Severe pain 5 days after gallbladder removal

Posted , 8 users are following.

Hi all, my daughter is 20 & gallbladder was only functioning at 16% so it was removed 5 days ago after severs pain & sickness for 3 years. Well we have been in A&E all day same old pain and sickness, they mentioned ERCP so we are back to her surgeon on Thursday to see what he says. She has been told it's all in her head, she is attention seeking you name it she has had it thrown at her. Her surgeon in Southampton thank god does believe her and we will see what wise can be done, but interesting on the bile duct stones not showing up on scans, I will mention this to him also. She feels her life is over the pain is that severe and she has cried herself to sleep again tonight. A&E staff are great but the local hospital surgical team run a mile from this with her and have been awful, thank god for Dr Van den Bossche at Southampton Spire we would be lost without him trying to fix her where others have walked away.

i feel for all of you in pain, it's seriously like nothing on Earth when the episodes happen, sadly all to often. Your posts give hope and I will be bringing up some of your pointers in the hope we can to get respite from this god awful pain.

Thank you & Goodluck



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  • Posted

    I had my gallbladder removed on 20th Dec and was back in hospital christmas day with servere pain and diarrhea. I hadn't eaten properly since surgery so doctors kept me in to make me eat and the pain turned out to be gas and my body adusting to life after surgery. I'm 6 weeks on since then and still haven't returned to work and still have side pain. I have had a scan this week and I am a slow healer apparently! Hope you get sorted

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  • Posted

    Hi Carol

    ​So sorry your daughter is suffering more pain. You have done the right thing going back for tests- shame that some medical staff are unsympathetic.

    ​I hope the surgeon will give you some answers. In the meantime, it is very early days post op and this time can be very painful even in straightforward cases. Days  3- 6 were the worst for me post op, though I have been very lucky and only needed paracetamol at any time.

    ​Also be careful of meds with codeine as they can cause worse pain post gallbladder surgery for some people by affecting the remaining ducts, although these are prescribed. If she does have any of these meds, it may be worth questioning and asking to try alternatives, just in case.

    I hope she will soon start to recover from this difficult time, take care x


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  • Posted

    Hi Carol,

    So sorry that your daughter and you are going through this!  In the US, after ill treatment such as she received it is possible to complain or threaten to sue for malpractice. By all means, if you can, I would consider filing a complaint!

    I hope things improve for both of you!  Thank heavens you have a doctor who will listen!

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  • Posted

    As I've read the many posts in the forum here and other sites since my operation, it does seem clear that gallstones may not be the whole story for some people. There may also be IBS or other gut disorders, or even this issue where the muscle that controls the flow of bile is dysfunctional. Look up Sphincter of Oddi dysfunction for that.

    One thing that is true however is that the removal of the gallbladder puts a stop to gallstones and you can remove that from the list of causes. They would also have looked for stones in the duct during surgery.

    5 days is pretty short for some people to recover from surgery so it might be difficult to diagnose it at this point.  If her gut isn't working then it's only going to get worse and she needs to be in hospital having scans and blood tests when she's having the problem. If it's surgery and recovery pain then it will subside. If it's some other disorder, then one needs to try and find a pattern of symptoms or triggers.

    Just stay on the case because she'll need to feel that something is being done and that there'll be a resolution at some point.

    Good luck!


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  • Posted

    Hi Carol, I'm sorry your daughter is going through this, its bad enough when you're older let alone at her young age, it can seem so frightening. I'm just wondering what tests did they do before they decided to remove her gallbladder?

    Your surgeon is the best person to see as he will be a specialist in gastroenterology and upper gi problems. I've heard of ERCP and they will use that procedure if they believe she has spincter of oddi dysfunction as someone previously mention, a gallstone or it maybe an issue with the surgery but she should certainly be getting better and not worse. Unfortunately unless their specialists they really can't help after gallbladder removal but she will get better. Please tell her to have hope and we are here to support her so that she's not alone.

    Keep us informed with everything Carol.

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  • Posted

    Update on my daughter and thank you for all your responses.

    she has been in A&E since I wrote my 1sr post, she collapsed again. The surgical teams say she should never have had the gallbladder removed & no matter how low it was functioning they wouldn't have removed it so on that basis they won't treat her now and say we must go back to her original surgeon only for answers, unbelievable for an A&E surgical team to refuse to help a  person in pain. I will be taking it further but luckily we have another A&E not too much further away from home, so our GP wants us to only go there if she collapses again.

    Truth is I have come to realise as clever as some surgeons must be to do the job they do, they do not like it if they can resolve the situation right away, so you are told untold possibilities but sadly none want to own it or see it through, apart from the surgeon who has been trying to help her, but he is not local, however he is fully aware of the latest failings and she is going to see him tomorrow evening.

    The scan that was done to show the malfunction of the gallbladder was a NM Hepatobiliary Function Scan + CCK/Fat, it's a nuclear medicine specialist scan performed at University Hospital Southampton & we did it privately due to how badly she was deteriorating, this scan showed it was only functioning at 16% + normal is >55%, so despite what A&E surgical said it needed to come out, sad that they would be happy to leave people to suffer further with it staying in & I quote ignore the test, I kind of think a University Hospital specific to investigate this would know what they are talking about!!

    Anyway, I am hopeful of a solution to this glitch, just wasn't the instant fix we had really hoped for, that was more our wishful thinking.

    She is on  Oramorph for pain control at home when she feels a bout coming on to try and avoid A&E under her surgeons guidance & the GP.

    We will keep you posted and while everyone is different, there are so many similarities with all who have gallbladder issues before and after removal, that it really does help to share the information, so thank you so much, you feel so desperately alone when things are not good that it really is inspirational to know you are not alone and others care.

    To see a person contorting in pain and the medical profession leaving them is soul destroying & shameful.

    But it's made me want answers even more for everyone to try an help others & it's made me be very vocal with my feelings, we have shed a lot of tears the last 2 days and nights & I promise to share what we find out next.

    Thank you again all of you.

    kindest regards


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    • Posted


      I am so very sorry that your daughter and you are dealing with all this, especiall the callous attitudes and the outright medical incompetence you have both encountered! It's outrageous!!

      Thanks for the update; am praying for both of you! (((BIG HUGS)))



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    • Posted

      Thank you Lynda,

      Life throws some horrible curve balls, but when those that can help won't it's truly awful.

      iv spoken to solicitors as no one should be made to feel so rotten and I don't want others to go through this either.

      Will keep you posted.

      kindest regardsCarol x

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    • Posted

      Thank you for sharing, Carol. Terrible that your daughter has been through this.I'm guessing you will be making formal complaints when you can about some of the treatment. I hope it all goes better for you all soon x

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  • Posted

    hi Carol. I hope your daughter is sorted by now!   However I  had my gall bladder removed four years ago after continually attending a and e and being told after every possible scan available that I had no stones.. no I didn't but it was about to burst!  Anyway my reason for typing on this site is that after four years and Still having partner who is a paramedic got so fed up that he googled and googled.. in the last three days I have been taking milk thistle tablets.. hallelujah.. it seems to be stopping my pain and getting rid of the blocked feeling I continually moan about... I feel a new person!!!!!! 

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