Pain 5 weeks after gallbladder surgery, despite feeling normal weeks 1-4

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Hi there, I had gallbladder surgery 5 weeks ago and was able to bounce right back to eating normally, feeling great and no pain (other than taking it easy with exercising, lifting, etc.) then suddenly this week I feel like I did before having the surgery: waking up during the night with pain in my upper right abdomen, feeling it even now during the day. It is a burning/gnawing pain, not a sharp one, and it isn't there consistently. I can't tell what it causing it. I am taking omeprazole daily. Any ideas or similar experiences out there?

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  • Posted

    hello, what foods are you eating? I hope fat free for now? Its all about what you ingest. Us without galls need to be careful what we eat. I will warn you not to eat fats for now. Also, do not eat fried foods and no spicy at all. If you do this and eat healthy you will be pain free. Believe me from experience. I'm curious what you were indulging in??

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    • Posted

      For about 2 years after removal. The key is slowly introduce your system to fats. Do not jump into eating fats again. Just because you feel better. That was my downfall. Had a stone stuck in common bile duct. Had a second surgery to remove it. Not a nice experience I must say! Because I ate fats after surgery thought I was good. Surprise got sick. So I have learned from my experience what my body can tolerate. Its no fun being sick!

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  • Posted

    hi Emily,

    I had my gallbladder removed 7 weeks ago and like you recovered very well. At the 3 week post op stage I did experience some tugging type sensations around the incisions. This passed after a couple of days.

    At around 5 weeks post op, I experienced the tugging sensations again, but they felt a little deeper and slightly sharper - after 3 days they disappeared and all went back to normal. I suspect that it was part of the healing process. Whilst the incisions externally look well healed, we need to bear in mind that lots of internal healing is taking place too. When you look and feel well on the outside, it is easy to forget the toll surgery has taken internally. I think the sensations I was experiencing around the 5 week mark had something to do with the nerves regenerating after the surgery. The areas around my incisions did initially feel numb for the first few weeks, but now all feels normal.

    I would give it a couple more days to see if it settles, but if it does not, or gets worse in the meantime, get some medical advice.

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  • Posted

    Hi Emily

    The 5th week is when things started to go south for me as well.

    Several people on this forum are encouraging me to keep a food diary. I know they are correct. You probably would benefit from doing that as well.

    I will be going for a second scan next week. The first was a general abdominal one that didn't show much. But it was by blood tests that the surgeon said she sees something is amiss and has ordered another scan, this one an MRI specifically of the liver/pancreas, duct area.

    So those two things - a food diary and at the very least have your doc at least order blood tests if not a scan of the area. Why wait?

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  • Posted

    The advice I was given by my surgeon was to just eat a healthy, balanced diet which includes some fats. Additionally, I was told that smaller meals in the first few weeks was advisable.

    Fortunately, so far, I have been able to tolerate all food well by following a balanced diet. Naturally, I find myself wanting to eat a lot more fruit and vegetables, and more fish rather than meat. During my gallbladder removal surgery my ducts were also checked for retained stones. I am aware of people having issues post op because of stones which have been missed and are retained in the duct.

    Whilst I absolutely agree that it is not a good thing, post gallbladder removal, to fill up on high fat content foods, the same is true for people who still have their gallbladders. Too much fatty food can contribute to a whole host of health issues, but so too can having too little fat in your diet.

    They key is to eat 'good' fats (unsaturated) in moderation and to avoid the 'bad' fats (saturated and trans). Keeping a food diary is a good idea for those who suspect their issues post surgery could be linked to diet, and can help identify foods which have become difficult to tolerate.

    Personally, I would be wary of excluding, or severely restricting, any food type group, unless on express medical advice, for fear of creating a deficiency and health issues in other parts of my body.

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