Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Carlisle, Cumbria, United Kingdom
My experience of recent gallbladder surgery
In october of last year (2012) i was rushed into my local A&E with acute pancreatitas. It was caused by a blocked bile duct, ultimately needing the removal of my gallbladder.
The consultant however wanted my inflammation to settle down before surgery for gb removal, so when discharged, recovered from the pancreatitas, he gave me an appointment to come back in eight weeks.
Went back to see in December. Seen the consultant on the Thursday, was having surgery on the following tuesday afternoon.
I am now a month in from surgery.
Before I had the meeting with the consultant, i scoured the internet for 'gallbladder removal', by the end of it i reckon it could probably assist with the surgery, i knew so much about it.
However, the internet is full of horror stories of gallbladder removal. From the death of a senator a couple of years ago, to a neighbouring MP who had to go to full open surgery from keyhole.
And then we have people's experiences on these forums. Enough to make you go mad. If i was of a weaker nature i would be bursting into tears.
Stories of chronic diarrhoea, chronic acid indigestion, massive weight gain, massive weight loss, chronic tiredness, continual pain, even though gb gone, unable to eat even slightly fatty foods.
And that lot assumes you went through the surgery fine!
Now, i dont want to dismiss any of the above, because those that suffer it, it must be awful, and my heart genuinely goes out to them.
Every single one of this symptoms i was paranoid about. In the first time in my life I have myself at a happy weight, I work for myself so illness makes me unemployed, the nature of my work means i am rarely within a few minutes of a toilet.
Well, I want to reassure people who need the surgery, that though there are risks of gaining the conditions above, they are rare and hundreds of thousands of people get their gallbladder out.
For me, the surgery was rough. The actual event, i remember nothing of, one minute i was talking to the anaesthetist, he told me i was going to 'feel a little *****', and I just thought "that's what she said", next moment i am waking up in a ward.
I had the surgery in the afternoon, so it was highly unlikely they would discharge me that day, and thank god, i was in terrible state. I felt like i had been ran over by a bus. Every movement hurt, one of my incisions leaked, i felt horrid. Thank god for morphine.
I felt bad the next day also, but i was much much better. They are right that recovery can be quick. I was let home that morning, following the surgery. It was really sore to stand up, sit down, lie down etc.
But i was eating ok, had my appetite. Full of twinges. Every day i got a little bit better. The pain medication had, predictably made me constipated. This was a worry because there was no way i could strain very hard without passing out.
Anyway, I had a week to christmas, by the third day i was walking around ok, by christmas i only hurt if i laughed.
Its now being a month since surgery. I have not had indigestion once, I had the runs a couple of times in the week following surgery, but since then nothing.
I am slightly less regular, but generally softer (no bad thing). The size of my stools seems to be bigger, but comes out easier.
I follow a low fat calorie controlled diet anyway, and i have had pretty much no problem eating whatever i choose within that.
I felt a bit rough consuming caffeine drinks, but that has subsided. I went out for a meal a couple of weeks ago, and unusual for me, i had sticky toffee pudding ice cream and some cheese cake (which followed a large steak platter). Far richer than i would normally eat.
It made me feel ill for about twelve to fourteen hours. It was a general blah feeling.
Every now and then a i get a twinge, like a big hiccup, my weight is stable, dropping between 1/2 a pound and a pound a week (I was 304 lbs, i am now 188, i was 190 pre surgery).
So far so good, i have come out of it far better than my highest expectations.
If you need your gallbladder out, get it out, the risk of not doing so is far worse.