Scheduled for Operation next week but now worrying if it's the right thing to do?

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Aside from my anxieties surrounding the operation such as fear of death due to complications or having to covert to open procedure. I'm worrying that I might be one of the people who suffer from long term diarrhoea afterwards.

I read how some of you are in pain everyday and have a very limited diet. Whereas though I have multiple gallstones I have 'only' had two severe attacks I.e (was admitted overnight both times and called ambulance for the first as thought it was a heart attack) the attacks lasted for hours and only IV morphine took away the pain. Day to day I eat what I want and though I get grumbles of mild pain in gb area and often lack energy. I'm not in severe pain everyday. However I due fear another attack especially as what I eat doesn't seem to effect it so I don't have control over it.

The surgeon I saw advised removal as he said in his experience once gallstones start causing pain it usually continues and puts you at higher risk of complications. He said complications from surgery including diarrhoea are rare and if I do get diarrhoea it should go after a few weeks/months.

I guess I'm after your thoughts in what you would do in my situation, and your experiences on how your surgery went.

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  • Posted

    Hi Michelle,

    I had the same fears as you believe me so I understand how you are feeling at the moment. I'd love to give you a definite answer of yes or no but unfortunately there is no way of knowing as every individual is different.

    All I can tell you is that I was terrified. I kept thinking of the worst case scenario. I cried going into the theatre and the nurses were just so lovely and I think only for them I would of ran right there and then. All you will remember is falling asleep and then waking up two hours later in recovery. It's an extremely common operation and probably the most performed operation is there. I can honestly say it went better than expected.

    However the after part has been hard. I wish I could tell you I'm so happy I got it done but because I'm experiencing bouts of diarhorria and back avideo reflux this is just not the case. Its only been two weeks since the op though and apparently some people do suffer temporarily until their body adapts to the new system.

    I was told after the op that I could follow a low fat diet and resume normal eating habits weeks later. The reality is you need to get very bland foods for the first 4 weeks and by this I mean no fried, spicy or fatty foods. Also you may suffer from acid reflux and this may mean taking a proton pump inhibitor for weeks months or for life. I am not trying to scare you but you should be aware of these possibilities.

    Everyone is different like I said so what I went through you may not. You need to weigh up all the pros and cons. You are already living in fear of setting off an attack again by eating the wrong thing. It's not a nice way to have to live, but if your doctor is sure that this is the best course of action for you to take then maybe it is. Don't be afraid to get a second opinion.

    I wish you the best and let us know how you get on.

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    • Posted

      Thank you nopishut, I'm sorry you are experiencing after effects I hope these will fade soon. I take ranitidine for acid reflux but I know this is caused by a bad diet as when I was dieting it went away.

      I'm seeing my GP tomorrow to ask about sick note and a sedative for the night before and morning of surgery I'm that scared! I'm currently suffering with health anxiety I've been signed off work as it was so bad, I've started cbt and I'm starting to feel a lot better than I was but the operation is hard to cope with.

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    • Posted

      I'm just putting in my 2 cents here I went and got scanned after I had what felt like burn on my side lasted 2 weeks. My doc basically handed me a paper and said this what you have bilary issue.

      So that was 6 monthes ago and they recommended surgery but I went to the library read as much as I could about bilary and trying to figure out what to do.

      So after reading I changed my diet I only eat chicken if cooked in a pan no grease at all - fast food is done for us all at this point rice lots of veggies low fat everything . So my pain went away then I went on a probiotic from gnc. I have to say I feel great my hall bladder is not acting up. It did once after I ate something I wasn't supposed to chocolate is out also ehh. This worked for me I have small stones showed on scan. Everyone is different but hey I would try anything it is risky surgery I don't care what doctors say.

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    • Posted

      Also another note I developed gerd acid reflux this must be related somehow
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  • Posted

    Hi Michelle I had mine removed last December. I had 1 large stone and only had the pain for about a month when I had the operation. Like you my surgeon told me once you start getting pain it's inevitable that it has to come out. I asked about side effects as had read all the horror stories online too and thought it wouldn't happen to me and was told very rare. My gallbladder was fine although my surgeon now tells me it was inflamed although I don't believe it was. I didn't have a good reaction to the operation and had the diarrhea for weeks on end and also had nausea and vomiting. I wasn't told about the diarrhea before the operation and am glad to hear your surgeon has been honest with you about it. I found out afterwards that I had a large cyst on my ovary which I now believe was causing my gallbladder pain under my ribs. I also believe this caused my nausea and vomiting too. It finally ruptured a few weeks ago and feel a lot better. I can eat most things but have been taking psyllium husk for the diarrhea for 6 months now but am hoping to get off it soon. Only 5% of people have the long term diarrhea. Most people who get side effects recover within 6-12 months. I did find a lot of people afterwards who told me they had side effects for 6 months but they settled down and they can eat and drink as normal. There are some who can't eat spicey or too much fatty food after the operation. As far as I know 80% of people feel better after gallbladder removal. Some people don't have any temporary side effects at all. My cousin had 1 stone like me and had no effects and could eat and drink what she wanted within a week of the operation. Unfortunately none of us know how our bodies will react to the organ being removed. The only regret I have is that I didn't try alternative treatment to get rid of the stone but who knows if anything would have worked. It's really an individual decision and one you need to make yourself. The only thing I will say to you is to go by your gut instinct. Mine was telling me not to go through with the operation! If your gallbladder is inflamed and you have a lot of stones there is a risk of blockages although there are many people walking around with stones that don't know they have them. Good luck and keep us posted. Take care. X
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    • Posted

      Thanks Acejohnston, I'm sorry you've had so many issues it sounds like things are getting better for you I do hope you are back to normal soon.

      My consultant didn't bring up the diarrhoea I had to ask him about the risks involved as I had read about the diarrhoea on here from yourself and a few others. He is an experienced Gi surgeon so I feel confident in his abilities but so fearful of dying or having complications and leaving or not be able to look after my 3 young children. My instinct sometimes says yes sometimes no but as I've being diagnosed with anxiety my instincts often are negative so I don't feel I can trust them.

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    • Posted

      Ah Michelle am sorry your suffering from anxiety. Is this only since you've been sick? God love you. I never experienced it before until I started vomiting after the operation. I felt I would never get better and was in and out of hospital because I couldn't stop vomiting. Was a terrible time and have great sympathy and understanding for people who have anxiety. It's a terrible feeling. I cried for months after the operation as didn't think I would ever get better and have a 4 year old son. It's a very standard operation and is one of the most common ops performed daily. Thankfully I had a brilliant gp who has seen people have the same side effects I had and they all got better and she only has 1 patient in 35 years that had the long term diarrhea. I was very disappointed in my surgeon who I know for 23 years as he kept telling me he never saw this before and even thought I had a brain tumour!! I also met a lot of people in hospital who had the op years ago and had temporary side effects but are all ok now. Remember not everyone gets side effects. Stick to low fat after the operation for a while and you should be fine. Take care and keep us posted. X
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    • Posted

      Thanks so much Acejohnston! My anxiety started after I gave birth to my 3rd last October I had pre eclampsia and was quite unwell for a while and I started to believe I wasn't ever going to get better it was one thing after another, after the pre eclampsia went I then suffered with extreme headaches constantly, then palpitations and tight chest and gallstone attacks! The anxiety was debilitating and I wouldn't wish it on anyone, I'm getting better now but worry how I will cope after the op. My husband has a week off but after that it will be school runs twice a day and my 11 month old at home so no resting when I want (as I'm sure you know) I can just imagine how awful you felt after the operation! I'm so glad you are on the up now. I also have a great gp who is very supportive it really does help.
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  • Posted

    Hi Michelle ,

    i had  mine removed due to stones stuck in the bile duct. So extremely painful. I had been to ER several times and each time they thought it was a heart attack. I could not breath the pain in my chest, ribs front and back were excruciating could not even move. Don't let it get that far along that's why they are removed..

    Long story short. I was relieved my gastrointerologist finally found the real cause of all the pain over many years of searching for what caused the pain.To tell you the truth I was fearful it was my first surgery yet at the same time I was relieved to have my gallbladder removed. Looking forward to none of the pain I suffered with for so long to be removed,and it worked it took about four weeks to get back to normal. I never suffered a dibiltating attack again. Follow the diet and you will do just fine. confused

     

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    • Posted

      Hi hopeforcure, I'm pleased you have had a positive experience! I've read about the bile duct and stones and I'm terrified of that! I know its another risk of the operation that they miss some stones and they get stuck.

      Due to my anxiety I worry a lot about aches and pains and fear they are something serious so I worry that I might feel the pain in my chest from the gas after the op and worry it is a pulmonary embolism!

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    • Posted

      Tell your doctor of all your worries and concerns. That's their job and the nurses are wonderful after the OP. they are very knowledgable and can help you with all your concerns. 

      Have you tried any anxiety meds they can help you I used to constantly ruminate over and over. Some anxiety drugs help block the seritonon levels or adrenalin levels hat can be higher in many who have anxiety .

      of course it is normal to have some before the OP, I'm generally speaking of constant anxiety.

       

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  • Posted

    I was scared too at first when the surgeon said the best option was to take it out. I read all the horror stories, but I read more good things than bad. The fear of something going wrong or converting to an open procedure is always there. But I trusted my surgeon and everything went fine. I can't eat certain things without getting the "trots", but I am pretty much back to normal and feel better than I did before I had it out.

    Stay positive.

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    • Posted

      Thanks tommyboy it is comforting to read positive outcomes. To be honest if it means I won't ever have that severe pain again then I don't mind if I have to cut some things out of my diet after the operation, I'm about a stone overweight at the moment so I do need to change my diet.
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  • Posted

    Hi Michelle, I had mine out 11 days ago and having an op was the last thing I wanted to do but I felt so unwell with the GB I just wanted it out so I xcould eat again and not be constantly worried about it bursting! I can honestly say it has been a breeze  pain wise. I really thought id be in more pain since but all healed well and very little pain and I can eat! I am sticking  to low fat  and had my first low fat roast chicken meal  today which was yum!! I am being careful with meat but was fine  after dinner. Im eating small amounts but little and often and that seems to  be suiting me.  A little indigestion the last couple of days but  very mild. I have had a little diahhorea   a few days back but seems to be settling.

    I found the whole process in the hosptial amazing. I was  a little uptight until I saw the consultants registrar she was so lovely and I felt so relaxed about ti all after talking to her. She said we do this all day long so no worries for us. Even the anethatist was a women and was so lovely too. They make the whole process as easy as possible for you. I know its easy to say  dont worry but it is an anxious time for you but a lot of us have very positive outcomes so just wanted to add my experoence. All the best and look forward to hearing how you get on. x

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    • Posted

      Hi Jane, it sounds like you've had a really great experience (for surgery anyway 😉)

      I'm a vegetarian I wonder if that is why I haven't had to be so careful about what I'm eating? Hopefully that means I might be able to resume my normal diet quickly.

      I'm sure the anaesthetist and nurses/odps will be good (I work in the same hospital so kind of hope I haven't worked with them before as ill be a nervous wreck! I saw my GP today and she said I'm feeling very anxious to ask for a sedative as soon as I get there which I will be doing!

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    • Posted

      Just one thing try and get plenty of help for the first week as with 3 young children yourll need as much rest as you can get. I spent the first 3 days sleeping and nighttime as well! They gave me a sedative  before  I went into theatre and  i was very chilled! The Dr asked me how I was and I said excited I dont think she quiet knew what to make of that but i couldnt wait to get the thing out smile
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    • Posted

      My husband has a week off work to look after the kids so I can sleep and recover! I hope that will be enough. As after that week I'll have to walk to school and back x2 a day at 25 mins each way so approx 2 hours of walking a day. I fear it will be too much too soon? My hubby can work from home some days and drive them to school (I don't drive) but not everyday.
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    • Posted

      Personally going by how ive been but also keeping in mind i have other health issues I think it will be too much for you. I am on day 12 and only just really feeling able to do cooking and tidying round a bit. You may be different ?? A week  you may still be  sore and not moving smoothly  may be  try and think up some alternatives if possible just in case your not fit enough smile
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    • Posted

      Jane I was the same way. Suffered for so many years while doctors could not find the issue as I was in my twenties. The attacks started when I was 19 years old and @ 27 when it was finally diagnosed. I was happy to have it out too! Once your gallbladder starts with stones it's a constant lifelong issue. Better to remove it now while your young and tend to recover faster or better since young bodies are in better shape, than wait until it's becomes so severe it can become life threatening.
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    • Posted

      Thats very interesting as when I was 19 I was diagonesed with choleysititus and was very poorly but nothing was ever done it eventually settled down. My health deteriorated over the next  35 years and was diagonosed with ME. The last 9 months I started to become very ill with  GB pain to the point where is where it was nagging all the time and I felt so unwell. When it was taken out I was told that all around the Gb was inflammed plus one large stone and lots of smaller ones. I am really beginning to wonder if this hasn't been the cause of my ill health this last 35 years. The hospital was very quizzicle about the fact they didnt take my GB out all those years ago but I rememeber them telling me I was too yourng to have GB stones! I am looking forward to recovering from the  op fully and seeing what my over health will be like smile
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    • Posted

      Gosh Jane! You've been putting up with this pain for so long! I really hope now it's removed it will be a turning point for your health.

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    • Posted

      Yes I think I was being too optimistic (usually so for me haha)

      We dong have any one nearby to help but think hubby can at least take them to school and ill collect (can take bus if I have too)

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    • Posted

      That very well could be the case. 35 years ago a simple X-ray could have told the story. Today they have little cameras that can check the organs even a small pill camera swallowed, which helped catch a leak in a vein in my intestines. 

      Im so sorry that this could have been the pain issue for you for many years

      thats why I tell a lot of folks here to never give up .

       

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