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    Old 07-07-2004, 05:44 AM   #1
    farscape66
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    Gallbladder surgery day details requested?

    My surgery is tuesday the 13th at 8 am. I am very scared and looking for details on how other peoples surgery day went. I want details, some of my questions are. How long were you in hospital?, How soon did they remove the IV?, Was it laproscopic or big incision?, How long befor ereturn to work?
    Did you get to keep your stones? Outpatient or not? Did they treat you well?
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    Last edited by farscape66; 07-07-2004 at 05:46 AM.

     
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    Old 07-07-2004, 08:10 AM   #2
    Katie G
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    Smile Re: Gallbladder surgery day details requested?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by farscape66
    My surgery is tuesday the 13th at 8 am. I am very scared and looking for details on how other peoples surgery day went. I want details, some of my questions are. How long were you in hospital?, How soon did they remove the IV?, Was it laproscopic or big incision?, How long befor ereturn to work?
    Did you get to keep your stones? Outpatient or not? Did they treat you well?

    Hi farscape - you are going to do just fine! I know the pre-surgery anxiety can be horrible - I was a basket case before mine. I don't know if my hospital experience will be like yours, but I'll share my story anyway. My surgery was scheduled for a Monday p.m. at 4:30. I had to report to the hospital at 1:00 p.m. to be admitted. I had to stop all food & liquid intake by midnight the day before, so needless to say, I was getting pretty hungry/thirsty and had a headache by the time of admission. Once I was in my hospital room, the nurses started IVs for hydration and for medication. Just prior to surgery, I was given an injection to make me slightly drowsy, and got really bad cotton mouth too. I was wheeled to surgery and don't remember a thing until I was back in my hospital room around 6:00 p.m. I guess the surgery took about 45 minutes, and the surgeon told my husband that my GB was severely inflamed and covered in scar tissue, so it was no wonder I was having so much pain/suffering prior to surgery. Once I was fully awake, I remember asking for something to eat/drink, so they let me have some clear liquids sometime that evening. The oxygen tubing was removed that night. I stayed overnight only because my surgery was so late in the day - if your surgery is in the a.m., you might go home that evening. My IVs were pulled the next a.m. and I was discharged by 9:00 a.m. to go home.

    My surgery was laproscopic, so I had like 4-5 tiny incisions to heal. Post-op pain was tolerable, with narcotics. I was off work for one week, returned as a hospital speech therapist full time after that. I still fatigued very easily and didn't feel 100% better until about a month post-op.

    I was one of the unfortunate ones who ended up with bile salt diarrhea, but now that I have it under control, it's no big deal. Would I have surgery again even getting bile salt D? YOU BET!!!!!! I immediately felt better from having the GB gone, and all pain attacks, nausea, loss of appetite vanished. In fact, I gained all the weight back and then some that I had lost prior to surgery. Eating was such a pleasure again - I never bothered with monitoring my fat, greasy or acidic food intake after surgery, and had no problems with any type of food afterwards (as far as pain attacks; eating however, did trigger the diarrhea, but that's another story).

    I hope I can put your mind at ease farscape. I think you will be glad you had the surgery done. Please post and let us know how things go for you.

    Thinking of you,
    Katie G

     
    Old 07-07-2004, 08:38 AM   #3
    farscape66
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    Re: Gallbladder surgery day details requested?

    Mine is at 8AM, they anticpitate me being out by 4PM. However, I have a great terror of hospitals and of IV's. I dont understand why the IV cant come out sooner, rather than just before discharge. I find them extremely uncomfortable.
    ________
    I am starting to have 2nd thoughts, since seeing my accupuncturist twice a week, the pain is almost gone. He claims he can teach the gallbladder to work properly and have it ignore the large 2.4 cm stone. He thinks I should keep seeing him rather than have surgery. I does seem to be working.
    _______
    I'm sure the surgeon would not be happy if I cancelled.
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    Old 07-07-2004, 10:03 AM   #4
    Katie G
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    Smile Re: Gallbladder surgery day details requested?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by farscape66
    Mine is at 8AM, they anticpitate me being out by 4PM. However, I have a great terror of hospitals and of IV's. I dont understand why the IV cant come out sooner, rather than just before discharge. I find them extremely uncomfortable.
    ________
    I am starting to have 2nd thoughts, since seeing my accupuncturist twice a week, the pain is almost gone. He claims he can teach the gallbladder to work properly and have it ignore the large 2.4 cm stone. He thinks I should keep seeing him rather than have surgery. I does seem to be working.
    _______
    I'm sure the surgeon would not be happy if I cancelled.

    Ultimately, the final decision to have surgery or not is all up to you. I only know that I was glad I made the decision to have surgery because of how awful I felt. No, I didn't try any alternative treatments, so I'm biased in favor of surgery. But farscape, only you can make the final decision based on what's best for YOU. However, don't let your fear & anxiety make the decision for you. You need to calmly work through all the pros/cons and make an informed decision.

    Thinking of you,
    Katie G

     
    Old 07-07-2004, 10:33 AM   #5
    farscape66
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    Re: Gallbladder surgery day details requested?

    Well, surgery is cheaper as it is covered by insurance and my herbs and accupuncture are not. I am trying to make the final decision now. Thats why I'm looking for other surgery experiences.
    Your experience is one of the few positive ones, I have read many negative posts on this topic. However, 2 co-workers had it done and said it was a breeze. One of them had it done at 7PM, was out the next morning and installed a garage door opener that afternoon. Then less than a week later went on a ski trip. Now thats a fast recovery. He laughs at me when I express concern. He was even my age when he had it done. Now that was a miracle.
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    Old 07-07-2004, 11:21 AM   #6
    carebear73
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    Re: Gallbladder surgery day details requested?

    Hi Farscape. I had gb surgery in October and it all went pretty well. My surgery was at 9 am. I had to check in at 7am. They gave me a couple pills before my surgery and then I met with the doctor and anesthesiologist. I was very very anxious. I do suffer from generalized anxiety disorder and panic attacks, so you can imagine.. They put an iv in and I woke up an hour and a half later with lots of pain up into my shoulder from the gas they use to pump you up. I was pretty sore for about a week.. then it got better in increments of 3 days at a time it seemed. Took tylenol 3 for the pain. They ask you to stick to clear fluids for the first couple days and then you can have a little more solids like cream soups and jello, pudding. I was off of work for 6 weeks just because of the type of work I do. My surgeon said I could go back after 2 weeks but I knew there was no way I could have. I did start getting major spasms 2 to 3 times a week which wrapped around my ribs and into my back. Turned out I had a lot of bile in my stomach which was irritating the gut. Things settled down for me at about the 4 month mark and I do not get the spasms anymore. It takes like a year for your system to get back to normal. I had the gas pain for about 3 days. You will pass alot of gas after the operation. I was released at 4pm that same day and went home. Things will be just fine I'm sure. Good luck with everything and keep us all posted

     
    Old 07-07-2004, 12:00 PM   #7
    fear of surgery
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    Re: Gallbladder surgery day details requested?

    Hi --

    Here's my GB surgery story, just six weeks old:

    My surgeon LOVES doing lap-choles, I mean he LOVES this procedure and is known for it in my area... They call him the "marathon" surgeon for the number of surgeries he can do in a day without tiring.

    I saw my guy at 7:30 a.m. rushing through the hotel lobby. He told me my 9:30 surgery would be delayed a bit due to an emergency appendectomy he was asked to do. Okay...no big deal but I KNEW it would be more than a little delay.

    So...checked into pre-surgery area and got into my gown and a nurse came in and asked questions for report. A friend was with me and stayed with me until I went into surgery. This ended up being at 12:30 p.m.!!!!! The appendectomy was messy and he had to convert to "open" from lap on that one. It makes sense, since the patient was suffering from horrible appendicitis attack.

    In the interim I/we had watched all sorts of inane daytime TV shows and I was pretty thirsty from not drinking for hours but it was OK. Like Katie G., I ended up with a headache from not eating/drinking.

    Was wheeled into OR on the same bed I'd been sitting on for hours; then after a few minutes outside the OR during which the anesthesiologist met with me and asked a gazillion questions (and gave me a pre-anesthetic to make me a little "happier"). Went into the OR and jumped onto the (really narrow!) operating table without assistance. Joked with the surgeon (he was reviewing my file) about wanting my stones back afterwards. He said mine were too waxey and would fall apart, not hard at all, so too bad, no souvenirs for me.

    Then the anesthesiologist started the IV which took effect immediately and I was OUT. Awakened being wheeled down the corridor to recovery. Surgery was only 35 minutes! My bile duct was very short so cholangiogram could not be done, which was disappointing since it looks for stray stones. But...my various test results were good so surgeon felt there was nothing amiss.

    Stayed in OR for awhile as they watched closely, monitoring breathing, etc. I was in and out of consciousness during that time. They said they gave me a "boatload of drugs" to keep me asleep. It surprised me because I had a bad reaction to anesthesia years earlier during hysterectomy, where I had too MUCH anesthesia. Go figure...

    So...eventually I was wheeled into my own room and stayed the night. That is standard practice with my doctor and this hospital -- an overnight stay. I wanted to be active so was moving my legs around and shifting position as much as possible. The pain killers in the IV make a lot of people sick. I was nauseated, but never sick. About midnight I couldn't sleep from the noise in the place so decided to walk the floor. Did one spin around the entire floor, slowly of course, dragging my IV friend with me.

    NO catheter was used at any time, by the way. They want you to pee, and with the IV in place there was no problem with that. It also forces you up and out of bed frequently.

    They gave me soup, jello, water, and I didn't want it but did eat the jello. In the a.m. they offered up some hideous solid foods which I declined. By 8:30 the surgeon was in, told me I could go gone any time I wanted. I had convinced the nurses to disconnect the IV by 6 a.m. because of the constant need to pee. I told them I was drinking water so certainly didn't need the IV. They agreed.

    At 10 a.m. my friend arrived to pick me up, I was wheeled to the front door, and walked to the car. Then it was home, up two flights of stairs, and there I sat for four days.

    The worst pains are gas related and your stomach is quite bloated but feels worse than it looks. The more you move around, the faster this will abate. I ate soft foods for a couple of days; then progressed to my regular diet.

    Never at any time did I have problems with the IV needle, etc. I find that if I don't look at it, and don't watch them insert it or taking it out, I am better off. No one LIKES needles and yes, they do sting a bit going in and out.

    My abdomen felt like I had been hit by a truck for about 5 days but taking tiny bits of Darvocet did the trick. In fact, something less would've been fine and Darvocet gives me a headache.

    I went to see the surgeon a week later and back to work at two weeks post-op. That is the standard timeframe this surgeon recommends. If I had my own business, I could easily have worked within a week.

    The more I walked around, the better I felt. I should state that I was NEVER tired from this experience, not from day one. I was only tired the day I got home because of zero sleep in the hospital after the surgery and very little sleep the night before surgery from anxiety. Anxiety is the killer -- the rest of it is a day at the beach by comparison. I must say that the lap procedure is a blessing. I had the big cut for my hysterectomy and it took me 4-5 weeks to feel human and I returned to work after 6 weeks. BIG difference in the two procedures.

    This time, I had four teeny cuts, one just below the belly button, one higher up (epigastric area) and two over to the right side. I had a couple of staples that the doc removed after that one week. No pain involved at all and he joked that he had to go get his staple remover. I said I have one at home; should've brought it! Some people don't have staples, but instead just varieties of tape. There are stitches under the surface so no worries about THAT.

    Sorry this was so long, but though I was anxiety ridden and fearful of surgery (hence my moniker, "Fear of Surgery,") but I am SO glad I did this. Yes, there are little discomforts here and there; yes, there are questions I continue to have...but I feel SO MUCH better than I had in over a year.

    Your gall bladder isn't going to get better on its own. You could keep the problems at bay for awhile, but it's up to you to decide when the time is right.

    My surgeon told me I had experienced more attacks that even thought I had, the GB was covered in scar tissue and was distended. My main reason for having the surgery was wondering when the next big attack would hit. Where would I be? Who would my doctor be? What hospital would I end up in? It took three gastroenterologists and the surgeon to convince me to have this done. I wouldn't do it on the recommendation of just one doc.

    You will be FINE! And you will be back here, posting, within a day of arriving home, trust me. Please write and share your experiences and we can go into even MORE detail, if that's possible. Chin up! It's not bad at all, really, and you will feel SO much better.

     
    Old 07-07-2004, 12:31 PM   #8
    farscape66
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    Re: Gallbladder surgery day details requested?

    I really appreciate the detail,, that was great. The overnigh dtay however terrifies me. My surgeon says 6-8 hours in by 6 AM out by 4 PM, just hope he lives up to it. I have a friend staying with me the whole time for support. I will post sfterwards, if I dont cancel at the last minute. I only have one large 2.4 cm stone, so maybe they will give it to me as a souvenir.
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    Old 07-07-2004, 02:37 PM   #9
    fear of surgery
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    Re: Gallbladder surgery day details requested?

    Farscape --

    Glad you liked the surgery review(s). Never fear, the ONLY reason I stayed overnight is that my doctor and that hospital require it. There are virtually no exceptions. In my case it was a good thing because my 9:30 a.m. surgery time got postponed until nearly 1 p.m. due to that other person's emergency appendectomy! There is no way I could've gone home by early evening after a 1 p.m. surgery. (It might've been a few minutes earlier but the surgeon decided to eat his lunch between the appendectomy and my GB surgery. I asked him, in my groggy state beforehand, if he felt up to performing another surgery after that pesky appendectomy... he laughed...that's when the OR staffers said he's the "marathon surgeon.") It was a happy little group and I have to say that in my anesthetized state I began to enjoy myself.

    But...if your doctor says you are to be in and out in one day, that's how it will be. It is very common to do it that way nowadays.

    If you DID get stuck overnight for any reason, like a surgical time delay, the overnight hours would pass quickly. The worst part of it was trying to sleep with all the noise on that floor during the night. Once I almost feel asleep, then awakened (5:30 a.m.) because some orderly was swabbing the floor. This is carrying cleanliness to the extreme. It's not like I was dirtying up the place!

    To be fair, everyone was wonderful, friendly, etc. If you go in with a good attitude and a sense of humor, you will be better off. If your gallstone is hard, you SHOULD be able to have it as a souvenir. I was really disappointed that mine were so tiny and mushy. Drat the luck!

    Again, try not to anticipate the worst -- if you are not in dire distress at the time of surgery, i.e., it is still "elective" this is the best possible scenario with the best predictable outcome. You DON'T want to be really "sick" during or just before surgery.

    You'll do just fine and we all look forward to more discussions with you either before or after the surgery. If you could take a laptop to the facility with you, you could type out your thoughts as they occur during immediate post-op hours. Of course, they will tell you to bring NOTHING with you to the surgery site...their liability, you know.....

    Try to relax. If you're really freaking out, and don't already take something for anxiety, ask your doc for some Valium or Xanax for the next few days. I did take Xanax the morning of surgery with half a sip of water -- the doctor said that was fine and I take a very tiny dose every day, anyway.

     
    Old 07-07-2004, 08:43 PM   #10
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    Re: Gallbladder surgery day details requested?

    I had no choice regarding my surgery. After sufering SEVERE pain my husband rushed me to the ER where I waited an excrutiating 5 hours before a doctor saw me. Right away the doc suspected gall bladder stones. They took a blood test and ultrasound which confirmed that I had serious stones and was admitted immediately. My husband and I just laughed because we were like "but we've got plans tomorrow."

    Anyway, I was so scared to go under the knife as I had NEVER been put under. My surgean completely reassured me by saying that it is laproscopic, minimally invasive, and the worst part of the entire ordeal would be the gas pains that follow from the gas they put into you for better viewing. He told me I would be completely recovered in 1 week.

    When it was time for surgery, they gave me something in my IV that relaxed me. I barely even remember being rolled into the OR. I woke up in what felt like 1 minute later. I asked the nurse when they were going to begin surgery and she replied "you're done girl".

    My docwas right. The worst part was all of that trapped are. It can rise up into your shoulder and chest area. It was definitely bearable. Also, I felt GREAT after 1 week. I was only on pain pills for about a day and a half. It was sooooo easy. I was back to my old self (and I am a big weenie when it comes to pain) in one week. Of course the lapro sites were a little sore, but not even a big deal.

    The bottom line is...The surgery is no big deal. It is also sooooo common. After I had my procedure, almost every single person I know came up to me to tell me that either they had their gall bladder out too or that they knew someone who had.

    Now I am going in for another surgery on Friday for hemorrhoids. It's the new PPH procedure. I have to say that I am a little scared about that as well, but since I went through the gallbladder removal, I am not quite as apprehensive. I know that general anesthesia is ni biggie.

    I wish you the best!

    Dana

     
    Old 07-08-2004, 04:51 AM   #11
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    Re: Gallbladder surgery day details requested?

    Best of luck with your hemmroid surgery. This will be my first and hopefully last surgery for some time to come. But you never know what god has in store for you.
    ___
    I have prepared my will, living will, and power of attorney documents. I am ready for the worst to come. I have also put in place a DNR so that I cannot be ressicated for any reason. I am taking no chance of ending up a vegatable, like my father. He went in for routine hernia operation and ending up having a stroke on the table and being revived. He the spent 3 years in a nursing home dying. I cannot allow that to happen to me. If anything goes wrong during surgery its bye bye for me, on to a better world.
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    Old 07-10-2004, 07:06 PM   #12
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    Re: Gallbladder surgery day details requested?

    Please let me know how your surgery went. I really hope it all went well. I will say a prayer for you tonight.

    My surgery went pretty good. They did the new PPH hemorrhoidectomy. It is less painful than the traditional hemorrhoidectomy which my surgean referred to as "barbaric". Thank goodness I was a candidate. The only bad thing that happend during this surgery was my reaction to the anesthesia. With my gallbladder, I woke right up and felt great. The anesthesia they used on me really agreed with my system. This time, I don't know what it was about it but I woke up sick sick sick. I was throwing up for 4 hours. I have been home 2 days from the hospital and I am STILL feeling the effects from it - queesy etc... I think I'll have to say a little prayer for myself as well tonight.

    Wishing you well,

    Dana

     
    Old 07-12-2004, 06:24 PM   #13
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    Thumbs up Re: Gallbladder surgery day details requested?

    Do it! I only had two attacks before my surgery, but that was enough to convince me. I stayed overnight in the hospital, as my laproscopic surgery was in the afternoon and I was pretty dopey afterward. I'll never forget that day though, September 11, 2001. Talk about surreal! Was up at 5:30 Pacific having my last allowed cup of coffee, flipping through the channels, when it all started. This was my first surgery ever, and as I also can't stand IV's (usually pass out giving blood) I was plenty nervous to begin with. There was a fire alarm in the hospital, and they locked my ward down for a while. The nurses were all glued to the tv. My surgeon came into the room upset and talking a mile a minute. I viewed 9-11 through the lens of the hospital, and recovered watching the coverage. But not much soreness afterward. Was surprised at how tired I was even a month later, but that might have been due to the times. Never regretted it.

    Last edited by Melissa, Oregon; 07-12-2004 at 06:25 PM.

     
    Old 07-13-2004, 07:04 AM   #14
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    Re: Gallbladder surgery day details requested?

    I know EXACTLY how you feel. I had my FIRST surgery on June 29. Surgery was scheduled for 11 a.m. but because of a problem with the surgery before mine, I didn't get wheeled into the OR until 1:30. Talk about anxiety???? I was back in the recovery room around 3:20 asking for water, ice - ANYTHING and in my room at 5:00 p.m. I was asking for something to eat and drink and to please let me walk around the unit. Everything I asked for, I received. I spent the night in the hospital and was home by 10:00 a.m. the next day. The first week, I was a bit sore but walked at least 1/2 mile twice a day to help get the gas out of my system. I think that was the worse feeling - even worse than the dull ache that I dealt with for 3 years prior to the lap. surgery. The IV came out before I was discharged and I was SO glad to get that out of my hand - they blew a vein trying to get it in in the pre-op room. I was back at work the next Tuesday (only took a week off) but still have a little bit of discomfort around the upper right rib cage. The doctors/surgeons said this is very normal because of them moving everything around inside during surgery and that most people feel better in a month or two. Some people (so I've been told) take longer to recover from the anthesia - that's why I think it's very important to be up and moving as soon as possible. The feeling like you've done way too many sit-ups will go away a lot sooner the sooner you're up. So far, the only foods that bother me are cooked onions and broccoli - YIKES. Please let me know how you're doing - I'm sure you'll surprise yourself, just like I did.

     
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