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    Old 09-28-2007, 06:43 AM   #1
    buxfan
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    Considering Gall Bladder Surgery

    I'm new to this forum. I'm a 29 year old generally healthy male. I'm in law enforcement so I need to stay fit. I've been ill for about 7 weeks now. Began with constant nausea and bloating related to an intolerance to certain foods which I used to enjoy, ie: Coffee, Banannas, anything spicy, some greesy foods, eggs. I have givin up those foods and have been on acid blockers and anti-nausea meds for over a month and they are contolling alot of the stomach pain and nausea but not completely eliminating it. I have had every test imaginable, and the only irregular test showed a small polyp on my gall bladder. I have no stones, at least none that they have identified. My HIDA scan showed an ejection fraction of over 50 % and I felt good the day of that test but went right back to feeling lousy the next day.

    Now that the nausea is under control, for the most part, I am having pain on my right side under my rib cage and my back is killing me around my right shoulder blade. I even had what I would consider to be a gall bladder attack a few days ago with the pressure and intense pain under my rib cage. All signs point to gall bladder problems but there is no difinitive answer. My Dr. will remove the gall bladder and said that removal of the gall bladder poses a maximum of 40% chance of improvement in my symptoms, but further stated that if he were in my shoes he would have the surgury. I have a couple days to decide. Is there anyone out there with any similar experiance that can give me some advise?

     
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    Old 09-28-2007, 09:47 PM   #2
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    Re: Considering Gall Bladder Surgery

    It sounds like the gallbladder could very well be the cause of your problems. I had pain in my right shoulder, pain under my ribs, pain in my back, nausea, heart palpitations, diarrhea, etc. When they did the ultrasound all they could find was a "small polyp", I flunked the HIDA at 23%.

    It is possible that you either have sludge or an inflamed gallbladder. It is not unusual for the HIDA scan results to vary from test to test.

    I am being treated with the drug Ursodiol, this along with taking large doses of fish oil per my GI doc has substantially reduced my symptoms. The downside is that it can be expensive if you don't have a good insurance plan, that in many cases the problems may recur w/in five years.

    If you read these boards you will find that about 25% of people who have surgery continue to have problems. There also may be long term issues with cholesterol levels.

     
    Old 09-29-2007, 08:16 AM   #3
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    Re: Considering Gall Bladder Surgery

    Thanks for the reply. I do honestly beleive that it is my gall bladder and have for weeks. All tests show no problems with any of my digestive track.

     
    Old 09-29-2007, 01:34 PM   #4
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    Re: Considering Gall Bladder Surgery

    Unfortunately only you can make that decision. In your line of work, you will need to be off for a few weeks, or at least they will have you on "light duty".

    All I know about the gall bladder problems are what happened to me. I had mine taken out on May 8th of this year and I'm positive it was the right decision for me.

    I had nausea, stomach pain, chest pains, and I was losing weight b/c of no appetite. I'm small to begin with, so 10lbs makes a HUGE difference. I was aboslutely miserable. My doctors originally thought it was stress (b/c of headaches). They dismissed the problem until a few months later when it started again. This was last December when my family came down with a stomach virus. I felt sick for about 3 weeks, but figured I was sick like them, however I didn't get better. I went to the dr again and he said it was acid reflux. I took acid blockers, which did nothing. I don't eat greasy or fatty foods anyway. They finally did a few more tests and my HIDA scna came back at 16%. I was THRILLED when the dr told me it needed to be removed. I figured FINALLY I could get some relief. However, the surgeon wasn't sure that the gallbladder was the problem b/c some of my symptoms were not "classic" as she called it. It took it's time AFTER the surgery before I really knew if it worked or not, but I'm able to eat my regular foods and am pain free. It took 3-4 months before all of the symptoms and side effects totally went away.

    Good luck from a former CSI (before it was considered a "cool" job)

     
    Old 10-02-2007, 11:42 AM   #5
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    Re: Considering Gall Bladder Surgery

    Thanks for the reply! I'm asuming that you did not have gall stones either?

     
    Old 10-07-2007, 08:05 AM   #6
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    Re: Considering Gall Bladder Surgery

    Well I did it! I am less than 48 hrs post op from the GB surgury. In alot of ways I feel better but I can tell that it's going to be a while before I feel 100% like my old self. The Dr. told me that the gall bladder had alot of scarring on it which made me feel better about having the proceedure considering that I did not have any stones. I had what I would consider to be my first solid food this morning for breakfast, two peices of toast with a small amount of butter. They went down pretty heavy and caused some heartburn. But, they stayed down and that's all that matters right now. Still no bowel movements but I can feel things churning down there so I figure it's only a matter of time before the runs start!!!
    I'll update how I'm feeling over the next couple of days for any who is interested or may be pondering the same decision that have this surgery.

     
    Old 10-07-2007, 09:40 AM   #7
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    Re: Considering Gall Bladder Surgery

    No more butter! NO FAT...for about 3-4 weeks...then start introducing it slowly back into your diet. You'll be glad you did. Give that duct a chance to settle in before you starting trying to digest fats.

     
    Old 10-11-2007, 12:50 PM   #8
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    Re: Considering Gall Bladder Surgery

    Well, Here I am six days out and feeling much better everyday. I have not taken my nausea meds in over three days now and am down to only taking Tylenol a couple of times per day. My appetite is slowly returning but I am still going light on the food. Mainly soups with crackers I have had one cookie and some yogurt which serves to give me some mild to moderate heart burn. I am also able to eat at a normal pace now, rather than taking 30 to 45 minutes to finish a medium sized bowl of soup. A big sign of improvement is the one cup of coffee I had this morning that caused no issues. Prior to the surgury coffee was a big trigger for symptoms and usually put me down for a day or two. I can't wait to begin eating more liberally because I really need to gain some weight back. I am looking much to frail for a 29 year old male with a career in Law Enforcement.
    Sleeping is becoming much easier as well. Laying down flat was really a chore the first couple of days. Overall my biggest continuing problem is heartburn, which was not present prior to the surgery. I do also have those phantom pins under my ribcage from time to time and the back pain comes and goes but has been better over the past two days. I don't have my follow up appointment until early next week so we'll se what else happens between now and then.

     
    Old 10-11-2007, 02:52 PM   #9
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    Re: Considering Gall Bladder Surgery

    My Mother recently had gallbladder removal surgery done, and she is doing as well as can be expected. Good luck with everything.

     
    Old 10-15-2007, 06:19 AM   #10
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    Re: Considering Gall Bladder Surgery

    Buxfan, please let us know how you contiinue to progress. I am too considering it as all my tests are normal but I have pain everyday under my right rib out my back and up my shoulder blade. Good luck with your recovery and PG this will be the resolution to your problems.
    Sisty

     
    Old 10-15-2007, 09:09 AM   #11
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    Re: Considering Gall Bladder Surgery

    Sisty, I'm Ten days out now and things have been up and down but more ups than downs. I did well the first five or six days and then on the seventh day I had the worst attack of heartburn in my entire life. Some things are definately better. I have more of an appitite and I can eat at a normal pace rather than nurse down everything because it used to make me so bloated and nauseous. The gall bladder pains have not completely disappeared yet but is much less than it was prior to the surgery. I have no more abdominal pain from the incisions as they have healed up nicely. I have not at all had to take any of the RX pain releiver and have just stuck with Tylenol. My stomach is still iffy at times during the day but not half as bad as it was before. In fact, I have not taken the nausea meds in about a week now. Before I had to take the nausea meds just to sit around the house. I am also taking some walks throughout the neighborhood. I have my follow up appt with the surgeon tomorrow so I will know more then as to wheather many of the things I am experiancing are normal and will pass. He did tell me before I was discharged from the hospital that my gall bladder did have alot of scarring on it which is a sign that the gall bladder was the problem. However, he cautioned me that it really doesn't matter if I don't ultimately feel better.

    I guess I'm the most frustrated that things aren't perfect right away. I guess after having an organ that has been essential for digestion removed is going to take some time to recover from, wheather it was working properly or not
    My biggest obstical at this point is driving which freaks me out. I have been sick so long that I'm afraid to go too far away from home for fear that something bad will happen and I will be stuck without help. I need to focus on working on this througout this week. I mean, I have to drive myself to the Dr's tomorrow being that my wife is out of town. I'll let you know what the Dr. Says tomorrow.

     
    Old 10-15-2007, 12:11 PM   #12
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    Re: Considering Gall Bladder Surgery

    What do you mean that you are afraid something could happen? Ten days out nothing untoward is going to happen. I had already jogged 2 miles by the time I was 10 days out! (did it one week to the day after surgery) You probably should be getting up and out more. This is one surgery where you do not want to lay around too long.

     
    Old 10-15-2007, 01:20 PM   #13
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    Re: Considering Gall Bladder Surgery

    Jogging is bad! I usually jog quite a bit, but I tired to jog today and my insides still feel too tender. I got that nagging feeling under my rib cage and my back hurt. First time I really had any pain today. So I settled for a brisk walk. I'm not getting better as fast as I'd like to be.

     
    Old 10-16-2007, 05:24 AM   #14
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    Re: Considering Gall Bladder Surgery

    Buxfan, healing takes different time for everyone. Let us know how you are doing and what the doctor says.
    Sisty

     
    Old 10-16-2007, 11:30 AM   #15
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    Re: Considering Gall Bladder Surgery

    Well, I went to the doctor this afternoon for my follow up visit from my surgery. He told me that the biopsy of the gall bladder came back as "abnormal" and only now is he able to give me the diagnosis of Chronic Cholecystitis. Remember, all of my tests were negative and showed no issues other than a visible polyp on my ultrasound. Even the HIDA scan was over 50% ejection fraction. I explained about my heartburn and he has prescribed a medicine called protonix to help control that and wants me to contact him in another week to see how things are going. He says that it seems that I feel as I should being less than two weeks out from surgery and that I should feel better two weeks out and following. He also said that the pains that I have are not unusual and should go away and gave me some excersices to do that would help. So, that's where I am as of now, I'll keep you posted as to further updates. I feel better more at peace after this visit that it was the right decision to take out the gall bladder in spite of the fact that I still don't feel 100% my old self. If I hadn't taken it out I most certainly would be in much worse shape than I would right now.

     
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