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Old 08-31-2003, 04:30 PM   #1
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sydala HB User
Unhappy Nervous about upcoming surgery

Hi There - Newbie Here I've had increasing upper left quadrant pain for the past three months or so and finally had a hyda scan and ultrasound Friday. They called Friday afternoon and I have to have my gb yanked this week. They didnt see any stones but the hyda scan didnt go well apparently (plus, it was excruciating - geez...) They said that they I have a diseased gall bladder and prob stones even though they didnt see them? How can that be? Also, my gall bladder to almost 1 1/2 hours to show up on the hydascan after the nuclear die was injected. Does that have anything to do with anything? Anyway, can anyone please tell me what to expect following surgery re: recovery time, weight gain, fatigue, etc etc...
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Old 08-31-2003, 04:37 PM   #2
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Oh Also, follow up questions - what types of things can go wrong with the surgery? It is supposed to be laparoscopic. Also, how is the body able to function without the gall bladder and is it more difficult to digest food after its removed?
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Old 08-31-2003, 05:29 PM   #3
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Harry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB User
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Gallbladder removal is done laproscopically. Some people have problems. About 5 % of the patients have diarrhea caused by too much bile.
I had mind removed in 1997 with no problems since. Food is digested with enzymes, stomach acids and to digest fats your system puts out bile from your liver. You just won't have gallbladder to hold it until it's needed. It sorta emties all the time.

Your gallbladder NOW is not working properly according to the scan ---it is not empting fast enough-- It should empty in less than 30mins. not 1 1/2 hours.

I wish you well---Harry

[This message has been edited by Harry (edited 08-31-2003).]

 
Old 08-31-2003, 05:38 PM   #4
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i had my GB removed june 26th 2003. i had a three day hospital stay due to a blockage of my common bile duct. i had an ERCP done to remove the bile duct stones, which was an excellent procedure. the drugs were superb, completely painless, wouldn't mind having it done again for entertainment. but the gallbladder surgery was a little more painful than that. what they do is make four small incisions and inflate your belly to the size of about that of a woman who is six months pregnant. they stick a scope through one of the holes and the scope takes pictures and snips and removes the gallbladder. after the surgery you should expect to feel soreness across your entire belly, a mild pain in your right shoulder 1 to 2 days after surgery, a feeling of bloatedness due to not all the gas used to inflate your belly being released, a feeling almost like heartburn.. thats where they snipped your gallbladder. i had my surgery on a wednesday night and i was pretty much back to normal on sunday for my HS graduation party. my doctor told me i needed to wait three weeks before i resumed my normal work-out regimen of running 2.5 miles 3-4 times a week. um, he was a little wrong. i waited four weeks and ended up back in the ER with the same pain i had after surgery and the worry that i was internally bleeding. i just started running again THIS week, and i'm doing okay, taking it really easy. every time i start to feel even a tinge of pain i stop and take a break.

don't be worried at all. i was so scared before my surgery, but it ended up not being that bad. the worst pain is when you wake up from surgery but even that isn't bad. it is nothing you should lose sleep over, just take everything in stride. it will all be ok.

hope i helped,

alicia

 
Old 08-31-2003, 05:40 PM   #5
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sorry i didn't answer all your questions...

i have lost weight since my surgery. don't worry about weight gain, i have only heard of weight LOSS due to GB removal.

 
Old 08-31-2003, 05:53 PM   #6
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Thanks so much for the information. I'm hoping they will let me wait a week to get it out so that I can get all of my ducks in a row at home and at work before I go in. I'm in pain pretty much all the time now but no fever or elevated white blood cell count so thats good anyway.
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Old 09-02-2003, 06:30 AM   #7
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Hi sydala. Good luck to you on your upcoming surgery. The lap procedure is really no big deal. I had my GB removed at 4:30 p.m., and went home the next morning (back in '97). It's considered a day surgery, meaning if they do it in the morning, you are expected to go home within 23 hours. I was admitted overnight not because of complications, but because it was so late in the day, and the nurse does need to check vitals and observe you for at least a few hours afterwards.

The post-op pain was bad, but tolerable. I took Tylenol with codeine in the hospital, and although my doc prescribed narcotics after discharge, I had better pain control with motrin. The worst part of recovery was not being able to turn over in bed without pain/pulling, but that was gone within a week. I was off work for a week, and when I returned I still got fatigued very easily. I probably felt good again after 3-4 weeks, and worked myself back into an exercise routine over that time.

I'm one of the unfortunate 5% that Harry is talking about who ended up with bile salt diarrhea. However, it's under excellent control with Colestid. Would I have my GB out again even knowing that I would suffer persistent and severe diarrhea? You bet - I felt HORRIBLE until it was removed. And remember, over 90% of GB patients end up with no post-op problems.

I disagree with the one poster saying weight loss occurs after GB removal. I lost 30 lbs. before surgery due to feeling so awful and being in so much pain with eating, but once it was out, I felt so good again, and could eat anything. Needless to say, I gained back all the weight I had lost.

Keep us posted on your outcome. Review some of the other posts related to gall bladder removal to get additional input.

Good luck,
Katie G

 
Old 09-05-2003, 10:45 AM   #8
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Message for Katie --

Thanks for recounting your GB story again for these people -- I'm still hanging in there, hoping to get my Maui trip in before any surgery.

I have my good and bad GB days, but have had some really odd symptoms that I wanted to ask about. The other day, while at the bookstore, after just standing there reading a magazine cover to cover, I put the magazine back on the shelf and immediately felt two sharp twinges in mid to upper right abdomen. Then at once, within one second, a painful sensation spread up and over to the left side of chest, shoulder, arm, and stayed that way for perhaps a minute.

I went into full panic mode, left the store, thinking this was muscular/nerve pain, and headed back to my office. Within perhaps another minute, leaving the mall, the whole incident was over.

I started thinking "heart/angina" pain because of the left side involvement, but since several people on these GB threads have mentioned left sided pains or chest pains and I DID feel the first twinges definitely on the right, I'm thinking this was just referred GB pain. It also hurt more when taking deep breaths, which is not a typical angina symptom at all.

A couple of weeks ago, while walking through a parking lot, I felt a few upper left quadrant twinges which, when I rubbed the area, made the upper RIGHT quadrant feel quite painful. Isn't THAT odd! I am beginning to find this whole matter ridiculous!

Someone on another thread said I should just get the stupid GB removed and THEN see how I feel. She said it made a world of difference in her entire health situation. I am certain I will feel better eventually, after the surgery, but want to wait until mid October at least.

As others have said about their situations, I'm also getting sick of never eating the "good stuff" I used to enjoy and while weight loss is fine so far, if I get worse, I may actually risk getting too thin! Hmmm.. is that possible? Anyhow, those who say they stay thin after surgery must be in the minority.

I know of a man who had his GB removed, had gotten rather thin beforehand, and now eats like a pig and gained 30 pounds! Some people who initially have the problems you have described settle down within 3 - 6 months and then start chowing down again. Bingo -- weight gain. I know a twenty-something female who followed that path. She was sick for years, even as a teen, finally had the surgery (was quite overweight the whole time despite illness) and suffered after-effects from GB surgery. But...since she wants to get pregnant soon, she recently started a wonderful diet and lost 60 pounds! Her GB history is just that...history...

I can see maintaining lower weight if one is careful about eating after GB surgery, but continuing to lose weight seems unusual.

Best regards! You are helping a lot of people here with your advice and counsel.

 
Old 09-05-2003, 01:30 PM   #9
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Thanks carol - you're too kind! I hope my story helps others since this board really helped me when I was dealing with IBS-D and the worsening of it after GB surgery and not knowing who to talk to.

I wish you well on your trip to Hawaii - I hope that you can hold off on surgery until afterwards too, but remember, if the pain gets too bad, you might need to get it out now, and then you'll feel better and can eat most anything by the time you go.

As always, the decision is ultimatley yours and I wish you well whatever you decide.

Keep me posted,
Katie G

 
Old 09-05-2003, 04:34 PM   #10
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I had my gall bladder removed in 2000 and had no problems at all. I also had a herniated belly button repaired at the same time and I think I felt that more than anything else afterwards. The gas they use to inflate you was the most annoying part of it because when I tried to lay down that first night the gas made me have a feeling like a muscle cramp in my shoulder. I just sat in the recliner for that first night and then the next night I was able to lay down flat. I was SUPER worried about the operation too, but it wasn't as bad as you imagine it to be. I eat whatever I want now with no problems at all. Everything seems to be the same as it was before, minus the pain.

 
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