Itching and poor health after gallbladder surgery

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i feel like my quality of life is at 10% remaining... im a 26 year old female with two beautiful babies and im scared i wont be around like i thought i would... ok enough being depressed.. so basically i had my very needed gallbladder removed this past may 2019 and its august 2019 now so it hasn't been that long, but its been the hardest 3 months of my life. Ive had that same right side pain since the surgery !!! but when i go to get it checked out they say i just have high liver enzymes and it will correct itself.. yea i just try to ignore the pain like its all in my head ...but this past weekend ive developed intense itching all over my body starting at my feet and extreme fatigue to the point where i feel like I'm dying or something ... also kinda weird but extreme dry mouth and bad breath... i did not have that problem before surgery so it has to be connected somehow... and i mean extreme dry mouth its terrible and I'm just wondering if there's anybody who's dealt with this??

0 likes, 15 replies

15 Replies

  • Posted

    hi, i had my gall bladder out 11 months ago- 4 months after felt as though i was starting to feel better but by MARCH startibg to feel worse- painful stomach after eating and during g night, exhausted, dry skin and mouth abd horrible taste. i have had myself referred back to a private consultant and ge had guided my NhS Gp how to proceed - now waiting pancreas ultrasound scan and canera down throat again. i cut out all acidic fruit, onions tomatoes and garlic and also as much gluten as i can. fatty foids i can eat no problem. do you have twins ( i do abd lost a lot of weight after having them - i think this caused my 5 cm gallstone 12 years ago to start forming) i would see a different doctor. i also still take RANITIDINE to line stonach and AMITRIPTYLINE at night. keep pushing fir a 2nd opinion- good luck xx

  • Posted

    HI amanda. I am so sorry you are dealing with this. i am a nurse and it sounds like there is definitely something going on with your liver. who checked your liver enzymes? if i were you....i would make an appointment asap to see an internal medicine doctor or your GP and explain whats going on. Something is making your liver struggle to work (the itching) Your liver is not being able to eliminate the toxins from your body...which is its main function. I don't know what condition your gall bladder was in. There are a few different reasons for having it removed. It makes me think the liver was damaged somehow during surgery or maybe one of the tubes that drain the bile is a stone or something? i would be asking for a CT SCAN and if that doesn't show anything, an exploratory lap done bu a different surgeon. You are right. This is not normal post gallbladder removal! Please keep us updated.

  • Posted

    Not normal at all. Please go to the hospital or get with your doctor immediately. Sounds like you may have a remaining stone in the common bile duct.

  • Posted

    sorry you're dealing with all of this, as someone else who has gone through exactly what you're going through it's not impossible to get through.

    if you're dealing with depression it's best to get that under control while you're healing as it can slow down healing.

    i had complications after my removal where there was residual sludge after my removal which was making me sick. they did a ercp on me about 2 weeks after my surgery which is done with a tube down the throat and can cause Sphincter of oddi dysfunction so they will suggest you wait and see if you can pass it

    water and plenty of fresh food especially apples for nausea and fresh fish for plenty of calories (i had a lot of sushi while healing) help you heal faster. The itching is something i also had and the only thing that helped was antihistamines and a warm shower (absolutely not hot) but once your liver is better the itching will stop! if you ever feel extreme anxiety and start panicking it is always better to see a doctor that will listen to your fears and explain to you exactly what you're going through instead of blowing you off.

    After surgery is such a worrisome time especially with kids i can imagine... keep yourself well fed and hydrated and keep your depression and anxiety in check in healthy ways and don't worry it doesn't last forever!

  • Posted

    HI Amanda i had my gall bladder removed 12 of june since then i also have had a bad time of it Nausea bowel probs constipation ! no energy feeling really down now i went back to see surgeon he said i looked well haha and that he would refer me to see if i had a stomach ulcer because have terrible pain not just under the gall bladder site but also under the left side too! not heard anything yet looks like i am going to have to chase that up myself i live in England the NHS IS VERY STRECHED ! I really do not know how you are coping with young children to look after i really feel for you the itching usually due to high liver enzymes ive had that too nothing was done i was told to put cream on Mmmm ! also a very dry mouth too although i am drinking loads of water they say it takes time for your liver to take over the duty of your gall bladder some people take more time than others ! i have watched my diet i have also lost a lot if weight i am very thin now so thats very worrying .keep us informed of your progress .try not to worry to much .

  • Edited

    HI i just got my gallbladder removed on OCT AND 2 months after i have this itchiness all over my body i want to know how long did your itching last and if they have tell u anything so far i got my liver panel done and everything was normal but i still have the itching

    • Edited

      Hi Kathy,

      I am curious, did you find a resolution to your itching problem? Make sure to tell your doctor that this sort of pruritus is NOT caused by bilirubin which is what most docs will still be (mistakenly) checking for. For many years the belief was that bilirubin was the culprit and it is NOT. While bile salts do play a role in the underlying chemistry of cholestatic pruritus, they are not its cause as was once believed.

      There are drugs which can help (ask here if your interested), but in your case the best move is to find the exact cause of the itch. A slight bile leak? Abdominal adhesion pinching a duct? An intrahepatic blockage? Please let me know how you made out. thank


    • Posted

      Hi Ray,

      Hopefully you are still checking this site.

      I am writing for my sister. She had her gall bladder removed on 3/30. She felt mostly good after the surgery. She has an allergy to sutures and told the surgeon this, but he had to use sutures to stitch her up on the inside. The incisions got infected....they are still healing and the sutures are still making their way out of the incisions.

      About a month ago, she started with the itching - hands and feet. Her primary doc checked her bilirubin which was normal. Now she is starting to get hives on one leg. She has been managing all of this with zyrtec. Her bowel movements are mostly normal, except when she overdoes it with fat. She is not jaundiced. Other than the itching, she is fine.

      If you have any suggestions, they would be greatly appreciated.


    • Posted

      stacey0525 - your sister and I are going through the same thing. My removal was April 8. I didn't have the issue with sutures, but I'm highly allergic to any kind of adhesive.

      Three weeks ago, rash on hands and feet. One round of Prednisone and it went away, but came back exactly a week later, which is where I'm at now. I'm back on Prednisone! My bowels are fine other than occasionally when I eat fatty. No jaundice. But lots of rash and bumps and extreme itch! I feel for her!

    • Posted

      Hi Jennifer! My sis is also allergic to adhesive. But her primary was pretty certain that her incision discomfort was related to whatever he stitched the muscle with. There was no way around having to use something, it just would have been helpful if he told her he did use something internally. She still has the intermittent itchy hands and feet. This week, she got the hives on her arm. She takes a half of a zyrtec and is good for 2-3 days before it starts. Did the doc say anything about it being related to your liver? You can't go on like this forever - being on and off prednisone. Please keep me posted and I will let you know how her journey progresses.

  • Edited

    I realize that this is an old post and that you (hopefully) have resolved the issue but I think that it is important to post an answer/warning here in the event that someone else has a similar problem. Amanda, it sounds as if you could be experiencing a bile leak following your surgery. This can potentially be a dangerous condition so get to a hospital and ask for an ultrasound or a CT scan to confirm asap. If it is a 'slower' bile leak you may require a needle aspiration of the abdominal cavity to check for the presence of bile in the peritoneal cavity.

    The elevated liver enzymes are troubling. I am more than a little surprised that someone told you to wait it out. wow.

    You need a CT scan or at least an ultrasound ASAP!

  • Posted

    I don't know if anyone is still in this forum. But I seriously need an opinion. I had Choleostasis while pregnant, I had my baby almost 14 weeks ago. After I gave birth, I continued having "gas pains" as they called them while pregnant only to discover I had gallstones and slush in my gallbladder in one of my trips to the ER. I started itchying just like when I had Choleostasis and they eventually removed my gallbladder on August 26th, 2021. Two days post surgery and itchiness started again. It comes out of nowhere and it's all over my body and I can't help but scratch because it is so intense. I am itchy all over neck, calfs, thighs, buttocks, back, arms, sometimes my head and it is even more intense at night. I went to get a physical at the beginning of September and mentioned this and the doctor just said I had to give time to my body to regulate itself after the gallbladder removal. I also had my postop appointment with my surgeon last Monday and he literally said "oh, I don't know about that itchiness, just give your body time to settle." They keep brushing it off and I know it's not normal. I am taking antihistamines but they don't even work too much. I am writing this as my lower body itches so so much that I can't sleep. I just want to see if there is anything that made it better for anyone that had this and what to do because I am miserable right now.

  • Posted

    Hello Amanda, I had my gallbladder removed in January 2020 and I have been enduring the intense itching also. Sometimes it awakens me from my sleep at night. It's usually my head that's doing the itching then my itch receptors send a message throughout my body. This is a miserable feeling. I will be speaking with my PCP this week about this and maybe I can provide whatever I find out. Please know that you're not alone and that we need to all help one another.

  • Edited

    I had my gallbladder removed about 3 weeks ago and about 1 week after surgery i started to itch. The itch is started off being worse on my hands and feet but i am itching all over. I thought i got poison ivy but there wasn't a rash. I have started to get welps in the itchy spots or any time i scratch. My skin seems super sensitive to any kind of stimulation. If i grip something with my hands they itch like crazy. My surgeon kinda blew me off and said she thought it would sort itself out and my body was adjusting so i went to my primary doctor. My primary doctor did a full work up on my blood to my thyroid, my liver, for infection, and everything else. My blood work came up clear except something with my cholesterol but my urine came back with red flags. The bilirubin was 1+, and there was trace of keytones and of protein, I'm not sure what this all means. I do think its weird that my blood work was fine but i got this in my urine. I see my doctor tomorrow to go over the results and get her opinion but i wanted to post my results incase someone else is going thru this.




  • Posted

    Amanda I'm texting you to see what help you get with your itching post gull bladder removal.

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