2 weeks post-op: my story
I was a "lurker" and read a lot on this forum prior to having my gallbladder removed, so I thought I would share my story in hopes that it will help others. I had my gallbladder removed laparoscopically on Sept. 8.
I am a 25 year old (almost 26) female, very thin, athletic, super healthy eater (always have been). Starting several months ago, I have had several instances of becoming very nauseous and having right upper quadrant pain following a large or fatty meal. This became a lot more common in the past 3 months, but I still didn't go to the doctor - just assumed I had eaten the "wrong" foods on those occasions. (I tend to have a sensitive stomach).
Starting about August 20, I became acutely ill with what I thought was a stomach virus. After eating, I had nausea/vomiting and upper abdominal pain. The pain was almost more of a burning feeling (I felt like I had hot lava or a hot stone below my sternum). I was nauseous constantly and could not eat anything. For 2 weeks, I ate maybe 2 or 3 saltines a day and some ginger ale.
My primary care doctor did labwork (came back normal), put me on Zofran and Omeprazole, and ordered an abdominal ultrasound. My abdominal US came back normal. At that point I had been sick for 2 weeks and I had lost quite a bit of weight. My doctor decided to admit me to the hospital so I could get IV fluids/electrolytes, HIDA scan, CT, and consult with a surgeon and GI doctor all at once.
My HIDA scan (done with and without CCK) came back normal; my ejection fraction was 75%. I also had an endoscopy that showed some gastritis and yeast.
In spite of my normal scans, the surgeon and GI believed very strongly that it was my gall bladder. I was "officially" diagnosed with biliary dyskinesia. My GI mentioned that sometimes, especially in young, thin women, gallbladder problem presents primarily as very bad nausea (which was my overwhelming symptom - the pain was not that bad). My surgeon gave me the speech that "this surgery may not fix your problem," but I elected to have the surgery.
Well, 2 weeks post op - the gallbladder was DEFINITELY my problem, and I feel SO MUCH BETTER! My nausea is finally gone and I am able to eat.
For the first week to week and a half post-op, I will mention, I had almost no appetite. I just wasn't very hungry, and when I did eat, I felt full after a few bites. My surgeon said this is very normal, and he encouraged me not to force myself to eat. He said my appetite would return.
And it has! It is still not back to "pre-surgery" normal, but I'm eating probably 1200-1500 calories a day, which is amazing. I am eating a low-fat diet (for now); I plan to slowly introduce some fats over time. I have had some fat (low-fat dairy, etc.) and it hasn't caused any adverse problems. I have not had any diarrhea (but again, I haven't been eating much fat!). I have been trying to eat a healthy diet - protein, healthy carbs, fruits and vegetables, plenty of fiber.
Good luck to anyone going through this surgery. It is tough if you do not fit the traditional gallbladder diagnostic criteria, but for me, having my GB removed fixed the problem.