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Old 06-13-2008, 10:04 PM   #1
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nikkilewis HB User
Exclamation Life after gall bladder removal - pros and cons

I would like to hear from people that have had their GBs removed. I specifically would like for people to post whether or not they had stones, stones AND a low ejection fraction, or just a low ejection fraction.

After you post this information, describe what your life has been like since having your GB taken out.

**Can you eat anything you want?

**Do you get phantom pains?

**If so, are they as bad as the "real" GB attacks?

**Do you experience diarrhea?

**For those of you that have had laparoscopic GB removal, what was recovery like, and how long were you sore for? What was your post-op pain on a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the worst pain imaginable.

**Name the pros and cons of having your GB removed.

I'm scheduled to have my GB out on 6/24. Foods w/fat in it send me into horrible attacks. I had a NEGATIVE ultrasound (no visible stones). I had a negative endoscopy, too. My Hida scan revealed a 16% ejection fraction, which is pretty low. I'm of the opinion that if my GB isn't functioning properly, I may as well get it out.

It seems like I read somewhere that people with NO stones and a LOW ejection fraction fare better (most of the time) than people that get their GB removed due to stones. I'm not sure how true that is, tho.

This forum has been so very helpful to me. I don't like reading the negative side effects of GB removal, but am glad to know what COULD happen, in case it happens to me. I know that the people that have their GBs removed and do NOT have problems don't seek out forums like this (as they have no need in it). So that's comforting.

If anyone can pitch in and post your experience (by answering the questions above), I would greatly appreciate it. My surgery date is scheduled, but I can cancel if I change my mind. I don't anticipate doing so, but I will only feel better about my decision (whatever it winds up being) once I've heard from you guys. Thanks in advance!

 
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Old 06-13-2008, 10:51 PM   #2
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Re: Life after gall bladder removal - pros and cons

I had mine out 2/14/05 due to one large stone:


Yes, I can eat anything I want.

Yes, on rare occasions I have phantom pain.

No, they are very minor.

Sometimes but usually due to too much salad...not fat.

Yes, I had the lap procedure and the pain was about a 6 the day of, about a 3 the 2nd day and then really just sore after that. I jogged 2 miles one week after having it out.

I am SOOOOOO glad I had it out! No cons...all pros! Glad that sucker is gone!

 
Old 06-13-2008, 11:23 PM   #3
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Re: Life after gall bladder removal - pros and cons

Thanks for your response! What kind of diet did you follow after surgery? Did you just start eating normally again right from the start, or did you start with a low or no fat diet, then gradually get back to your old eating habits?

 
Old 06-14-2008, 06:19 AM   #4
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Re: Life after gall bladder removal - pros and cons

Very low fat...almost none. For 3 or more weeks...and then very slowly with maybe one little pat of butter on a piece of bread one day, then a small bite of cheese another, etc. It was maybe 2 months before I was eating totally normally. I don't eat a lot of fat anyway because I rarely eat fried foods but I had to watch the cheese and salad dressing for some time.

 
Old 06-14-2008, 07:52 AM   #5
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Re: Life after gall bladder removal - pros and cons

I didn't have any stones, 0% ejection though.

I'm still now sure that in my case it was my gb causing the pain. I never had right sided pain. It's always been left sided.

Recovery was easy as far as the surgery. I had months of cramping though, even though I was eating low fat. My recovery as far as my cramping issues was long.

I don't have diarrhea, never have.

I still eat low fat, because I still get cramping on occasion which I still don't know the cause. So I eat low fat just in case.

I've actually read that the successful removals are those with stones and those without are the ones with less success. I've researched a lot since I had mine out in 11/07. I honestly can't offer advice as if you should or shouldn't have it removed. At the time of my removal I was in so much pain (cramping constantly) that I couldn't function and I didn't care what they did. However, the cramping remained for almost 5 months after. I still get cramping but it is less often and I do feel like I am mostly normal now. I've lost 40 lbs. I'm still counting that one as a pro though

 
Old 06-14-2008, 12:21 PM   #6
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Re: Life after gall bladder removal - pros and cons

I had mine out due to polyps and inflammation back in Feb. 2005.

**Can you eat anything you want?
No, fatty foods cause cramping, nausea and eventually urgent diarrhea.

**Do you get phantom pains?
once in a while I do.

**If so, are they as bad as the "real" GB attacks?
Never really had an attack, just bad pains under rib cage that would travel to my back and keep me up all night. I would assume it's not as bad because I am not doubled over in pain from it. More annoying than anything.

**Do you experience diarrhea?
Yes usually after fatty, greasy foods.

**For those of you that have had laparoscopic GB removal, what was recovery like, and how long were you sore for? What was your post-op pain on a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the worst pain imaginable.
Recovery was not too bad. The worst part was probably the nausea I had for about a week afterwards. I couldn't eat anything I wanted to and lost alot of weight because of it. Eventually I was able to eat normal, but found out the hard way (diarrhea,cramps,nausea) to stick to no/low fat foods. The pain wasn't that bad for me, I didn't even need the percocet they prescribed me. I just took Tylenol. My stomach muscles were sore trying to do anything strenuous, but that's a given. So pain was about a 3 for me.


**Name the pros and cons of having your GB removed.
con--urgent diarrhea in public
pro--don't have to worry about stones, cancer, etc. of the GB
pro--watching my diet means eating healthier

Just to let you know and help ease your fears, both my mother and I had our GB removed (her due to stones the old fashioned, huge scar way many years ago) and she has no problems at all and can eat what she wants. So there are people who won't have problems and others who will. I just happen to be one of the ones that do. In a way, it's a good thing because I have to watch what I eat and it ends up mainly being healthy foods.
Hope this helps and Good luck on your decision.

 
Old 06-15-2008, 10:43 PM   #7
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Re: Life after gall bladder removal - pros and cons

Quote:
Originally Posted by Titchou View Post
Very low fat...almost none. For 3 or more weeks...and then very slowly with maybe one little pat of butter on a piece of bread one day, then a small bite of cheese another, etc. It was maybe 2 months before I was eating totally normally. I don't eat a lot of fat anyway because I rarely eat fried foods but I had to watch the cheese and salad dressing for some time.
Thanks! I will definitely do that. I'm a little skiddish about just resuming my normal diet. I'm going to take it easy with what I eat for a bit. My surgeon gave me a booklet on GB removal and it says that I can start back eating whatever I want after surgery. I had already decided that I wouldn't do that. I have heard from people that HAVE done that w/no problems, but it's just not a chance I want to take.

 
Old 06-15-2008, 10:47 PM   #8
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Re: Life after gall bladder removal - pros and cons

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZoeGirl View Post
I didn't have any stones, 0% ejection though.

I'm still now sure that in my case it was my gb causing the pain. I never had right sided pain. It's always been left sided.

Recovery was easy as far as the surgery. I had months of cramping though, even though I was eating low fat. My recovery as far as my cramping issues was long.

I don't have diarrhea, never have.

I still eat low fat, because I still get cramping on occasion which I still don't know the cause. So I eat low fat just in case.

I've actually read that the successful removals are those with stones and those without are the ones with less success. I've researched a lot since I had mine out in 11/07. I honestly can't offer advice as if you should or shouldn't have it removed. At the time of my removal I was in so much pain (cramping constantly) that I couldn't function and I didn't care what they did. However, the cramping remained for almost 5 months after. I still get cramping but it is less often and I do feel like I am mostly normal now. I've lost 40 lbs. I'm still counting that one as a pro though
Oh no! I had it backwards! That's not too reassuring! I was thinking that the people with NO stones and low EFs fared better than people with just stones. Hmmm. That kinda sucks! But you know, at this point, I feel that removal is the only way to go. I can eat very few things without having an attack. As a matter of fact, I'm sitting here now just "finishing" up an attack. I don't feel like I have anything to lose at this point.

I do hope and pray that I can eat normally again. I'm from the south (born and raised), and I like fat foods. I like fried foods. I like hot and spicy foods. I can't have any of that right now, and it's about to get the best of me. I have to cook for my family, and watch them eat, which isn't my idea of fun.

When you say you get cramping, do you mean abdominal cramping? Is it like gas cramping? Did you ever get the backpain with your GB attacks, and if so, do you (or DID you) get any after removal?

TIA. I'm trying to get as much info (FIRST HAND info) as I can before my surgery. You guys are great!

 
Old 06-15-2008, 10:51 PM   #9
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Re: Life after gall bladder removal - pros and cons

Quote:
Originally Posted by diamond79 View Post
I had mine out due to polyps and inflammation back in Feb. 2005.

**Can you eat anything you want?
No, fatty foods cause cramping, nausea and eventually urgent diarrhea.

**Do you get phantom pains?
once in a while I do.

**If so, are they as bad as the "real" GB attacks?
Never really had an attack, just bad pains under rib cage that would travel to my back and keep me up all night. I would assume it's not as bad because I am not doubled over in pain from it. More annoying than anything.

**Do you experience diarrhea?
Yes usually after fatty, greasy foods.

**For those of you that have had laparoscopic GB removal, what was recovery like, and how long were you sore for? What was your post-op pain on a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the worst pain imaginable.
Recovery was not too bad. The worst part was probably the nausea I had for about a week afterwards. I couldn't eat anything I wanted to and lost alot of weight because of it. Eventually I was able to eat normal, but found out the hard way (diarrhea,cramps,nausea) to stick to no/low fat foods. The pain wasn't that bad for me, I didn't even need the percocet they prescribed me. I just took Tylenol. My stomach muscles were sore trying to do anything strenuous, but that's a given. So pain was about a 3 for me.


**Name the pros and cons of having your GB removed.
con--urgent diarrhea in public
pro--don't have to worry about stones, cancer, etc. of the GB
pro--watching my diet means eating healthier

Just to let you know and help ease your fears, both my mother and I had our GB removed (her due to stones the old fashioned, huge scar way many years ago) and she has no problems at all and can eat what she wants. So there are people who won't have problems and others who will. I just happen to be one of the ones that do. In a way, it's a good thing because I have to watch what I eat and it ends up mainly being healthy foods.
Hope this helps and Good luck on your decision.
I've got the same question for you as I had for Zoe. Is the cramping you mention "abdominal" cramping (like gas cramps)? Also, do you ever take anything like Immodium for your diarrhea? Metamucil (or some fiber supplement)? I'm trying to think of all the things that can happen and how I might be able to deal with them.

When I have attacks, the back pain is the worst. I also get severe indigestion. That's usually the first sign of an attack. The backpain is horrendous. At this point, I just want it OUT. I'm willing to take my chances and see if the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. I'm PRAYING it is!!!!

How soon after eating a meal (fatty/greasy/trigger food) is it before the diarrhea starts? Is it so bad that it hinders going out to dinner, etc.?

 
Old 06-16-2008, 07:13 AM   #10
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Re: Life after gall bladder removal - pros and cons

I had mine out 8 weeks after giving birth to my oldest daughter - way back in 1997. It was full of stones, discovered when I was about 6 months along. The back pain was the hardest part to deal with, and since I couldn't have surgery while pregnant, I had to just watch what I ate. No spicy, greasy, or fatty foods, which left me to a bland diet. And me with crazy cravings!

Since having it out I can eat anything I want with no problems and I never did experience any phantom pains. I was in such a fog that I really had very little pain after my laproscopic procedure. I went home the next day and was just very sleepy from the pain meds, but was back taking care of my baby within a couple of days.

In my case there are no cons, just pros. I'm so glad I had it out!

 
Old 06-17-2008, 06:25 AM   #11
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Re: Life after gall bladder removal - pros and cons

Hiya - in answer to your questions;

I had my gallbladder removed due to regular gallbladder attacks. My gallbladder was very worse for wear, but had no stones or sludge, just a thickened wall. My consultant wouldn't agree to a HIDA scan, which is commonplace in the US, but I would imagine it would have been a low ejection fraction!

**Can you eat anything you want?
Yes, I can! Putting on the weight I lost, and a lot more!!! If i don't eat regular though, I get stomach upset.

**Do you get phantom pains?
Yes, funnily enough, today I woke up with a pressure in that very area and right now after lunch I have the same back pain I used to experience.

**If so, are they as bad as the "real" GB attacks?
Nothing like the attacks I was experiencing. These are very easy to cope with. Feels more like trapped wind!

**Do you experience diarrhea?
Yes, as above. If I haven't ate for a while, skip breakfast and have a late lunch, I'm in trouble which will take a few more meals to get back to normal.

**For those of you that have had laparoscopic GB removal, what was recovery like, and how long were you sore for? What was your post-op pain on a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the worst pain imaginable.
Recovery was fine, did vomit a little, most probably from the anesthetic. It was painful to move around. I would say it took me a week to start moving around freely but the shoulder pain (from where they put air into your stomach) was still with me 2 weeks later. For the first few days, this actually stopped me laying flat! Uncomfortable but a great improvement from the attacks!
Post op pain - 6
The shoulder pain which not everyone experiences - 9 !!


**Name the pros and cons of having your GB removed.
Pros - CAN EAT! Wow, i've always been a fussy type with my food, but that bland diet I was on for 4 years was hard work!!
I love my food now, we have a new relationship!

Cons - Little scars (easy to get used to though!)
And stomach upset. I have to admit, my stomach is a little more sensitive than it used to be (pre gallbladder problems!)


Hope this helps, feel free to let me know if you have any other questions!!
x

 
Old 06-20-2008, 06:47 AM   #12
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Re: Life after gall bladder removal - pros and cons

Can't answer any questions yet about after gallbladder removal because I'm just now making arrangements with the surgeon to have mine removed.

For me, there's no choice. The pain of attacks over the past couple of years has been unbearable. The last attack sent me to the ER in the middle of the night. CAT scan showed my gallbladder to be thickened and loaded with stones.

I can't wait to get this surgery behind and start living a real life free from the pain of gallbladder attacks.

 
Old 06-20-2008, 09:33 AM   #13
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Re: Life after gall bladder removal - pros and cons

Quote:
Originally Posted by nikkilewis View Post
I've got the same question for you as I had for Zoe. Is the cramping you mention "abdominal" cramping (like gas cramps)? Also, do you ever take anything like Immodium for your diarrhea? Metamucil (or some fiber supplement)? I'm trying to think of all the things that can happen and how I might be able to deal with them.

When I have attacks, the back pain is the worst. I also get severe indigestion. That's usually the first sign of an attack. The backpain is horrendous. At this point, I just want it OUT. I'm willing to take my chances and see if the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. I'm PRAYING it is!!!!

How soon after eating a meal (fatty/greasy/trigger food) is it before the diarrhea starts? Is it so bad that it hinders going out to dinner, etc.?

The cramping is more like when you ate something bad and you get the bad abdominal pains and then diarrhea. Same thing. Low in the abdomen. It usually starts about 15 mins. or so after eating and the first sign is the cramping and nausea. I have enough time to make it to the bathroom. I have had an incident where I had eaten Taco Bell and had the cramping on the way home and was a VERY close call! I have taken Pepto Bismol for the upset stomach a few times but didn't really help. I have heard of a drug called Colestid (sp?) that is suppose to help with bile acid diarrhea after GB removal by binding with the bile acid (my understanding). Haven't tried it, but have heard of others having success with it. To be honest, I don't think mine is bad enough to need that. I just watch what I eat now.
Hope this helps and I wish you luck on your upcoming surgery and recovery.

 
Old 06-23-2008, 12:58 PM   #14
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Re: Life after gall bladder removal - pros and cons

Had mine taken out about 6 weeks ago, while the stomach cramps and bloating has pretty much subsided with a low fat diet and regular citrucel, I still get the cronic upper/middle back aches usually while sitting which I do most of the day as an office worker. This is regardless of what I eat or when. Doc says this is normal but I'm not so sure, anyone else?

 
Old 07-01-2008, 02:33 PM   #15
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nikkilewis HB User
Re: Life after gall bladder removal - pros and cons

Quote:
Originally Posted by huebnrent View Post
Had mine taken out about 6 weeks ago, while the stomach cramps and bloating has pretty much subsided with a low fat diet and regular citrucel, I still get the cronic upper/middle back aches usually while sitting which I do most of the day as an office worker. This is regardless of what I eat or when. Doc says this is normal but I'm not so sure, anyone else?
Just wondering how you're doing now? Are you still getting the backaches? I had mine out on 6/24/08, and made the mistake of eating something fatty, which made me have the back pains. They weren't as severe as pre-surgery, but it was enough to get my attention.

 
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