way. Gallbladder surgery is very safe and the surgery itself didn't concern me so much tbh. I was rushed through and down in theatre 10 mins after this, quick chat about my holidays with Santa Claus as he put in a cannula and next thing it's 12pm and I'm waking up, bit dry in the mouth, bit whoozy for 10-20 mins mainly as I didn't have my glasses on lol and back on the ward eating and drinking within 10 mins. 

    I have four incisions, 3 tiny and 1 about 1cm under belly button. Have only needed paracetamol so far, they told me to take diclofenic regardless of whether I feel I need it for a few days as it's a good anti inflammatory. Slept well, small amount of bruising starting under the belly button wound. Slightly tender when I go to get up but I'm walking about without issue and relatively pain free tbh. I took paracetamol, but honestly it's more preventative as I genuinely don't feel anything more than a stitch like pain on movement. Got some extra dressings, dissolvable stiches in and just need to take it easy next couple of weeks.

    I even wrote a letter to my family I was that scared to be opened "when I died on the operating theatre table" lol all I can say is I'm a fit and healthy 43year old aside from the things I've just mentioned and it's honestly been so easy I can't tell you. Fingers crossed it will stay that way. I'm eating fine, drinking fine. They say you can get a lot if pain between your shoulder blades from the carbon dioxide they pump in to inflate things during surgery, but I sat upright, moved around and passing wind in small amounts and no shoulder pain here thankfully!

    i had my gallbladder flare up beginning of April then I got a stone lodged in my bile duct and turned yellow and started passing luminous urine. I didn't eat for 16 days straight as was being sick and in agony. They removed the stone during a thing called an ERCP after 10 days on antibiotics, IV painkillers and anti sickness stuff, no issues since but because I had 6 other gallstones they told me best to have it out once the inflammation cleared. Going on holiday in 1 month so didn't want to end up in a mess over there.

    anyway hope I have in some way helped ease your fears. It's easy peasy and you will wake up! Promise x


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  • Posted

    You know that was the first thing this one doctor said to me, duh and when I said well you don't plan on cutting that do you and he was not amused . What a thing to say when a patient is scared. Needless to say, I schedule my surgery with him. Some doctors don't have any bed side manners
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  • Posted

    Im sorry if this causes offence to your other replies but they have really angered me!

    Although on paper gallbladder removal is 'routine' it is far from that that for thousands of people! Yes the tell you that 99% of ops are a success but I would love to know what they class as a success .... I can tell you Mrs I ate chocolate after my Op you are a

    Minority most people gave problems after surgery ranging from diarrhea to Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction and pancreatitis. You will find that you can't eat exactly the same as

    before and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying to you.... Yes maybe in a few years

    time but certainly not straight after. There is not enough awareness given at the time

    to tell you that the op will make things worse! Some people like I said have it worse

    than others. I am on the extreme side of the spectrum and parts of me wish I had died right there on the operating table as my life is now a living nightmare..... This probably won't happen to you but please don't believe that everything is going to be like it was before because I can feel you it won't!

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    • Posted


      I am mrs I ate chocolate and I am  not offended just so so sorry that you have been left in such a terrible state. I was aware from my gp of the risks . And I am so grateful that my operation and recovery along with the majority of people that have the operation went well . But I am so sorry that you are suffering so badly.  

      I just wanted Natalie to hear a positive outcome as most people who comment here are suffering . And she is very scared and I didn't want her to be more scared . Let's be honest if your health is running well you are unlikely to be looking at patient.info .so you do get to read the worse case scenarios here. 

      i am a Carer for my husband who has CFS and my mother with parkinsons so I do use this site for help. 

      And it's very informative... 

      I wish there was some gem I could impart to help you but I don't have one . Which is so sad ... My heart goes out to you .. Sometimes this life stinks and all we can do is endure it ... 

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    • Posted

      I want to let you know that this surgery is responsible for making my life a nightmare too. I had my surgery in Dec of 2011, and four years later, am having to be put on the transplant list due to chronic infections in my bloodstream ever since. Four days after surgery I was back in the emergency room with a huge bile leak throughout my entire abdomen, a collapsed lung, and septic. I thought I was going to die...and I almost did. I was hospitalized 10 times that year. Since then, my infections are fewer, but worse. After nine picc lines, during my last hospitalization in the end of September, the doctor had a port placed in my chest. I cannot stress enough...please, please, please take all possible complications into consideration prior to agreeing to this surgery.
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  • Edited

    Hi there, 

    I just wanted to say thank you to those who have previously contributed to this thread. I stumbled across this conversation before my surgery and it really helped me to calm down. So I thought I'd add my experience and tips to help others...

    I went into the hospital at 7am on the day of my surgery (no food and drink allowed beforehand) and had my operation at 11am.

    I'm in my late 20s and this was my first experience of key-hole surgery. When I woke up I felt discomfort and pain in my stomach and shoulders (I'd say a 5 out of 10) but the medication provided dulled that down.

    I stayed overnight, had breakfast the following morning and went home. I was given some strong painkillers (oxycodone) and paracetamol. I continued to take the strong painkillers the following day but they caused more problems then they solved (drowsiness, vomiting and constipation) so I stopped taking them and found the discomfort manageable without taking anything at all. 

    I spent the next couple of days in bed and was up and about by the weekend (4 days after the surgery). I continued to take it easy (no heavy lifting or stretching and frequqnt naps) for the following week. I returned to work after 2 weeks. 

    I looked online for post-op diets and there seemed to be little consensus about what to eat. My surgeon said it really depended on the individual so I started with plain high-fibre low-fat meals and then gradually started to introduce meat, dairy and vegetables. Three weeks later I'm still having problems digesting some fruits (blueberries, strawberries, oranges) and food with a lot of butter (croissants, rich sauces etc) but I feel myself getting better every day.  

    It's been a positive experience for me (and I'm really sorry to hear about your experience Kaylesc - I hope you've now had a complete recovery). Even when I was experiencing pain after the surgery - it was a trifle compared to the pain of having a gallstone attack. 

    Tips I would give to those awaiting the surgery: 

    - Take a good book, slippers and eye mask into the hospital.

    - Stock up on plain high-fibre foods before the surgery.

    - My partner was able to work from home the 2 days following the surgery - this was particularly helpful as I was too drowsy to make meals. If someone can't stay at home with you I'd reccomend making 1-2 days meals in advance. 

    - Have a hot water bottle handy - I found it helped with the ache in my shoulders.

    - Have an upbeat TV series waiting for you. I'm unashamed to say I powered through 4 seasons of Parks and Recreation - and it was GREAT.

    - Manage friends expectations that you won't be immediately available to speak over the phone or have people around for 3-4 days. I'd reccomend having a point of contact who can update friends and extended family. 

    - It's easy to say now but try not to worry too much about the surgery and aneasethetic. I spent hours trying to find out how many people had died every year from the procedure/ what the alternatives to surgery were/ what would be the last words I said to my partner and family etc. All very dramatic in retrospect! It's a huge relief not to worry about my gallbladder anymore and I wish the best of luck to anyone awaiting the surgery. 

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