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Old 02-12-2008, 05:07 PM   #1
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Gallstones + pregnancy

Been having pain for 7 months now since my son was born.. tenderness and pain on right side under ribs, radiating through to my back and chest occasionally. Ultrasound revealed multiple small gallstones so i was referred to a surgeon who said my pain was most likely gallbladder related and he wanted to book me in for surgery. Does this sound gallbladder related? Since then i have put it off as im a bit of a chicken when it comes to thought of being put to sleep and sliced open. Still getting pain occasionally.. some weeks nothing, others i have pretty consistent discomfort and sometimes pain, have only had the one HUGE attack though. Me and my partner are now at the stage where we want to try to conceive number two, and would prefer it to be in the next 3 months as he has a huge break at the end of the year from Nov- Feb when bub#2 would arrive, but im not sure what the deal is with gallstone and gallbladder problems and pregnancy? Does anyone know whether it is safe and what would happen if i needed surgery? Should i get my gallbladder outfirst? The only problem being that we would need to wait around 5-6 weeks and then recovery time? Any advice would be appreciated.

 
Old 02-12-2008, 08:24 PM   #2
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Re: Gallstones + pregnancy

Yes, it definitely sounds like you have gallbladder problems. It is not at all uncommon for women to develop gallbladder issues after childbirth. Don't know whether it's related to changes in hormones or what.

It is true that many people live many years with gallstones; very painful attacks can be from when you are passing stones down the biliary duct. The danger is that if the stone lodges in the duct, not only will you be in intense pain, but they will then have to do emergency surgery to remove the stone, if you are pregnant that would just add another layer of complications.

 
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Old 02-13-2008, 03:33 PM   #3
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Re: Gallstones + pregnancy

Your symptoms sound like gallstones to me. I found out I had gallstones after a nasty attack in January of 2006. I scheduled to have my gallbladder removed then found out I was preganant and had to cancel the surgery. They will still perform a gallbladder removal during pregnancy if they feel it's necessary. It would be sometime during the second trimester. I actually went throughout my pregnancy with the gallstones. It was miserable, especially in the end. I had to take narcotic pain meds frequently in the end. Obviously it's better to avoid taking narcotics during pregnancy. I would definitely recommend having your gallbladder removed prior to getting pregnant again.

Like you I was also terrified of going under the knife. However, it's all laproscopic and takes only 30-45 minutes. It literally was no big deal.

Hope this helps

 
Old 02-13-2008, 08:39 PM   #4
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Re: Gallstones + pregnancy

A bigger concern would be that the gallstones leave the gallbladder and could cause an infection which would is very dangerous especially if you are pregnant.

First of all get out of the head the thought that you will be sliced open. I have 4 scars. 3 of the scars are about 1/2 of an inch and the third at my belly button is about 1 inch.

There is always the possibility that due to various reasons or complications that they would have to do open surgery vs. a lappy. But that risk is very small and typically on patients with lots of scar tissue from other surgeries.

The risk of them having to do an open surgery (which is where they would slice you open) significantly increases when it is emergency surgery. So this is one important reason you should go ahead and have it now vs. take the risk.

I had surgery on Jan 14th and it was really no big deal (relatively). I was able to run 1 mile on day 4 post surgery and was easily at 100% in a little over 1 week.

Lori

 
Old 02-14-2008, 12:04 AM   #5
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Re: Gallstones + pregnancy

Thanks for all your replies. I know i just need to bite the bullet and go through with it im just not really sure how long the wait will be on surgery. I have re booked an appointment with my surgeon for 2 weeks time so i guess i will find out then. I dont want to put off having our second baby too long but i dont want to put it or me at risk either. Does anyone know whether if i fell pregnant i could electively have it removed in the second trimester,will this pose any risk to me or the baby and will my surgeon perform it or only in an emergency situation? Just another quick question, does anyone know whether dizziness can be a symptom of gallbladder disease or gallstones.. alot of the time when i have pain i get a bit lighthearted and feel out of it. Could this be related?

 
Old 02-14-2008, 06:28 PM   #6
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Re: Gallstones + pregnancy

I would expect that they would only perform surgery on a pregnant person if it were an emergency.

I have a coworker that had attacks either late in her pregnancy or right after the birth and they still made her wait 6 weeks after the baby was born.

Lori

 
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