Terrified of Gallbladder Surgery

Posted , 15 users are following.

I am scheduled for gallbladder removal on March 29th, and I think this is the most scared I have ever been in my life. My fear isn't the surgery, or the pain afterward, but of the general anesthesia. I've never been under general before, and I'm absolutely terrified at the thought of not waking up from it. 

The plan is laparoscopic. How long does the surgery take? How long will I actually be under anesthesia? I'm just ready for it to be over already. 

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  • Posted

    Hi I'm six weeks post surgery and I promise you won't feel a thing. Apparently I was under for about an hour and a half. Mine too was laporoscopic and very straightforward. The nurses were lovely and I remember walking to the room which I assume was where they do the anaesthetic and then laid down. The doctors were talking to me and that was it. I then woke up in the recovery room. Before your op the anaesthetist will come and speak to you so any concerns you have don't Ben afraid to ask. Remember they do hundreds of ops every day. Good luck and just take it easy afterwards.  Believe me it's the best thing I ever did. Thank god no more nasty gallstone attacks. Hope this helps x

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply. I guess I just need to relate to someone somehow. I've had everyone (including the surgeon and anesthesiologist) tell me that I will be fine, but I can't shake the fear. 

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    • Posted

      Hi Fran, thank you for posting this positive message, i hope that your continuing to feel a lot better and have got your life back,  and im due to have my Gallbladder removed early may, its looking like, i agree with your comments completely, its a dibilating time with Gallbladder issues and the pain is exhausting i never know how i will be from day-day and to be honest just want to get this done now and be well again. kind regards Jo xx
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  • Posted

    Hi Nola,

    The surgery itself took approx 45 minutes for me. All inclusive 80 mins from going to theatre to being back in the day ward. I had no ill effects no sore throat or feeling sick anesthesia these days really is very good.

    Best Wishes

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    • Posted

      Thank you for  your reply. I'm hoping that mine is quick, and that I am awake and on my way home ASAP. I have to be there at 5:30 a.m. and surgery is scheduled for 7 a.m.

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  • Posted


    I had mine out last year and I too was terrified of the general anaesthetic. I told the anaesthetist how scared I was and he was great. He explained everything and reassured me. I can’t remember how long I was in but it was pretty straightforward and I was able to ring my family once I was back in my room. Good luck, I’m sure it will be fine x

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  • Posted

    Was in the anaesthetic room at 9am and woke up in recovery about 12.15. So was under longer than normal. It’s a weird feeling trying to fight the sleepiness.

    In the anaesthetic room they make you lie down on the bed and connect ecg leads to you and have a saturation probe on your finger and a blood pressure cuff on your arm. My heart rate is always really high at this point with nerves (even though I’m a nurse I’m still a nervous wreck).

    The anaesthetist puts a cannula in your hand and they usually put one of the masks on your face just before they start to inject the anaesthetic so your lungs are full of oxygen. They’re monitoring you the whole time and keep you topped up with anaesthetic. Don’t worry about not waking up. There’s reversal drugs for the anaesthetic so if they were worried for any reason they can use them. They also give you pain relief and anti sickness medicines through your cannula too. Yes there are risks but it’s normally higher in emergency situations with very sick people, people with health conditions that make them riskier and also elderly people. At pre-assessment they’ll have checked all this. The anaesthetist comes to see you before the surgery too so they can always give you a light sedative beforehand to calm you down a bit. Good luck with the op 😘 xx

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for the information. I think part of my fear is not being in control of my body (not being able to breathe on my own and needing a breathing tube), and the passing of time with no knowledge of it. I don't like not being in control. I suppose I have to just give in and trust in my surgeon, the anesthesiologists, and God.

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  • Posted

    Hi, I’m scheduled April 9 and I feel the very same as you..your replies I’ve read are very reassuring so let’s think positive together..good luck and take care
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  • Posted


    ile tell you a little story ok.

    see my name here ?

    that name comes from my fear of general !

    im 53 years old and when I was 15 I went under for an emergency opp on a broken jaw in 5 places and some , I was not scared at all , however I died twice from the general 11 seconds and 9 seconds.

    i was so ill I couldn’t even get out of the hospital bed for near 2 weeks , I’ve been terrified beyond belief of general ever since to the point ide rather die than have it ,

    6 months ago I had my gangrenous gallbladder removed after refusing the surgery for 3 years to the point I had hours to live , this was all due to the of the general only , ptsd bad.

    i said to the surgeon what’s the odds of me not waking from the general , he said the odds of you die from your diseased gangrenous puss filled gallbladder in the next 6 hours is about a Illinois to one you will die.

    the odds of you die from the general anaesthetic is about a million to one you will not !

    i said where do I sign, lol.

    i went under ten mins later believe in this was the end for me , really one million per cent convinced this it’s it I’m gone for sure !!

    i cannot begin to tell you how scared I was .

    i woke up 1 hour 20 mins later singing 🎤 lol and walked to my room 2o mins later no dizziness no sickness no headache no nothing I felt great actually and extremely thankful to my surgeon and anaesthetist that I’m still alive to tell you !!

    yes it used to be pretty dangerous I agree , but this is a true story and I assure you it’s come a long long long way is is so very safe nowadays , 

    infact the fear you are feeling is much more likely to harm you than the general is nowadays !!

    and I smoke 40 a day !!

    im not going to say don’t worry about because you are clearly wired like I am and saying don’t worry it will be fine isn’t going to make a blind bit of difference to you or your fears .

    but I will say this to you .

    you know you are sick 

    you know you have to have it out to get better 

    so you need to be that brave coward that I was to achieve this .

    go be a brave coward and I think it likely that like me now ide never be a coward to general anaesthetic ever again.

    goid luck and report back my brave coward I’m already so proud of you ..

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for this post! I'm going through with it (even though I want to back out). I don't have the gallbladder attacks that most people speak of. I had one, 3 years ago that sent me to the ER thinking that I was having a heart attack. Through bloodwork they discovered that it was my gallbladder, and wanted to remove it that day.  Due to the fact that I was so scared of the anesthesia, I refused. So for the past 3 years I have been living with this constant pain under my right rib cage, which at times is worse than others. In September my doctor recommended surgery, as I had an ultrasound that showed my gallbladder full of stones. Because she knew how scared I was to have surgery, she entertained me and prescribed Ursodiol to try to dissolve the stones, knowing that they wouldn't work.  Sometimes you have to be on it for years to dissolves the stones, and once you stop the medication, they will come back. So here I am, scheduled for surgery. I'm just so ready to have it over with and behind me. The fear is consuming me. 

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    • Posted


      your very wellcome.

      i also ended up in a and e with them thinking I was having a heart attack until, the bloods came back 4 hours later lol

      they prepared me for surgery and I ran away lol

      then the consultant agreed to me trying Urso lol only due to my fear also , but it never developed and I was never given it .

      my god I know exactly how scared you are as you clearly are as terrified as I was Nola.

      and nothing no one can say will ever change that unfortunately, it’s just the way some of us are wired I guess.

      but I will tell you that their comes a point ! Where you have no choice as did I and unfortunately for me ide left mine so long I then had gangrene gallbladder and just hours to live, not a place to be at all.

      and all that I’ve been through for the fear of general !

      and very nearly died due to it !

      in fact the surgeon told me I’m very lucky to be alive indeed !

      but the fact of the matter is , that nothing is stronger than the mind ! 

      ‘And the mind can make a heaven of a hell or a hell of a heaven !

      just depends how it has us .

      i even tried to say I was going out for a quick smoke ten mins before my opp , and was going to do a runner lol , in my paper pants and compression stockings in the middle of central London lol

      but the nurse worked it out and got the surgeon straight in the room and he said no no no no time for cigarettes now we’re going in right now lol

      gkad she did that as ide be dead now as I was going to do a runner lol

      but hey that’s the power of fear !!!!

      i did they’ll the surgeon about 20 mins after my opp that he had created a brave coward and that was the truth.

      and I did feel very stupid after , repeatedly asking myself what on earth was I so scared of as it was nothing the opp and the general .

      also I never slept a wink after my opp and I was very very ill beforehand but after the opp I just kept asking for peppermint tea lol and kept walking up and down the hospital corridors all night long lol all be it rather wobbly lol , I just wanted to go home . Which I did at around 1 pm the next day .

      but please try to be a brave coward and not let yours get to the stage mine was at Nola as it cost me a fortune privately in the end !!

      and the end result is exactly the same !!!

      it will be done one way or the other .

      come back and let me know how easy it was after your opp please ok.

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