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Old 08-13-2008, 03:44 AM   #1
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JaneCahane HB User
Still in pain 7 weeks after gallbladder surgery -- why?

Hi,

I had my gallbladder out on 30 June; seemed to go well and was out that night. Two days later I had redness on my navel wound and pregnant-looking swelling of abdomen, which by the weekend had gotten to the size of a basketball. Two lots of antibiotics were prescribed, but suddenly the infection erupted with foul pus, etc and I had to be rushed back to hospital to have wound treated, and was kept in over night on an antibiotic drip as had a fever and very low blood pressure. I was discharged the next day on another anitbiotic & painkiller regimen to be seen daily by district nurses for two weeks. Finally, the infection seemed gone and the wound healed, but I was called back to see the surgeon who explained that when they had taken GB out, they had been concerned about the state of it and cell changes in tissue around it, and had actually suspected cancer. However, the histology results from all the samples taken during second hospitalisation for the infection had showed clear.

After that, I thought I would be fine and back to work within a week -- however, it seems that my recovery has been much slower, and I am STILL tired and my abdomen is still quite painful three weeks after I was supposedly free from the infection. I really do not understand why I am still taking painkillers and still signed off work 7 weeks after my op -- I know I have IBS but have already worked out my diet so that I avoid fat, wheat and dairy, so while those symptoms are still there, they are certainly not any worse since surgery, actually a bit better, so I don't think that is the cause of this present pain.

Can anyone please tell me what may be going on? Doctors are just being vague and fobbing me off with a 'recovery time is very individual' line, however I don't think I should still be feeling as painful as I did when I had the infection if that is no longer there.

 
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Old 08-14-2008, 11:31 AM   #2
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gerbilaurus HB User
Re: Still in pain 7 weeks after gallbladder surgery -- why?

This isn't going to help you much, but, I have heard a story of up to a year before full recovery from GB surgery. This is certainly not the norm. For some people, full recovery is seen in two weeks, for others it can take much longer, from what I know. But I would think the pain should be gone by now.

I hope others with more experience in this matter will post here.

And, I very much hope you get better soon. I wish the doctors would be more forthcoming with information, that is extremely frustrating. If you haven't already, you might want to make up a list of very specific questions to ask them.

 
Old 08-14-2008, 04:25 PM   #3
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JaneCahane HB User
Re: Still in pain 7 weeks after gallbladder surgery -- why?

Thanks -- I am seeing the doctor tomorrow, and plan to do that.

 
Old 08-14-2008, 06:25 PM   #4
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gerbilaurus HB User
Re: Still in pain 7 weeks after gallbladder surgery -- why?

[QUOTE REMOVED]

I'd be interested to hear what you find out, if you'd like to post.

Just FYI - I have multiple gallstones and an EF of 27%. Having my GB removed is something I will probably have to do at some point

Last edited by moderator4; 08-15-2008 at 06:32 PM. Reason: Quote is unnecessary

 
Old 08-15-2008, 04:49 PM   #5
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JaneCahane HB User
Re: Still in pain 7 weeks after gallbladder surgery -- why?

Hi,
Well, one thing the doc explained today is that it was actually the gallbladder itself that was infected, and the infection had spread to areas around the gallbladder, so that was what caused the infection -- it was not just an infection of the wound, but more serious. As to the lower abdominal pain, she examined me and expressed some concern about tenderness around my colon that she wants to re-investigate in 2 weeks' time (she has prescribed some anti-spasmodics in the interim), but apart from tht she just suspects IBS. I actually developed IBS as a 'trauma' result after having a hysterectomy 5 years ago, so perhaps this additional trauma to my abdomen has just exacerbated it. I don't know, but although my energy levels are improving and the doc has agreed for me to go back to work now, I do still experience frequent -- if not constant -- low abdominal pain. I guess I will just have to wait and see then.

Btw, if you are having your GB out, I doubt what I have experienced will happen to you -- but clearly there can be complications, so just because a lot of people are fine the next day don't think it is too weird if you find you are not!

Last edited by JaneCahane; 08-15-2008 at 04:51 PM. Reason: to add in personal comment

 
Old 08-15-2008, 05:08 PM   #6
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gerbilaurus HB User
Re: Still in pain 7 weeks after gallbladder surgery -- why?

My symptoms are rather atypical of gallbladder problems. One GI says it needs to come out and another says it just needs to be watched and that I have IBS. I do know that there is less success from having the surgery with my symptoms than with those who have the "classic" URQ pain, etc.

Is there still some residual infection with you? I would hope that has all cleared up in the weeks after your surgery.

 
Old 08-15-2008, 05:31 PM   #7
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JaneCahane HB User
Re: Still in pain 7 weeks after gallbladder surgery -- why?

Well, that is what I was trying to ascertain today. She did examine me and take a urine sample, and has prescribed an anit-spasmodic, which I think is for the IBS. My advice to you is to work on treating the IBS by making changes to your diet, etc in consultation with a dietitian or eliminating foods for a time (for me it was eating very low-fat, no fried or spicy foods, no dairy, no wheat, only small bits of sweets like dark chocolate [much better for you anyway] & lots of fresh fruit and veg), and then if you experience severe gallbladder attacks (believe me, if you have one, you will know!) after that, go ahead and have the op -- as I was told, they will only get worse.

 
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