My Gallbladder/Gallstones story – 5 days post-Op

Posted , 5 users are following.

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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6 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Julie just take it easy try to eat little and often to avoid pain I'm one of the unlucky ones unfortunately I hope your feeling better soon
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  • Posted

    Glad the operation went ok for you and that you are doing well. Strange that you mention about hunger pangs as I having been having these for a few months. I can have my breakfast then an hour later I am really hungry and if I don't eat I will feel dizzy and sick most of the day.

    I also don;t have much pain but am experiencing more symptons than I was last year so time will tell.

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    • Posted

      That's similar to what I was experience. I guess it's due to the GB malfunctioning. I had rice cakes stashed in most of my handbags so that i could get something in my belly when i was out and about to give me some relief.
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  • Posted

    Thank you for sharing, as a preop person, it is good to know the ups and downs that can occur, unfortunately so many post horrific after effects while (hopefully) the ones who recover well do not post again, so we don't have a true view. I've had somewhat atypical symptoms and posted on here a few times now, so won't go into those, sought a second opinion, had several cancellations of surgeries by the hospital, changed my mind a dozen times, read for hours of research, changed diet, spent a fortune on remedies (some giving improvement, some not).

    I have been one of those living on liquids mostly - now just being able to tolerate some real foods after 7 months!

    I hope you are one of the lucky ones and all goes well - many doctors say you can eat normally after removal - I'm not convinced of that since our systems were not normal prior to surgery and certainly won't be a long time after - the surgeon I saw recommends eating as you did prior to surgery for a while and gradually reintroducing other foods as your gut bacteria need to readjust, as well as your liver, or you can end up with new gut problems.

    Some say they are back to the gym and working within days, others are munching on fast food right after the op, we are all different.

    I'm hoping I am doing the right thing - let us all know how you progress and good luck!

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    • Posted

      I'm not planning on going back to eating all the same rubbish i did before i got gallstones, although i will be indulging in some food like pizza which I've not had for many many months. I've lost over 20lbs since Nov & i want to continue.

      I was eating toast very soon after surgery and during my stay on the ward I had the likes of lasagna, crumble & custard, albeit small portions. I agree with what your surgeon says about gradually reintroducing foods, it makes sense that the body needs to re-adjust to having no GB. My bowels haven't been normal for the past few days due to the meds, but getting some movements now TMI I know 😅 but i expect it to get a bit worse before it gets better.

      I'm sorry that you've been having such a ard time of it. Don't know if I'd have coped too well. Hopefully, things will turnaround for you soon.

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    • Posted

      Hi, Juliebullie, glad to know that you've had it out and are now looking forward to recovery.  As for myself, I am glad to live in a day and age when it's possible to remove a diseased organ surgically!  Best of luck to you!
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