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I have posted once or twice on here & I have found the site very helpful and interesting reading. Now that I have had my surgery I thought I would post to give my input. I am only 5 days post-op so I know there is still a bit of recovery to come.
I am woman in my early 30s and full disclosure very unhealthy, drink too much and eat too much. Not necessarily bad stuff like fast food & takeaways, just too much stuff. In Oct/Nov last year I had about 5 attacks in 4 weeks; attacks lasted about 5-6 hours at a time. I did try to watch what I was eating and stick to low fat foods, but everything seemed to cause pain. A simple ham sandwich had me doubled up in pain for hours. I guess my gallbladder was just so irritated and inflamed. An ultrasound and a meeting with my surgeon confirmed the presence of stones and a thickened wall. The surgeon said that it would be best to take the gallbladder out as I would likely continue to have problems with it. I felt the same.
Now I know everyone’s different and entitled to their opinion. I have read many suggestions from people about doing cleanses, using holistic methods and such to avoid the removal of the gallbladder. I have also read about people who have unfortunately had bad complications and are suffering after gallbladder removal. I feel for these people; hell, I may be one of these people, time will tell. However, my opinion is that my gallbladder was a diseased organ, not functioning as it should. I didn’t want it to stay in my body where it could cause serious issues for the likes of my pancreas and liver. Plus living with it makes you pretty miserable.
I should point out that I have been one of the lucky ones in terms of pain during this whole saga. Discounting the initial attacks I have not have any that have caused such severe pain. Don’t get me wrong I had almost daily discomfort to varying degrees. I was also able to eat a relatively normal diet, all be it avoiding very high fat foods. I know that some of you are/were living on the likes of broth and rabbit food. I didn’t always abstain from the bad food & drink but believe me I paid for it with the dreaded pain and discomfort.
Throughout this time I noticed 2 things I’m not sure were related to the GB but just to mention them incase others are having the same. I seemed to get really bad hunger pangs which I never had before; almost similar to the discomfort of eating bad foods – very strange. Also, even on days where I’d eaten healthily the pain in my gallbladder-region almost felt like a muscular pain and would hurt if I’d say gone over pothole or jarred the right hand side of my body.
So after being postponed for a few weeks, I had my GB removed on Thursday morning. As much as I was concerned about complications I was somewhat looking forward to it, to getting the damn thing out. One of my main fears was that although I have been scheduled for keyhole that a complication would mean that they would have to revert to open surgery.
Thankfully I needn’t have worried. They took me down to the pre-surgery waiting area about 9am and I was back on the ward by 11am. The Surgeon said that there was a very large stone and there was no question of the GB having to come out. I did have to have 2 drains put in as it was a ‘bit of a mess’ in there according my surgeon so they wanted to allow any bile to drain out. This meant that I had to stay in hospital a few days. Those drains were agony though. If I lay or sat still then it wasn’t too painful but getting out of bed and moving around was terrible, I was in tears by Saturday. Once they came out I felt so much better.
I was discharged on Saturday afternoon when the drains were removed and I must say I am not feeling too bad. I have been sleeping a lot and generally taking it easy. I’m just having the odd twinges of pain when I move certain ways. I’m not taking a lot of pain relief. I probably got over the worst during those days in hospital. There are bouts of dizziness & nausea but that’s to be expected.
As I said, it’s still early days. I’m not expecting my continued recovery to be plain-sailing. I am anticipating some digestive problems/changes etc like others have mentioned but overall at this moment, I’ve had no regrets to the surgery. So that’s my 2 pence worth, I will update more as time goes, in the hope that it will be of some use to others going through the same.
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