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  • Gallbladder to be removed on Wednesday... looking for reassurance...

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    Old 07-21-2008, 12:21 PM   #1
    5han
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    Exclamation Gallbladder to be removed on Wednesday... looking for reassurance...

    After a HIDA scan in May, my doctor determined that I would need my gallbladder removed, not due to stones, but due to just having a bad gallbladder. No stones were found but I am having symptomatic gallbladder pains under my right rib radiating to my left side and my back, cramping between my ribs, bloating, etc. Nearly everyone older than me in my family has had theirs removed because of complications other than stones. I guess just genetically, our gallbladders spasm and contract irregularly and its resulted in removal.
    Did I mention my age? I'm only 21. I theorize that these early complications have probably been brought on by my participation since childhood in the fast food, fried food generation, plus birth control which I've been on and off three times is said to trigger problems, just like pregnancy does. I'm hoping the laproscopic removal will relieve my symptoms. I can't eat anything but salads and rice without having some form of minimal pain, and when I dare to eat a cheeseburger and fries (which i know is bad, but i did it about a month ago and won't dare to again), I experience pain, then cramping for nearly 24 hours. Sometimes there's just nothing else available to eat-- like if you're at an amusement park or something.
    Anyway.. I'm the first surgery of the day, 8am, on Wednesday. I have only met the surgeon once but he has a good reputation, he's in his 50's and experienced, and he also took out my mother's gallbladder last October and she had a speedy recovery with no complications.
    I'm just so nervous though. I just watched a few removals on ******* and that didn't scare me really. it looks like a nice smooth surgery. BUT I've never had surgery before except for my wisdom teeth and I am terrified of giving up control of my body to these complete strangers. Anesthesia, IV's pumping drugs into me... I'm a person who does not do recreation drugs and never has simply because of the fear of having an allergic reaction or a negative reaction with my heart, (because I have PVC's but I guess surgeons experience this often?)
    I'm so nervous and I'm just looking for some comfort and reassurance from those who have had this done. Was it a pleasant experience (as pleasant as it could be..)? How was your recovery? Complications? Scars? Post-surgery continuation of symptoms? How long until you could exercise?
    It's hard to find information on positive or negative results for people with gallbladder problems who did not have stones. I guess a good percentage of people who have had stones experience further problems because their true problem lies in their biliary flow. But this is not the case for me... my true problem lies within the gallbladder's inability to contract properly leading so spasms and stuff. So I'm pretty sure this is the only logical answer, removal. I'm just not as confident in the decision as I'd like to be. I'm afraid I will regret doing it for some reason... can anybody help support my decision so that I can be at ease when I leave for surgery Wednesday morning? I'm so afraid of complications or something. Ack. Thanks...
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    Old 07-21-2008, 03:20 PM   #2
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    Re: Gallbladder to be removed on Wednesday... looking for reassurance...

    good luck with your surgery on wed, hope all goes well. i had my gb removed last dec and have made a complete recovery. yes i still have some problems but not the awful attacks that i had before. i did have gallstones and my gb was inflamed so it had to go. i have 4 very small scars that r hardly noticeable and i would say that 4 days after the surgery the pain was minimal. i did feel sick for a while after the op but that was the morphine that they gave me. it took a week to get my appetite back but ate normally after that. in the uk we aren't given advice about sticking to a low fat diet for a while afterwards, though others here say its a good idea so be guided by your surgeon. my problems dont seem to be related to eating fatty food but wholemeal bread is causing me some hassle. on the whole im glad to be rid of my gb as it was causing trouble and the surgery wasn't so bad. all the best for weds let us know how it went.

     
    Old 07-21-2008, 05:25 PM   #3
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    Re: Gallbladder to be removed on Wednesday... looking for reassurance...

    I had my GB removed for the same reasons you're getting yours removed. No stones, but I did have a low EF with my Hida scan. My GB was very inflamed. Tomorrow will be 4 weeks since my surgery, and I am SO glad I did it!!!! My diet is almost back to normal (fats and all!). But do NOT try to eat fats right after surgery. I did that and had a phantom attack. The pain wasn't as bad as a "real" GB attack, but still. Take it easy at first, then slowly introduce fats.

    I've had a few surgeries in my lifetime, so it was no big deal to me. You'll be fine. I think that the worry and anticipation of it is much worse than actually having it done.

     
    Old 07-22-2008, 06:41 AM   #4
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    Re: Gallbladder to be removed on Wednesday... looking for reassurance...

    thanks =) i'm probably going to stick to non-fats for a while and ease into them. I do figure the anticipation will be the worst part... because you're sleeping the whole time and once it's over you're probably so pain-killered-up that you don't care. I just hope it fixes all my pains and discomfort! The biggest disappointment will be if it brings out new symptoms that can't be fixed... or, if the removal just doesn't take care of the old symptoms. I'm pretty sure it will, though i have a small pang of doubt and worry. I just don't want to end up missing my gallbladder lol, but i DON'T think i will. I hate it right now. It's put such strains on my life-- as far as my relationship with friends and my boyfriend. I always feel too sick to go out. It's also kept me from being normally social at college, being involved in a lot of things because I'm afraid I'll get an attack and not be able to fill my responsibilities, and my grades have suffered too because I've missed class so often. I'd eat a pile of chicken wings for dinner and a beer, and wonder why I felt like crapola in the morning... haha. Really, my boyfriend and I are looking forward to going out to eat REAL food without consequences a few months from now. Although not overweight, I think certain foods are a comfort to both of us, and I haven't been able to eat them =[
    My Aunt and Grandma are perfect after surgery. They can eat whatever they want. My mom told me she had a small phantom attack just last week but it's only been 9 months since she had hers out... and it could have been brought on by something strange she ate.
    I'll post on here how it goes once I'm able to. I've got to be there at 6:30am tomorrow to start the IV drip. That's less than 24 hours away. Ahhh...
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    Old 07-22-2008, 12:20 PM   #5
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    Re: Gallbladder to be removed on Wednesday... looking for reassurance...

    5han,
    At your age recovery should be fine.
    My wife had her GB out because of eating fried-- fish, fries & hush puppies -- all greasy. I think she passed a stone but there were 5 left as seen on X ray.

    She went home only 19 hours after surgery- with no problems since then 11/17/2006.

    BTW, we are seniors(very) and she never took any pain meds after surgery. I had mine out in 1997 with no problems.

    I wish you well---Harry

    Last edited by Harry; 07-22-2008 at 12:27 PM.

     
    Old 07-22-2008, 01:51 PM   #6
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    Re: Gallbladder to be removed on Wednesday... looking for reassurance...

    yeah i'm not big on taking pain-meds but since i've had vicadin for my wisdom teeth i know that wont make me feel sick or anything. i guess i'll determine whether i need it or not when i wake up! It's good that you are both doing well after surgery as seniors. It makes me feel better about tomorrow.
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    Old 07-24-2008, 03:54 PM   #7
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    Re: Gallbladder to be removed on Wednesday... looking for reassurance...

    Hey guys. Just wanted to let you know that my surgery went well. I woke up in the recovery room and I was wheeled to the same-day-surgery hall. I felt sick on the elevator but I get motion sickness pretty easily in the first place. I was feeling sick from the anesthetics all day but I didn't actually throw up until about 4 when the nurse made me try to go for a walk. Somewhere along the way during the day I developed a migraine (probably from all the drugs since I'm prone to them anyway, and the lack of caffeine) ... so that seems to me why I threw up. Especially because my roommate's whole family came to visit, turned the lights on, and were loud and inconsiderate. The sensitivity to light and sound was not accommodated at that point. My mom (who is a nurse elsewhere) convinced the nurse that I would be better off going home to my own bed so they discharged me once I ate some Italian ice and had some grape juice. I did throw up one more time, however, once I was wheeled in the wheelchair outside the front doors of the hospital. The ride home was unbearable but I did not throw up, and collapsed in my bed finally to get a solid 2 hours of sleep. I kept some chicken broth and tea down then, and this morning I had broth with rice in it, some sherbert, a nectarine, and salmon peas and rice for dinner. My main concern is I haven't had a bm yet. Is that normal after fasting since midnight Tuesday night, and having a liquid diet without usual caffeine up until today? It's gross but it just hurts too badly to even try to push... I'm worried though because I do feel very bloated. Any similar situations with anyone? Also when I can't help coughing (and also when i puked yesterday) it feels like my bellybutton just gets RIPPED open. My mom changed the dressings and it was closed and fine and everything but wow does it hurt. All my muscles are sore too. neck, chest, shoulders, arms. Yuck. But I'm on my way to feeling better and that's what counts. I was up walking around a lot today to get my blood flowing. I just wish I could have a bm though. Suggestions? Thanks...
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    Old 07-24-2008, 04:40 PM   #8
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    Re: Gallbladder to be removed on Wednesday... looking for reassurance...

    5han,

    I'm new to the boards, but wanted to say I am grateful for your posting the results of your surgery, and am happy you are doing . . . ok

    I still have my GB, but it has multiple stones and I have just returned from a HIDA scan. No classic GB pain, but I am having other problems with my digestion and one GI says it's the GB and another say it's not

    My wife had her GB out a few years ago. For her the bloating was because of the gas they put in her abdominal cavity to assist during the surgery. It went away in a day or two. I do not know for sure, but I think I read the delayed bowel movement is normal, as your system has to adjust to the surgery, and it takes time to re-regulate itself.

    I hope it is reassuring that your mom is a nurse. For me, that would be a nice thing - someone who can understand the situation and make quick decisions if need be.

    Anyway, I sincerely wish you well, and look forward to any more postings of your post-op recovery!

    PS - I have a friend who's from Binghamton. Nice city!

    Last edited by gerbilaurus; 07-24-2008 at 04:42 PM.

     
    Old 07-24-2008, 09:44 PM   #9
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    Re: Gallbladder to be removed on Wednesday... looking for reassurance...

    My son and I both had our GB removed on Monday. I am 40, he is 18. We were in recovery for maybe 1 hour. That's it! The nurses didn't even ask if we were in any pain. When I came to, they told me i could get dressed and wait for my son to come out. Then we left. It is now Thursday night. My son is better but I still have pain when getting in and out of bed or up from sitting down. Is this pain still normal? Been bothered a little by food, although that is not my concern right now. I am supposed to go back to work next Monday where the only restrictions I have is not lifting over 30 pounds. Too me that sounds like a bit much. Am I just paranoid or does it seem like the dr is pushing me too fast?

     
    Old 07-24-2008, 10:51 PM   #10
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    Re: Gallbladder to be removed on Wednesday... looking for reassurance...

    michelechen1968,

    My wife took a good week before the pain subsided. Her main complaint was getting in and out of bed - just like you. I remember the doc wanting her to move around on her feet some, though counter-intuitive, it actually speeds the healing process. The recovery seems to be different for everyone, as you have noticed with you and your son. Maybe you can call you doc and relay any concerns to him/her. I wouldn't do anything that you feel is too much for you just yet, but from what little I know, recovery from this type of surgery is supposed to be fairly quick - again, everyone is different. As far a the nurses not even asking if you were in pain . . . well that sounds par for the course up where you live

     
    Old 07-25-2008, 08:27 AM   #11
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    Re: Gallbladder to be removed on Wednesday... looking for reassurance...

    thanks gerbilarious. i am in a lot less pain now. my bloating went down a lot over night. I don't look 3 months pregnant anymore. haha... It still hurts when getting out of bed or doing a "situp" type movement but the good thing is it's so little pain that i can tolerate it without the vicodin. I think that's what's constipating me. So now it's time for some breakfast with a cup of coffee and hopefully i will finally be able to use the bathroom. haha.
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    Old 07-25-2008, 10:17 AM   #12
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    Re: Gallbladder to be removed on Wednesday... looking for reassurance...

    5han,

    Good news for you! I'm glad you are doing better. I'm trying to gleen as much info as possible about the surgery and post-op results, as my Gb may be on the fritz. I'm pretty much petrified about any type of surgery, as the only one I ever had was at three months of age and thankfully don't remember it (though maybe my subconscious does, and that's why I'm so scared of having another one - *insert Twilight Zone theme here*)

    Anyway, the more info the better, so post anytime with your ongoing recovery. I hope it continually improves for you.

     
    Old 07-25-2008, 12:04 PM   #13
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    Re: Gallbladder to be removed on Wednesday... looking for reassurance...

    5han,

    You are doing OK!!
    Healing after surgery of anykind just takes time. And --- All pain med cause constipation. Take as little as possible to get your intestines working well.

    God Bless---Harry

     
    Old 07-25-2008, 02:28 PM   #14
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    Re: Gallbladder to be removed on Wednesday... looking for reassurance...

    I am able to eat a little today and the pain is better. It hurts like nothing I have ever felt before when I cough or sneeze. I cannot imagine having a full blown operation while sick with a cold. The son is out enjoying time with his friends so that is good. Is the pain at the incision normal while sneezing/coughing? (Sorry, I haven't had any surgeries except for when I was 2 so this is all new to me.)

    gerbilaurus, hope you have better doctors in tuscon than we do here in phoenix.

     
    Old 07-25-2008, 02:32 PM   #15
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    Re: Gallbladder to be removed on Wednesday... looking for reassurance...

    hooray! success in the bathroom!
    haha

    i did end up taking a vidocin around 4. I was on my feet since noon getting my own food and sitting up to watch tv and i just started to get that ominous pain in all my incisions. It's better now though. I got a tip to try being as active as possible while still taking it easy in order to heal more quickly and I think it's working. If I just keep forcing myself like I have to keep getting up and then take short rests I think it will have its advantages.

    Thanks Harry for the advice.

    Gerbilaurus: How old are you? I can't remember if you mentioned it before. I was terrified of surgery. There is so much that could possibly go wrong if the surgeon were careless but the most reassuring thing you can do is research surgeons in your area a little bit. A family doctor might know a little information as to which surgeons are smooth and experienced, and which ones tend to be a little big clumsy. It is reality that some surgeons tend to pop gb's more often, or something even more serious. One that my mom works with (as an OR nurse) is prone to popping and she didn't want me to go with him. I went with a surgeon with a great reputation and it's paid off so far. But the most reassuring thing is, that if they're a practicing surgeon, no matter how slightly clumsy they are, they likely have a high success rate, and you should turn out fine no matter what.
    Ask any questions you want about post-op. it's all fresh in my head. If you're nervous about remembering the surgery, in my reality the only part where you can possibly be nervous is before they take you away. The nurse prepares your IV in the pre-surgery room, and the various people like anesthesiologist and the supervisor come in to speak with you. They make sure they know your allergies, medications, and medical history and they like quadruple check it. Then ALL THE SUDDEN the anesthesiologist comes in. "It's time to go! Have any more questions or concerns?"... yous say, "no"... so immediately before you can even be scared he injects versed(pronounced: ver-said) into your IV and when it hits you, you can't even answer a question, or think, and you don't even want to move because it feels so good. I bet it's like close to the heroine family or something haha (no i've never done it don't worry). So, I do not remember even being wheeled to the OR. They made me remove my glasses though before he took me, so everything was super blurry. I'm blind as a bat without those. So, I remember being in the OR, meeting all the staff who would be operating while i was blind drugged and laying on the table. They're all doing stuff around you and you just don't care what's going on at that point. They give you the mask, tell you to breathe in deep, and within 3 breaths the next thing I remember is waking up in the recovery room.
    By that point it's over, and even if you become scared in there you just have to try to stay awake. The quicker you are awake and responsive, the quicker you get to go to your bed and see your family and friends. You might feel sick to your stomach from all the drugs but they give you more drugs to get rid of that and more drugs for pain ( or they don't. they have to ask you. APPARENTLY they asked if i wanted morphine and i said no but i do not remember that.) Once you're in recovery they let you go home as long as you can walk, keep food down, and pee. I had to stay longer since I threw up and I couldn't pee because I was so dehydrated after surgery that my mouth was parched.
    But that's kind of exactly documented what happened to me. Basically the surgery is nothing you'll remember. anticipation is the worst part.

    Make sure it's your gb that's really the problem though first and foremost. If you have stones, then you might want to first look into holistic remedies for bile problems. Stones sometimes aren't a gb problem at the root, and if you got your gb removed you might still get stones in your bile ducts or liver. There are some things you can take to make you less likely to get stones that you could try. Maybe if you surf the net you can find out more about it.
    my gallbladder pain was a little atypical. I did have it under my right rib but also in the middle and to the left rib. the surgeon said my gallbladder was large, My mom as an OR nurse said it may have been one of the largest she's seen when she saw the picture. This could be why my pain spread further to the left. Everybody's different and sometimes you can get referred pain. Try doing another HIDA! It couldn't hurt anything. Have you seen a gastroenterologist?
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