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I had open surgery five and a half weeks ago. Was supposed to be keyhole but I had to convert to open as I had an empyema (pus in gallbladder) and one huge gallstone completely blocking the cystic bile duct. Surgery was quite tricky and I was not in a good way afterwards as opiate based painkillers have little effect on me. This resulted in being sedated with ketamine in addition to being on two drips (antibiotics and morphine), on oxygen and also catheterised in the High Dependency Unit.
I stayed in hospital for five days during which time I had an ultrasound on my liver as LFTs were astronomically high but nothing showed except a large blood clot at surgery site.
I have definitely improved over the last few weeks but still rather uncomfortable and achy all over right of abdomen and lower back. Areas are sore to touch, even above the aborted keyhole incision in my belly button.
My LFTs are still sky high (I had another ultrasound to check for blocked bile duct but thankfully nothing showed up but there are still large, residual blood clots on my liver) and both my GP and consultant are happy liver is improving (but obviously inflamed).
Anyway, my question is....if anyone else has had open surgery (and the nurse who did my bloods last week hadn't seen an open scar for a long time!), how long did it take to fully recover? I'm supposed to be back at work this week after six weeks off but still not sure if I'm up to it. The nature of my job means I REALLY need to go back soon. I'm not sure if I should be 100% pain free first or not. I think I will ask my GPs opinion next week but would be really interested in any other people's experiences of open surgery as a vast majority of posts (and people I have spoken to) refer to keyhole.
I'm still a bit freaked out that I had an empyema which can have a quite high mortality rate. I have been completely asymptomatic apart from one bout of cholecystitis last year. How I go away with that given the size of the gallstone (about 5cm), I do not know!
Many thanks for any responses.
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