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    Old 03-13-2004, 09:30 PM   #1
    MLivelyGirl
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    Gallbladder surgery

    Hello, I am a 40 yr. old female, just had appt with family doctor, who did sonar and determined that I have at least 10-12 large gallstones, and that the walls of the gallbladder have thickened. I have appt. with a surgeon Monday to shedule surgery and am very apprehensive. Does anyone know which method of surgery is probable for someone with multiple and possibly large gallstones? My husband is in California working (I am in Alabama) and I dont know whether this is serious enough to pull him off his job or not. I am nervous about this. Any advice?

     
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    Old 03-14-2004, 03:22 AM   #2
    longtimehurtin
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    Re: Gallbladder surgery

    I don't know what your thoughts are on surgery, but I do know that some health food stores carry a tea that will dissolve gallstones, they pass in about 13 days pain free. The only drawback to this is that your body probably will continue to produce more in the future. I have had 5 years of horrid pain all directly linked to having my gallbladder removed. Might be worth looking at all options before deciding.. One is a market in Prince George British Columbia (thats where I live) Good luck to you!...Tanya

    Last edited by moderator4; 03-15-2004 at 09:01 PM.

     
    Old 03-15-2004, 08:36 PM   #3
    purple2067
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    Re: Gallbladder surgery

    I had my gallbladder removed 10 months ago. I had several large stones as well as dozens of smaller ones. The walls of my gallbladder were very thick and my gallbladder was infected and stuck to the wall of my small intestine. My surgeon was still able to do it laproscopically. He did however say that my gallbladder was so large and full of stones that in order to avoid opening me completely to get it out, he had to make a larger than normal incision in the belly button (which is where they pull it out of when they do it laproscopically.) I also had an ERCP prior to the surgery (by my GI doctor) because my liver enzymes were very elevated and there was "biliary sludge" clogging my common bile ducts. With an ERCP they go in endoscopically and clean out the bile ducts from any stones and/or sludge prior to laproscopic surgery.

    Now, only you and your doctor can decide what type of surgery is best for you. But most surgeons generally prefer not to have to open a patient if they can do it laproscopically. Laproscopic surgery greatly speeds up the recovery time (I think recovery is about 2 weeks as opposed to 8 weeks.) It lessens the patient's discomfort and usually a lot less dangerous in terms of the fact that the patient is usually only under general anesthesia for less than an hour, and the smaller the incision(s) the less the chance of infection. My surgeon avoided opening me up at all costs. He said it would have meant another 5 days in the hospital for me. I did NOT want that! So, if you do end up needing to have an open procedure, you'll want your husband home because it is very serious surgery. If it is done laproscopically, while that is still major surgery, recovery time is greatly reduced and you may not need your husband home, as long as someone will be able to stay with you for the first night or two after surgery.

    If you are going to have an open surgery, you will most likely be in the hospital for a few days. Generally, laproscopic surgery is ambulatory, meaning that you go home the same day. But sometimes if they do the surgery in the late afternoon they keep you overnight. I was VERY glad I had to spend the night. (If you want to know why I spent the night, this is why: I had scheduled a date for surgery but never made it to that day. I got so sick that my surgeon met me at the hospital and I was admitted through the emergency room with a very severe gallbladder attack and liver enzymes that were very high. I was there for 4 days before they even took me for surgery, because they had to stabilize me first. So I spent the night after my laproscopic surgery. Most people don't have to.) I was glad to spend the night because the nurses were there to get me out of bed, and I was also in a lot of pain (I think more so than normal, probably due to the fact that I had been so sick immediately prior to the surgery). I was able to get Morphine, which I could not have gotten at home. They let me go the day after surgery and I recovered very nicely. In about two weeks I was able to stand up completely straight, and aside from some diahrrea problems for which I now take medicine, I am 100% better. They'll tell you not to lift anything or bend over for about 8 weeks.

    Good luck, and please let us know what you decide.

     
    Old 03-17-2004, 12:21 PM   #4
    Katie G
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    Smile Re: Gallbladder surgery

    Hi there. Purple2067 is right - most doctors will attempt to go laproscopic vs. open incision. It's really up to your surgeon. Most will start with laproscopic, and if something happens during surgery that they need to speed up the process, they'll switch to open. But most all GB surgeries are now done laproscopically. Recovery time, etc. is just like she said as well too.

    Let us know what your surgeon recommends. Good luck to you.

    Katie G

    Last edited by moderator4; 03-17-2004 at 01:03 PM.

     
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