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Old 05-16-2003, 08:20 PM   #1
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Post gallbladder removal for "sludge"

Hi, new to this site. Wondering if anyone has had their gallbladder removed when they only had "sludge" and floating stones. My GP has referred me to a surgeon because of the constant pain in my right side. Had ultrasound and showed the sludge and floating stones. Really tired of the constant pain and nausea. Should I persue surgery or wait. Any help would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks

 
Old 05-16-2003, 09:12 PM   #2
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Sorry to say the pain and nausea usually gets worse----
But, you're the one that has to say " I've had enough""

God Bless---Harry

 
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Old 05-16-2003, 09:35 PM   #3
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Thanks for the encouragement. Just seems like a big step to take if it could get better on it's own. Every one else seems to have suffered for a long time. I feel very good about the way my GP has addressed the problem. Hope that he is right. I see the surgeon in two weeks.
Thank you for the thumbs up

 
Old 05-17-2003, 08:15 AM   #4
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I'd have the surgery f your in pain and feeling sick. It only seems to get sorse. I had mine removed recently and it has helped some. good luck.

 
Old 05-17-2003, 01:56 PM   #5
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Well I hope it helps. I feel like a hypochrodiac with the constant pain. I'm usually a very tolerant person, but not with this. I feel for all of you who have gone through this for years. Thanks

 
Old 05-19-2003, 08:25 AM   #6
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Hi there - get it out! The pain/suffering will only get worse, not better.

Good luck to you. Recovery is really no big deal.

Keep us posted,
Katie G

 
Old 05-22-2003, 12:42 PM   #7
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I agree.. dont wait til ur having constant gb attacks get it out u will wish u did sooner..
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Old 05-22-2003, 08:05 PM   #8
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Thanks for the advice all, I am so ready to get this over with. I meet the surgeon of the 30th. Hopefully, he will do it monday!!! I so would like to eat again. the only good thing is that I have lost about 10 lbs. in the last week or so. Some of the symptoms you all describe after surgery sound pretty bad. Hope you all feel better soon.

 
Old 05-24-2003, 07:01 PM   #9
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I had my gallbladder removed 4 days ago. I had a terrible gallbladder attack on 5/16, after just eating Jell-O. So, I called my surgeon and he said to meet him at the ER so that he could examine me. They had to give me Morphine in the ER to stop the pain. The ER doctors ordered blood tests, and it turns out that my liver function tests and my bilirubin were so high that I couldn't go home. I was in the hospital for 5 days, on nothing but IV dextrose (nothing by mouth). I lost 9 pounds. They did an ultra-sound when I came to the ER, and they only saw one stone, and a small amount of biliary sludge. My surgeon had to leave for the weekend. They wanted to get my liver functions down before doing surgery, and the only way to do that is by not eating, and giving the system a chance to rest. So I stayed in the hospital because I couldn't eat. They let me try Jell-O again and I had another attack. More Morphine. The GI drs then declared that once again, I could not eat or drink anything. Not even water. So anyway, when my surgeon came back on monday, my liver function tests and bilirubin were still off the wall. So we got in touch with my GP, who is also my GI specialist, and they both agreed that before I could have laproscopic surgery, I needed something called an ERCP. I am not sure what it stands for, but it is where the GI dr puts a tube down your throat (much like an Endoscopy) and cleans out the ducts and makes sure that there are no gallstones stuck in the small bowel. I had no stones stuck anywhere, but I had so much sludge that there was only a teeny tiny amount of bile (if any at all) getting to my liver. There was a sack filled with bile that my dr had to cut open. He then cleaned out the sludge and put in a drain so my common bile duct wouldn't clog up again. I woke up, they brought me back to my room, and about 6 hours later I had surgery. My surgeon was fairly surprised at what he found when he got in there. On the ultra-sound, it only showed one stone in my gallbladder. It showed no thickening of the walls of the gallbladder, and no other problems. Well, when he got in there he saw that my gallbladder was literally stuck to my small intestine! Also, the walls of the gallbladder were so thick and my gallbladder was so badly infected that he had to make a larger incision just to be able to get it out through my belly button. Plus, there were actually 9 stones, not one.

For me, the biliary sludge caused a bad problem... it caused the bile to back up into my gallbladder. It's a wonder that I was able to digest anything at all. My surgeon said that because of all the sludge, if we had not done the ERCP first and cleaned it out, there would have been no way to do laproscopic surgery. He would have had to open me up and clean out the clogged mess. But we were able to do that earlier that day with the ERCP. You should ask your dr to check your liver functions to see if you need an ERCP, especially if you have biliary sludge. Also, don't just go by what the ultra-sound says. My dr says it is not a very good test, especially if you are even a few pounds overweight. Mine indicated that all was fine with my gallbladder, except for one stone. It turns out that I had a TON of biliary sludge, an enlarged liver due to the lack of bile to aid in the digestion of the small amount of fat that I was eating, at least 9 stones that weren't seen on the ultra-sound, and a badly infected gallbladder that was stuck to my small intestine. Please ask your dr about doing an ERCP. Don't just rely on an ultra-sound. You don't want your surgeon to get in there and find out that your bile ducts are too clogged to do the surgery laproscopically. Make sure your liver functions are normal, and if they're not, insist on the ERCP. (just make sure they put you to sleep during the procedure!)

Get it taken out as soon as possible. A few months ago when I started having attacks, I was told by both the surgeon and my GI dr that I could wait until the summer if I wanted to. Now look what happened. I definitely don't blame them, because they said to get it out... I was the one who chose to wait. But if I had to do it over again, I would not wait. In fact, I was scheduled to have it done June 2. My body decided that I couldn't wait any longer, so May 20th was the date I ended up having it done. I was in a lot of pain immediately following the surgery. But I was still admitted to the hospital, and they kept me one more night. So they gave me more morphine and I slept. Now the surgeon gave me Vicodin to use at home if I need it. I needed it for the first 2 or 3 days, but today I have not needed to take it. I am able to get around by myself, except that getting up and down from chairs is difficult, and so is getting out of bed. (laying flat down with nothing to grab to pull me up!)

Good luck and let us know what happens. Yes, definitely get it removed if you have sludge.

Elyse
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Old 05-24-2003, 07:16 PM   #10
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You sure have gone through alot. Luckily, I have a pretty understanding doctor. I had a few attacks a few years ago, then they went away until now. This past week has not been good. Everything I eat seems to cause discomfort. The only good part is this is the best weight loss program that I have been on!!! My fourteen year old now weighs more than I do. My dr. was kind of reluctant at first when I told him about the pain I was having because I don't really fit the profile. I also had a very bad kidney infection at the same time. So he decided to do a complete abdominal ultrasound. Showed a shrinking kidney and the sludge and stones in the gallbladder. Told me to watch I ate and put me on antibiotics for the chronic kidney thing. But have complained to him ever since and he looked at the results again and sent me to a surgeon. I see him friday and I will tell him to schedule me asap. I'm fed up.
I hope you are doing well and will continue to improve. you all are in my prayers.

 
Old 05-24-2003, 08:50 PM   #11
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I really wish this pain would go away on its own, but it doesn't seem like it will. Even with a very limited diet, I'm still having pain & problems. There are times I feel so nervous about the surgery that I start thinking - maybe I could survive on freezie pops alone! haha. But obviously that's the fear of surgery talking.

I've been having episodes of this pain, pretty severe episodes, for perhaps 2 years. But at one time it was only once a month or so, and it would only last for maybe 20 minutes to an hour, and it was mainly at night. A year ago, in the midst of the pain, I would be very scared & I guess I knew something was seriously wrong. But after it would subside, I would forget about it. And if someone suggested surgery at that time, I would've said NO WAY.
Now that the pain is daily, sometimes for hours or days on end, debilitating... I've lost my job, my artistic pursuits, my hobbies, my social life, and my peace, because of this pain & sickness...
Well, as they say - I've had enough!

Everyone I've talked to so far that's had their gallbladder out, whether or not they've had problems because of it (ie: diarreah or remnant pain)- every single one of them said it was worth it because they did get relief from the pain they were in beforehand!
One woman I met at one of my tests didn't have it half as bad as I have, and she's 3 or 4 weeks post op, and she says she hasn't felt this good in years!
That's what I look forward to!

 
Old 05-26-2003, 11:17 AM   #12
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I am absolutely thrilled that I had my GB removed! I never had the attacks that lasted for only 20 minutes-1 hour. Mine always lasted at least 4 hours. I was by far not addicted to it, but Percocette became my best friend during an attack. I started getting them in January of this year and went to the emergency room thinking I was having an attack of appendicitis. But they did an ultra sound and ruled that out, and discovered that I had gallstones and was in the middle of a major gallbladder attack. Since it was my first attack and they did not want to "mask" the pain, they gave me no pain medicine. For 6 hours I sat in the bed in the ER crying, rocking back and forth, doubled over in pain. They told me they should take my GB out and I would only have to stay in the hospital overnight. I said "is it absolutely necessary to take it out right now, this second? will I die if you don't?" They said no, that I could wait until I got back home to take it out (I was away). I said "well then you will not take my gallbladder out."
So, I saw a surgeon when I got back home, and had regular appointments with my GI specialist/GP. We all decided that I would be able to wait until after graduation (which is this coming thursday) to have my GB taken out. I was only having attacks at the rate of about 1 per month. But over the last few weeks, I started getting them every 2 or 3 nights. I had about 3 severe attacks, and 2 or 3 less severe ones, in about 2 or 3 weeks. Finally it got so bad that I went to the ER. They ran some tests, said my liver functions were so elevated that I couldn't go home, and I had to have my gallbladder taken out. So once my GB cooled down, 4 days later, my surgeon took it out laproscopically, having to make a larger incision than what is usually necessary just to get out the badly infected gallbladder. Guess I couldn't wait until after graduation. Anyway, I am almost 1 week post-op, and other than an awful lot of itching from my stitches, and mild-moderate abdominal pain, I am feeling great! I see the surgeon tomorrow. I've still got some acid reflux, but I ALWAYS had acid reflux! We are hoping that now that my gallbladder is gone, maybe the indigestion will become less, and maybe I won't have to be on any meds for it. (right now I take Carafate and Aciphex). I am pretty much able to eat whatever I want right now, but my GI dr still wants me to watch the fat intake for a month or so, just until my body gets used to not having a gallbladder. I am extremely happy that I had this surgery! I just wish I didn't have to spend 5 nights in the hospital! (like you all, I was not even able to eat jell-o. So their reasoning for keeping me was not only the high liver functions, but also "if this girl can't even drink water without having an attack, how can we possibly send her home? She needs IV fluids." So other than wishing I had been able to do it on an outpatient basis with less of an urgency, I amextremely happy that I had it done. That's why I now say DON'T WAIT!!! Trust me, you DON'T want to have to spend one single night in the hospital if you don't have to! Do it as soon as your surgeon is available! Don't be stupid like I was and try to put it off. I got myself into more trouble than it was worth. Now seeing how I feel post-op, I wish I would have done it months ago and avoided all of those 4 hour attacks! (mine never lasted for less than that. My body said "hey, there's a stone lodged in the CBD, lets leave it there and see how long she can stand it for!)

Good luck and don't wait!!!

Elyse
[This message has been edited by purple2067 (edited 05-26-2003).]

[This message has been edited by purple2067 (edited 05-26-2003).]

 
Old 05-26-2003, 11:44 AM   #13
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I'm scheduled to have my gallbladder removed.
Even drinking water causes me some pain - and if I'm already in pain, drinking any liquids increases it.
I'm rarely, if ever, pain free.
But some foods cause me worse problems than others.
I was REALLY bad for a number of weeks... until I limited my diet over the long-term. I seem to have less intense pain now, and for less time... now that I've been limiting my intake of protein foods & bread products. Also, I've been REALLY SO MUCH MORE careful about not getting stressed when the pain increases. I've noticed that stress DEFINITELY makes it all the worse. And I think I'm better off now knowing what's going on (having a diagnosis)... like the pain scares me a bit less.
Though now I'm stressed out about having to go for these pre-op tests and then really nervous about the surgery. hahaha!!

BUT, here's the thing I'm curious about. The surgeon DID tell me that many people get acid reflux after getting their gallbladder out.
I've NEVER had acid reflux. I get heartburn about twice a year, and it's generally from tomato sauce. I can eat all sorts of spicy foods. Even now, spicy vegetables don't increase my pain like bland chicken does!

I'm wondering how many people with acid reflux had acid reflux BEFORE having their gallbladders out, or how many had it all along anyway.
Maybe I should post this question in a seperate thread.

 
Old 05-27-2003, 07:29 PM   #14
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I have had acid reflux since I was about 14. I am now 22. I've also got IBS. I just had my gallbladder out last week, and I have to say that I think I am having less reflux. Over the past few months, as I started having more and more bad gallbladder attacks, my acid reflux got much much worse. In fact, I actually had to start taking yet another medication for it. But since the gallbladder surgery, I have just had some gas and burning/indigestion, but no really bad acid reflux. Nothing has come back up into my throat. I've been eating things that I haven't been able to eat in months. When I was in the hospital I asked my GI dr if now that my GB is gone, there is a possibility that some of my digestion problems might go away. He said it is very possible that over the past few months my GB attacks set off a chain reaction in my digestive system, causing me to get much more severe acid reflux than what I had been getting. He said that there is a good possibility that now that my GB is gone (which it now is!) and my digestive system will have a chance to recover from the constant attacks, I may find that I no longer need to take any medication for my acid reflux. I still have some general pain and discomfort in my upper GI tract, but I think that is from the trauma of the surgery and everything being pushed around. I see my GI dr next week and we'll discuss it. I'd really like to try getting off of the meds. I can always go back on if I have to.

I'll let you know what happens!

Elyse

 
Old 05-27-2003, 09:23 PM   #15
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Geez, I'm so confused..I've posted on the board so much with very little replies, but my symptoms are so familiar to what I've read here on this posts..The one and only difference is FOOD doesn't bother me at all...confusing???

 
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