in a dilemma about having the GB operation

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I have been diagnosed for 3 weeks now to have my GB removed. And in August I go on my holiday. I don't know when I am having the operation although I mentioned it to the doctor at the hospital. He said if I get a date to have it removed and I'm away then I can change the date. But I'm thinking what if I get the date weeks before the holiday? Shall I have it done? Holiday is 17:8/16. Will I be ok? Will I look swollen as I know they pump air into your tummy. My travel insurance premium is £4OO and that is travelling to Spain for 2 weeks. My luck though. My partner wants me to have the operation before we go away. I feel ok otherwise. Taking my medication and I'm eating properly. Very healthy in fact .

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  • Posted

    Hi amanda .

                          i had my gallbladder removed 3 months ago after waiting 6 months on the waiting list .i had a holiday booked for may but had to cancel it because insurance wouldent cover me whilst i was on a list to have operation . anyway after having op i asked the surgeon how soon would i be able to go on holiday he said at least 3 weeks  so i went away after 4 weeks and i was fine and so glad i had the gallbladder removed . so  i think you will be cutting it a bit fine unless you are going to get op done in the next week . just make sure your insurance are going to cover you  though  all the best linda

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply nana. I've found an insurance that will cover me. But not for a cancellation. I will loose too much if it's cancelled. this holiday was book after the Christmas .

      Mandy x

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  • Posted

    Hi Amanda I've been on the waiting list for 10 weeks now which is no time compared to some people. I asked recently just to give me some idea of how long the waiting list is and got no help at all. I like you feel ok at the moment unless i eat the wrong thing. I don't k know but if you do get a date quite soon you'll be one of the lucky ones. Best of luck. Enjoy your holiday.

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  • Posted

    I was waiting for my op and was due to go to Seville when the day before I was rushed into hospital . I had to cancel the holiday but to be honest I was so ill , I was just glad to be in hospital . Do think about what you would do if you've not had the op and go on holiday and then get ill . Make sure you take plenty pain medication and your E111 card . 

    I had my op late April last year , I had some post op complications and had to be readmitted , but I still went to Majorca 2& a half weeks post op . 3 weeks would have been better , but I managed and was fine towards the end of the holiday . But everybody recovers at different rates .

    hope some of that helps .

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  • Posted

    Given your relatively recent diagnosis and the delays in the UK health system I think it is unlikely you will be notified of a date prior to your holiday, but there is an NHS regional factor in this.

    Your recovery time and speed depends on the type of surgery you receive.  If it is laparascopic and there are no complications then this can be around 3 – 4 weeks.  However, the surgeon often has to convert to the more conventional style surgery once they have commenced the op.  They can’t tell until they are in there, so to speak.  The recovery time for conventional surgery is longer.

    If you are holidaying in Spain and your GB problem requires surgery, do not be afraid to opt for it there.  They generally have excellent facilities and you will be dealt with immediately rather than fobbed off with antibiotics as in the UK.  If you are covered then use your travel insurance as Spain has a two tier system and the private facilities tend to be better.  Take your E111 just in case, however.

    The main problem is that GB stones can suddenly and without warning pop into the bile duct. Particularly after a fatty meal.   This can result in excruciating pain, fever, infection and jaundice if not dealt with immediately.

    The chances are you can enjoy your holiday without problems, but with a problematic GB it is nevertheless a chance.

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    • Posted

      Hi Mandy

      It is highly likely you will be able to complete your holiday even before you get a date for your surgery!

      When on holiday it would be advisable if you do not want the potential disruption, to take some precautions re your GB whilst you are in Spain.  As you will know your GB is just a store for bile that is produced by the liver.  It contracts and squirts bile into your small intestine in proportion to the demand triggered by the quantity of fatty substances you have eaten.  You therefore don’t want to overly stimulate your GB by throwing caution to the wind and eating too much of the foods that would do this.  I know we all like to slacken our waste band whilst on holiday because food and eating out is part of the holiday experience.  However, I would advise a low fat diet as a precaution, and Google what food and drink stimulates the GB, because you want to avoid these.

      Consider that if you did have your GB surgery prior to your holiday, you would have to follow this regime for a few weeks anyway.

      I would reiterate that if your GB does flare up whilst on holiday in Spain, seriously consider having the op there.  If your holiday insurance covers it a private clinic would be only too happy to complete the surgery.  To be on the safe side, do your research on how good the hospital facilities are in your holiday area just in case.  Talk to expats at the beginning of your holiday.  They will tell you how good or bad the local health services are.

      I mention the foregoing because I really had to push to have my GB surgery in the UK.  The NHS kept me waiting for 8 months!  I was admitted to A&E twice in severe pain.  The second time was an emergency admission by ambulance.  I was still sent home with a course of strong antibiotics even after having jaundice.  On that second occasion a guy was admitted in a great deal of pain with his GB.  He had just flown back from Benidorm.  His GB problem flared up virtually at the end of his holiday.  The Spanish hospital doctor wanted to operate on the day of his admission, but he still had this outdated opinion of Spanish hospitals IMHO, and declined, preferring to wait until he got home.  Whilst in the ward I informed him that I was about to be discharged with a box of antibiotics again, despite my fairly serious situation.  I said the same thing will likely happen to you, and I was correct.  He left the hospital in pain and muttering about going private!

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  • Posted

    Hi Amanda, if you can tolerate the pain I would go, but one thing that has helped my older daughter our tremendously is having her GI doctor put her on a "Non Fat" diet. No oils of any kind. Stay away from everything that is fried and try to eat things that are low in fat. I would think as long as you watch what your eating very carefully you would be alright. Her doctor also out her on a medication/enzyme  called, "Creon." Since your gallballder has enzymes to help break down the foods, without it that puts more strain on your pancreas. That's what she is dealing with now. It's been 3 years almost exactly since her GB surgery and she has NEVER watched what she has eaten. Now her pancreas is what the doctor feels is causing her such intense pain. But since she has been careful about eating only non fat and no oils, the pain has been reduced by a ton!!.... Enjoy your trip to Spain!! 

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