Still in hospital a week after laparascopic gall bladder removal

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I am trying to find out if anyone else experienced what my cousin is going through, and if so, how did they cope and how long does it take to recover?

She was told it would be a straightforward removal, and home the same or next day with "some discomfort and possible shoulder pain". Expected recovery time 2 weeks. When she came round (it was laparascopic not open) she was in excruciating pain, exhausted, and hooked up to IV lines for antibiotics, fluids, medication, plus a catheter and drains from the incisions (all expected I think). I phoned the next day expecting to take her home to be told she was "not very well" and "there were no plans for discharge".

A week later she is still in hospital, still hooked up to everything, still in excruciating pain, unable to move without assistance, unable to keep anything down. When all the pain medications failed she was given a PCA pump (patient controlled analgesic), with no apparent effect either. There are still no plans for discharge, which is highly unusual for the NHS.

My cousin is the most stoic person I know and has NEVER complained before, so I know she must be feeling bad. Any encouragement I can pass on would be most welcome. Thanks

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  • Posted

    I think as a caring relative you have every right to ask her consultant/physicians what is going on and why she is still in Hospital, as obviously there was a complication during the procedure.

    I do hope she recovers well and is up and about soon. You don't say old she is or whether she has underlying health issues?

    Anyway do let us know the outcome and take care x

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the reply. She is 70 and until an attack of pancreatitis 2 months ago had never had any health problems apart from arthritis in her knees. Her daughter lives over 200 miles away with her young family, and her husband who is only just out of hospital himself, is very frail. I am just looking out for him daily with food and medications, being the closest person and the only driver. They are her next of kin and I liaise with the daughter daily.

      Her daughter spoke to her today, for the first time, and got confirmation there were complications during the operation, but not what they were. I recall now she was told she might have looser stools, but she told her daughter that after attempting a Weetabix and a cup of tea today, she was unable to stop herself from soiling whilst still eating. She said it literally just dropped straight through her. On a more positive note she said the pain was slightly less at last.

      Having been quite confident this would be a routine procedure, and that she would be fit to care for her husband in a couple of weeks, it unfortunately seems she might be one of the people who have reported all sorts of complications that I have read on this forum.

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    • Posted

      Bless her, it sounds like she is in the right place and so sorry that your family are being challenged as well. Like I said maybe you could ask to speak to someone at the hospital to get more clarification as to her situation. Thinking of you all.

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    • Posted

      Thanks - it's been a hard week, as a couple of other friends have also needed support! Age brings it's problems and I'm just glad I'm retired, and fit enough myself to help.

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  • Posted

    hi love im 70 aswell i went in for my gallbladder out they did it laparoscopic but had to change to open has my gallbladder was attached to my liver i was in hospital 10 days on pain because i had a drain in and was hooked up to antibiotics when i got home just had to take it easy this was ladt christmas 2017 been bback in again 2 weeks ago because i had a incisional hernia jome now and all is good hope she gets well soon and she gets back to normal

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    • Posted

      Hi Jenny

      This does sound very similar, except the operation was laparascopic. I had a message this evening that she hopes to be discharged towards the end of the week, so it will be getting on for 2 weeks. At least the pain is slightly less although not being able to retain any food or drink at present is a concern. Having read some of these posts, it does seem to be a side effect that the doctors minimised, but is very debilitating. How long did it take you before you felt you could function pain free and more or less normally? I'd like to give her realistic reassurance. Thank you.

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    • Posted

      hi love i was about 3 to 6 months before i felt well tell her to rest when she gets home i didnt i think thats what caused my hernia so i had to have another op

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    • Posted

      Today the hospital said they were sending her home, but when I phoned for the time to collect her, they said they had changed their minds as she was still not well enough. It might be in 2 days time. It seems she cannot be taken off the IV's as she still can't retain anything yet, not even water.

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  • Posted

    Good news at last. It seems she was so poorly she actually spent 2 days on the High Dependency Unit at the beginning before being moved. But I finally spoke to her yesterday and although still in pain and with retention issues she's up, eating a little and walking carefully around unaided (with padding!). She's slowly improved the past couple of days, and should be going home tomorrow. By the time she gets home, it will be 12 days. Thanks for the support everyone.

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    • Posted

      After the euphoria of being released, reality has struck. Although the pain is now greatly reduced, she's still exhausted, spends most of her time in bed, feels nauseous, and has constant diarrhoea with everything she eats being rejected within a few minutes. She has so far lost 26 pounds, and the GP nurse came out Christmas Eve and took blood samples, as she was too unwell to go to the surgery - no car, no taxi available and no results yet. Not a very merry Christmas.

      Unfortunately it looks like she will be one of the people who have ongoing problems from the surgery. What surprises both of us is that there is no follow up from the hospital, she is just left to get on with it. She has said she will try and get a taxi to her GP next week, as one of the incisions is not healing up like the others, so perhaps can also get something for the nausea and runs.

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    • Posted

      Catching up on old messages. Wondering how your cousin is doing and whether you ever found out what the complications were during surgery. Hope she is home now and doing better.

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    • Posted

      Hi

      Thanks for asking. My cousin started to slowly turn the corner last week. The pain has greatly subsided, just down to the odd paracetemol now. She came home just before Christmas and was actually well enough to leave the house for the first time last Thursday, to attend an appointment in town, using a taxi. She is also able to retain food, although she says it's just small portions and some does taste odd. She has stopped losing weight now, but in total it was 26 pounds.

      She has told me a few things - that the surgery was complicated by the large number of stones, even though many had previously been removed by endoscopy. She said the medical staff had told her she was "strong and brave", so we suspect she had indeed been very ill. She remembers very little of the first week, just that she endured it, but was too ill to do anything but lie there. She still feels very tired and has no concentration, but feels she is otherwise about 70% back to normal. Fortunately her husband is a lot better now, and able to go out in his chargeable buggy to pick up bits and pieces. They are both looking forward to a better year.

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    • Posted

      Praying for her full recovery. I am going through a rough time myself right now, please keep me in your prayers as well.

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    • Posted

      Will do - all illnesses and operations do take their toll. She says she now feels almost 100% but admits she has no stamina and does tire quickly. Unfortunately her husband has been ill and back in hospital again, just when he seemed to be picking up. I suspect the worry is holding up her recovery. So I am still on transport duty for them.

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