Laparoscopic gallbladder removal post-op pain questions

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Hello, I will try to give a brief backstory to my current situation in hopes that someone can offer advice. I am a 22 year old female with no other known health issues(besides being overweight). I've been dealing with gallstones for about a year, with the painful attacks getting more and more frequent until I finally ended up in the ER 6 days ago. They gave me an ultrasound and blood test to determine I had gallstones as well as high liver enzymes. The dr I saw in the ER admitted me to the hospital with the recommendation to laparoscopically have my gallbladder removed. I was nervous but also slightly relieved because I hoped this would end my pain.

I had the gallbladder removed 4 days ago without much incident according to surgeon, but I couldn't be released because my dr was concerned about my elevated liver enzymes and bilirubin following the surgery. They monitored me for a day and the levels slightly increased so dr suspected that something may be blocking my bile duct. My dr scheduled me for an abdominal MRI (which I don't believe showed anything other than an inflamed bile duct) and then an ERCP(which would allow a GI dr to examine the ducts).

My pain during this time was very severe, at times like a hot burning pain right in the middle of my abdomen when I tried to move or walk. I had absolutely no appetite and was extremely nauseous, even throwing up liquids a few times. I had a bad feeling that this pain was not normal and I was hoping the ERCP would give some answers to my pain and high liver enzymes and bilirubin. I met the GI dr before the procedure and knew right away that he would not be helpful with answering my questions as he had dreadful interpersonal skills and often answered me in indirect and vague ways. But I thought, 'well, as long as he can do his job properly, who cares'. I was scared and in pain and wanted answers.

Fast forward to 2 days ago, and my ERCP had been preformed and I was told that they flushed out my bile duct and that there "may have" been a very small stone in there (like I said, GI dr was awful at explaining things). A few hours after the surgery and I felt better than I had in days, and my blood test later that day showed my bilirubin had gone down so I was feeling ecstatic. I still had soreness and some minor pain in my upper abdomen from the surgery but it was nothing compared to what I had been feeling.

Yesterday I was released from the hospital and felt fine in the morning, but right as I was waiting to be wheeled out I began feeling a severe pain in my upper right abdomen that hurt more when I took deep breaths. I went home anyway, hoping it was just gas pain that would pass soon. Pretty much my whole first day home I suffered with that severe pain that started around my right/middle ribcage and radiated around to my upper back. It felt suspiciously like a gallbladder attack, and after searching around online I found that so many people still experienced gallstone-like pain after getting their gallbladders removed. My severe pain returned today after I ate a small amount of turkey, baby carrots, and plain hummus(I've had little to no appetite since coming home) and now my anxiety has spiked and I'm worried that I will never get rid of this pain! Every forum I've looked at describes people suffering through this for months or years after their surgery and I'm terrified that I won't be able to return to my normal life. (It is worth noting that I have had no fever and only mild pain around incision sites.)

I am hesitant about going back to the dr so soon, as my medical bill is already astronomical after such long stay in the hospital and all the tests. So my question is, has anyone else experienced anything like this? I just really want to know if anyone has gone through this pain post-op and made a full recovery without painful episodes? I just want to know that an end to this is in site; the thought of dealing with this type of pain chronically for years to come is really stressing me out. Everyone said this was supossed to be a simple procedure that is easy to heal from but now I am filled with so much doubt. Even right now as I take deep breaths I feel pain in my upper back and right side...HELP!

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  • Posted

    im afraid im not going to be much good to you but im just so upset that no one has replied to you. i was on the edge of my seat reading your story. as although i'v not had my gallbladder removed yet i can identify with the pain your in,iv had the hot burning pain round my back and around my upper right quadrant, and still slightly have it. and i know that when my LFT were elevated the white blood cell count was high and i had an infection. this was the first time i found out i had gall stones. i was in agony and could not walk from my bedroom to my living room for two days i lay in bed in agony.about 4 days after taking the anti biotics my pain left me and my LFT was going back to normal.iv read about a lot of peole expriencing pain after the removal and the pain of the gas. i'v read a lot of stories on this site. i think you should do the same. the very fact that you have an appetitie is a really good sign. its terrible that you have had it so hard. my gp. has had her gall bladder removed and she says she feels better and i met a woman the other day right out of the blue if was very bad temepred towards her in the supermarket and i had to apologise as it was my fault because of the pain im in and i told her about my gall bladder and she told me she had had hers out and felt fine. so there are people who are better after this operation. so dont give up hope and try not to worry. the area where the gall bladder is has like mine been diseased for a long time before the symptoms show up and the part of the body that holds all our muscles in is very weak now also and i even got a herina because i stretched to much. so take it very very easy and do not exert your self. even if you fill you kettle use a cut and fill the kettle that way. lift nothing heavier than a cup of tea as you need to let the wounds recover and its also great that you have no pain where the op was perfomed. eat tiny amounts of food at a time, and try and stick with the positive that you have an appetite. and are not sore round the operation cuts.iv heard people talk about the pain with that gas that can take 2 weeks to recover from. i just know that you will get help with more experienced people who have had there gall bladder out as this is a very caring community and they will all be here to help you with thier own knowlegd. this has been a god send to me this site. and the help and suport iv recieved has helped me. i am watching this discussion kjorgs and you will surely be better than you were before you had the operation. nothing is worse than pain. im on very strong pain killers. and telling people to have a good week end and its a monday. but my pain is better so i must take them. you may need to get pain killers to aid you. i wish you the very best. i pray that someone will be along soon to give you more hope and advice. god bless you dearr kjorgs.🙏🌹
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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for your message, it is good to know that I'm not alone in this and I truly appreciate the well wishes. I am hoping to get even more advice to cope with this but every reply from someone that has experienced something similar comforts and informs me 💗
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  • Posted

    Hi So sorry you have had such a rough time. One thing I would say is bevery careful what youe at now for a few weeks. It took me several weeks before I could manage meat. I lived on very light things like scrambled egss on toast soup and oirridge for the first few weeks. your body has to learn to work without your gallbladder. I am at nearly four months and am eating more or less normally now but I found in the beginning I got the pain round the back and shoulder blade and awful bile reflux if I ate too much indigestable things so go careful for now. You will get there in the end but take baby steps. I wish you all the best

     

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    • Posted

      Early this morning I vomited up some bile and felt some relief from my stomach pains, and after reading your comment I think it might have been because I didn't stick to bland foods. Has the pain in your abdomen and back pretty much subsided at 4 months in? Thank you so much for your reply, it is good to know how I might ease this discomfort.
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    • Posted

      Yes the whole eating thing is much better although i dont think id be quite ready for a big steak yet but then I have other stomach/bowel issues seperate to the GB which i am awaiting to see the gastro dr. Ive taken the food and eating  very slowly and its paid off as my bile problem I had has really settled nicely now. I am eating fats although im still sticking to lowish fat as i want to continue loosing the weight but fat doesnt seem to bother me.I no longer get the GB pain that  went soon after the op. I had pain in my back/right side  for quite a while and it hurt to move my arm out I felt like i wanted to protect  my side all the time but that has now gone after about 2 months.I found doing things with my arm aggrivated it so hoovering was out smile A lot of people I have spoken to say that it takes 12 weeks before you really feel back to normal and I certainly felt by 12 weeks that I was well on my way back to "Normal". Its a big thing for the body to get accustom to so take baby steps and you will get there smile
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  • Posted

    I'm so sorry you are having such a rough time.  I had my gb removed in April last.  I still have good and bad days.  So far, I've realised, you have to be really careful with your diet.  Although I'm vegetarian, I don't think I would have eaten meat so shortly after the op.   I still get the pain when I breathe in, though I'm getting used to that part, what I don't like is the pain I get in my upper right back which, for me, takes most of my energy.  I went back to my gp and she sent me for a further scan, which proved negative.  The lady who did my scan told me that she sees so many people who've had their gb removed with similar problems.  So far, I haven't been back to my gp.  I find sitting with a really hot water bottle on my back helps to a degree.  My gripe is why are we not given more info before the op.  Our body obviously needs a gallbladder.  A few minutes before my op I was told I would probably always need to take immodium because of diahorea ... that piece of info proved correct.   Please be mindful of your diet: I know its incredibly boring, but it is worth it not to go through the awful pain.   Sending you healing wishes.
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    • Posted

      Yes I think my diet yesterday contributed to my pain as I vomited bike early this morning and felt some relief. The back pain is awful! I'm so sorry you haven't found any way to ease yours. I'm hoping that if I drastically adjust my diet I will find some relief of my symptoms. It's been hard because, as you said, the doctors don't tell us anything about this! They act like it is such a basic procedure, but now I am beginning to regret having it done at all...
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    • Posted

      I do sometimes regret the op but when I remember the incredibly painful episodes I had prior to, on balance I think I made the right decision.   Also I have found if I don't drink enough I get a niggling pain where my gb was; I still drink cloudy apply juice as I did before the op.  Sending you best wishes.
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  • Posted

    hi kjorgs and im glad to hear see that you are getting lost of responsed. not everyone is the same. why dont you type in a differnet question like has anyone had a success since gallbladder removal. you may not get many answers on that one but not every single person who has there gall bladder removed is suffering endlessly. i'v met as i said my  gp and a woman in the supermarket. the ones who had had success are probably not on here, i'v read stories about people feeling so much better after the removal still not 100% but better than they were. there shoud be a selection of questions that you can click on somewhere and read them. get as much information as you can and dont just take in the negative stuff. most of the people who have replied are at about the 4 month stage. so please dont loose hope i still have to go through this and i have nothing to loose as im in so much pain and have been for months that im sure it could not be any worse. although as i  have said pain killers have helped. there is a lot of support and remeber about your diet little meals and take it easy are the most important thing i would say for you to remember at the moment dont lift anything heavier than a cup. keep your chin up and you may need some pain relief you have just had an organ removed and will be all sore with that gas.all the best i was so pleased to see support for you as i was thinking about you.its because im on my own i have so much time to think about otheres and i sleep a lot have hardly been out the house in months. i pay someone to shop and clean. take good care. still thinking about you. 🙏❤️🌺
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  • Posted

    I can only be honest with you here.

    I had gallstones asnd had my gallbladderr emoved at end of April.

    I am better than I was with the gallstones but still have niggling pain in right side sometimes particularly if I am stretching up to reach something (I am short).

    I had endoscopy a couple of weeks ago which revealed I have a Hiatus Hernia.

    Apparently this is quite common and lots of people just live with it.

    Take care nad keep in touch

    Sarah xxx

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    • Posted

      SARA IV NOT HAD MY GALL BLADDER OUT YET AND IV JUST GOT A HERNIA WITH STRETCHING, SO IM BEING VERY CAREFULL AS IM QUITE SMALL TO AND USED TO REACH UP TO GET THINGS OUT CUPBOARD, NOT IM STANDING ON A CHAIR. THE AREA WHERE MY GALL BLADDER IS, IS SO DISEASED I THINK ITS ROTTING AWAY AND WILL TAKE TIME TO HEA.L THATS WHAT MY DOCTOR SAID ONLY SHE USED MEDICAL WORDS THAT MEAN THE SAME. BUT I CANT REMEMBER THEM, SO IM BEING CAREFULL IV HAD NO PAIN KILLERS TODAY I CANT BELEIVE IT.
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  • Posted

    Hi. I had my GB out 9 days ago. I was fine for few days then on the 5 th day I was in agony just like the GB had never been removed. I even put a post up to see if others had. I'm happy to say that since that day I've been great. Only pain I have had is around my belly button where surgery was. So hopefully I'm getting there. I took note what everyone said and it does make you more worried. I wouldn't eat fatty foods but now am eating everything and I'm fine. I haven't tried a wine yet n hoping I will be able to drink for Xmas. Chin up and take every day n let's hope you too make a good recovery x
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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply! It is really helpful to hear from others who've had the surgery. How soon were you able to eat more regular food? I'm still pretty much only eating toast and oatmeal because I'm terrified of triggering that awful pain...
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    • Posted

      On that Sunday I had tried a dinner n then got the pain a few hours later so did put me off. I just started eating fish fingers at first for a few days. Then was brave n had some micro chips with a slice off bread. When pain didn't come I just ate what I wanted too. Today I had a lambs dinner n I'm fine. Even had some chocalate tonight. I think sometimes ppl worry n the pain comes. Try to be positive. Trouble is I was same read forums n thought I will be the same as them n get severe pain. Everyone is different n my partner said makes u more anxious reading about others. So think positive. Am day 9 and apart from heaviness am good now x
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    • Posted

      Yes so true! The Internet can be a scary place sometimes especially when it comes to medical problems. Glad to hear some positivity though, thanks so much for replying.
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    • Posted

      Hi kjorgs I just had my gallbladder taken out on Friday and I am in gas pain and j still have a strange pain under my right rib like must people do. I had to have a catheter on because tie to the anesthesia I could not pee, I am going to the Dr office in 1 hour to get it out and I will ask the Dr about this pains, because I worry that the pain is due to something else. Now, about what you said about successful stories let me tell you that I know many people that had the gallbladder removed and gas been doing very well for years. I also started another discussion here before I had my surgery about successful stories and there a about 17 answers, so please look for it so you can get done hope. I also typed in Google successful gallbladder a stories and many came up
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    • Posted

      Hi carolina68962, I also had very similar pain! Your doctor may want to do an ERCP like mine did to make sure there is no blockage in your duct. Don't worry this is painless procedure and you may get some relief if there happens to be a block. I had severe pain similar to a gallbladder attack days after my surgery, but after sticking to a very bland diet, no more pain! Hope you get some relief from yours soon. Best wishes.
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