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Author Topic: Anyone ever have Gall Bladder Surgery?  (Read 2196 times)
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Einsteinium
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« on: August 04, 2010, 11:00:40 PM »

So, over the past year I've had considerable back pain. After 5 ER visits (including 2 in the last month), and being flooded with Molybdenum-98 (sorry Crow T. Robot), they've told me I have gallstones and want to remove it. The surgery should be relatively quick, and I shouldn't lose more than a day or two of work.

Has anyone had experience with this? I know that there's not much to change afterwards (diet or lifestyle), but I'm a bit freaked out and wondering if anyone has any knowledge of this subject.

I will be glad to be off of painkillers and to get back to more fun activities (hiking, biking, martial arts).
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LoneStarSpur
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« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2010, 11:30:27 PM »

My wife had it done and it's really helped her a lot. Pretty much a life-changer for her.
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Scuzz
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« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2010, 11:39:37 PM »

I had my gall bladder out maybe 10 years ago after having several "episodes".....I am surprised they took so long with you before scheduling surgery. My doctor was 99% sure after one visit and then ran a test and was positive.

The surgery is easier than passing a gall stone. Laproscopic surgeries are wonderful things. I have since had to have my appendix out that way.

You should be fine in a couple days and will be home a couple hours after the surgery.

One thing to watch out for.......I had this problem and have talked to others who had the same experience. You get a mix of irratable bowel syndrome and diarheha (sp) sometimes after a good meal. For a few years I would always have an anti-diarahrea pill before I ate out. I am not saying this will happen to you but it might. It has eased quit a bit since right after the surgery. Usually a large or rich meal would cause it.

And doctors will deny that is a side effect. Why, I don't know. But having lived it and talked to others I can claim personal knowledge.
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Einsteinium
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« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2010, 12:03:47 AM »

Good to know.

The reason it took so long is I had actual back problems (mid-back, spinal ligature) last year, and so I had to go through some rigamarole to get the difference between muscle pain and internal pain made clear. And they thought I might have a kidney stone originally, due to the location of my pain. The gall bladder was caught on a CT for my kidneys, actually.

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Kurt Stevens
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« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2010, 12:07:10 AM »

Quote from: Scuzz on August 05, 2010, 11:39:37 PM

I had my gall bladder out maybe 10 years ago after having several "episodes".....I am surprised they took so long with you before scheduling surgery. My doctor was 99% sure after one visit and then ran a test and was positive.

The surgery is easier than passing a gall stone. Laproscopic surgeries are wonderful things. I have since had to have my appendix out that way.

You should be fine in a couple days and will be home a couple hours after the surgery.

One thing to watch out for.......I had this problem and have talked to others who had the same experience. You get a mix of irratable bowel syndrome and diarheha (sp) sometimes after a good meal. For a few years I would always have an anti-diarahrea pill before I ate out. I am not saying this will happen to you but it might. It has eased quit a bit since right after the surgery. Usually a large or rich meal would cause it.

And doctors will deny that is a side effect. Why, I don't know. But having lived it and talked to others I can claim personal knowledge.

I can say from personal experience that all of the above is correct.  It's been about 4-5 years since my surgery and I still have issues with diarrhea after meals.  Usually, a meal with a high fat content will set me off.   The surgery itself is a piece of cake.  It is about as close to drive through surgery as you can get.  My pain was relieved and I've generally felt better since it was out. 
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« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2010, 12:55:04 AM »

I had to have emergency gall bladder surgery - but it was a piece of cake. Nothing to be worried about at all. I haven't noticed any of the irritable bowel syndrome, or if it has been there, I've just written it off to other things. Definitely a "not a big deal" surgery.
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Daehawk
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« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2010, 01:16:15 AM »

Good luck. May you be in and out faster than Quagmire. My step mother had her's out and was no problem.
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CeeKay
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« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2010, 01:30:57 AM »

I just don't have the gall to make a bad joke about this.  good luck!
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« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2010, 03:48:05 AM »

Quote from: CeeKay on August 06, 2010, 01:30:57 AM

I just don't have the gall to make a bad joke about this.  good luck!

Nor the stones!


My wife had her gall bladder removed about 12 years ago and it's made all the difference in the world.  She used to get hours-long attacks real bad and it took various doctors a few years before they figured out the cause.  The surgery wasn't terrible and the recovery wasn't too long.  The facility/staff sucked, but that's another story.

Every now and then one of her old triggers (like cigarette smoke) will make her feel like she's going to have an attack, but of course she doesn't.  I think that it's just an association she's formed and will eventually get over.  She hasn't had any of the side effects reported above.

Based on my understanding of her experience, this will be about the best thing that has ever happened to you.
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2010, 05:12:24 AM »

I had it done several years ago.  It wasn't bad at all.  I felt pretty bad for about two days then on the third day I felt almost 100% back to normal.  No long term complications either. 
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« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2010, 11:36:17 AM »

I don't want to come in here and be all home remedy, but my wifes side of the family has ongoing issues with their gbs.  The oldest brother had his removed.  The middle two were headed down that path when they tried a home remedy of a 3 day fast that was consummated by driking a cup of olive oil.  I thought they were nuts but it actually washed the stones out of their systems and neither of them have had to have surgery.  Do a search on gb home remedies.  It might be worth a shot.
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« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2010, 12:02:18 PM »

My wife had hers removed five years ago; her general health has improved quite a bit, and she hasn't had any gastrointestinal side effects.
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Clay
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« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2010, 12:30:17 PM »

I used to be a surgical tech and I've assisted on probably 500 laproscopic gall bladder removal (cholecystectomy) procedures. Most of them were done in 30 minutes or less. If there's a single surgical procedure that most general surgeons could do with their eyes closed, it's this one.
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Einsteinium
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« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2010, 04:52:08 PM »

I'm anxious to get this all over and done with now. I just spent another night throwing up, rather than going to martial arts and relaxing while playing some video games. I'm almost to the point where someone with some cutlery and a shop vac would be welcome.

...I said ALMOST, CeeKay.
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papasmurff
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« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2010, 01:25:57 PM »

had mine out 2 years ago.  I had lost about 30 lbs when I first got sick... it really sucks.  Now I have occasional problems when i eat certain types of food.  For example, yesterday I ate at Hu Hots (a Mongolian grill).  It gave me diarrhea and stomach cramps about an hour later.  My best advice is to (obviously) avoid the foods that trigger you.  You should be able to eat just about anything, but the first couple years might be rough.  Personally, I feel like I am just starting to get to where I know what I can eat and really only have a diarrhea episode once or so a month.

Either way, i recommend the surgery.  Learning to not eat McDonalds is far better than being in constant pain.  The surgery only lasts 30 minutes and you will be up walking around the same day.  I only took the pain pills the day of the surgery and the day after.  After that I threw them away...  I have four tiny incisions on my abdomen which healed in about a week and a half.  I probably wouldn't recommend going back to martial arts for a couple of weeks (keep in mind they cut through the abdominal muscles). 

If you are looking for possible alternatives to the surgery I have heard acupuncture is good for gallbladder disease. 
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Einsteinium
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« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2010, 10:57:48 PM »

Surgical consult is set for Friday. I'm really hoping that this all goes well, and I can get this over and done with in the next few weeks.
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Scuzz
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« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2010, 11:02:58 PM »

I think I was at work two days after the surgery....piece of cake....
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Einsteinium
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« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2010, 05:42:04 PM »

Also very relieved to find out that this will be covered by insurance, as I've burned through my 5-year backlog of Healthfund in the last year pretty well.
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Einsteinium
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« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2010, 12:04:09 AM »

Scheduled for Tuesday morning. Glad they had a rapid appointment.
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« Reply #19 on: August 14, 2010, 12:50:08 AM »

Quote from: Einsteinium on August 14, 2010, 12:04:09 AM

Scheduled for Tuesday morning. Glad they had a rapid appointment.
   
Einsteinium, I'll be praying for the best.
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« Reply #20 on: August 14, 2010, 01:08:36 AM »

Good luck to you Ein,  sounds like most people feel this will be a good thing for you.  I havent had my gb removed but I did have a foot of my lower intestine and I can tell you, it was definitely life changing in a very positive way.  Im sure you'll look back on this with no regrets.
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« Reply #21 on: August 15, 2010, 05:57:37 PM »

Quote from: Einsteinium on August 15, 2010, 05:43:37 PM

Yes, the pre-op drugs are great but don't keep me from throwing up. I've taken to eating things that taste good on the way out as well. Jell-O is good in this category.
   
[I just saw this over in the Werewolf game thread.]
     
Oh, wow, Ein!
   
I'm glad you'll be getting the surgery Tuesday. Hopefully, that'll get your system back on the path to letting you feel better again!
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Einsteinium
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« Reply #22 on: August 15, 2010, 06:49:39 PM »

Yeah, a couple of people mentioned it in game, and the jell-o thing struck me as funny.

It's weird, my pain starts on the left side, which is not unheard of, but isn't very common. It's like having a series of lead weights pressing into my back, and every so often someone hits them with a hammer. I'm hoping this is just an uncommon presentation of symptoms, because the alternative is that the surgery will not fix the pain.  And the docs are pretty much out of ideas.
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Scuzz
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« Reply #23 on: August 17, 2010, 06:18:12 PM »

I hope things went well today....................
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Qantaga
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« Reply #24 on: August 17, 2010, 06:20:37 PM »

I want to echo Scuzz' sentiments. I hope it went well and that you're feeling better soon.
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« Reply #25 on: August 18, 2010, 04:16:31 AM »

I received a text message that Einsteinium is recovering nicely.  He advised that after a night sans painkillers (pre-surgery) it was nice to wake up from the procedure without the exact pain he had going in, only post-op pain.  Here's hoping it subsides quickly.
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« Reply #26 on: August 18, 2010, 12:52:46 PM »

Thanks for letting us know WarPig.
   
Ein, I'm glad that your original pain seems to be gone and I hope your recovery is quick.
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Einsteinium
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« Reply #27 on: August 18, 2010, 11:54:05 PM »

Wow...

So, I remember being in pain all night before surgery (that gall bladder, he knew something was up). So I didn't get any sleep before surgery. I got some anti-nausea and pain meds while in pre-op, which made it feel a lot better.

I remember being wheeled into the OR. The nurse (Jackie) introduced me and the surgery to be performed. I shuffled over to the OR table, and they began to tie my arms down, and attach the various sensors. It was a bit overwhelming. She put the mask on, and told me it was an oxygen test. After taking some deep breaths, she said "sweet dreams".

I'm pretty sure I began to say "That's not possible, it's not like I'm going to fall ---" and then I was out. Not entirely sure if it was saying it out loud or not.

I remember waking up in a lot of pain. My right shoulder and the right side of my stomach are sharply painful (from the gas pumped into my abdomen, they tell me). I'm definitely not one of the people that's out shopping or back to work the next day. I have off until Thursday, and make take off Friday as well if I'm still not feeling well.

The constant, permeating pain that I've become accustomed to is completely gone. And my doc said that my gall bladder looked terrible, so I guess it was the culprit- Or I was stabbed with a Nazgul blade, not really clear on the details.

Here's hoping that the burping (which I've been forcing myself to do) clears the air out of my abdomen and shoulder and the rest of this pain goes away soon.

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« Reply #28 on: August 19, 2010, 12:26:43 AM »

Good to hear! One of our friends is about to have it too. I remember waking up from my last hospital visit and it was weird to say the least. Glad its much better and that was what was causing it.
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« Reply #29 on: August 19, 2010, 12:27:34 AM »

hope you fell better soon.


I still say you should have gone with the xacto knives and shopvac....
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« Reply #30 on: August 19, 2010, 12:45:33 AM »

Glad to hear things went well.  Once you heal youll be amazed at how great it feels to be rid of the cronic pain your gb was causing.   Oh and chances are that wasnt a nazgul blade,  its seems more likely it was a bears claw.
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« Reply #31 on: August 19, 2010, 02:03:28 AM »

oh yeah... i knew there was something else i was going to warn you about.... the gas they pump in will give you a pain in your shoulders where it settles.... it should go away in a couple of days.

They said the same thing when they took my GB out, about it looking horrible.  I recommend easing your way back into actual food.  Avoid fried, fatty, or spicy foods until your wounds heal.  Then you can be more adventurous.... just stay close to a toilet (these foods still have a tendency to move very quickly through me.... if you catch my drift smile  Just far less pain.
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Einsteinium
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« Reply #32 on: August 19, 2010, 04:01:12 AM »

Running a mild fever, so hopefully the tylenol in Percoset will make it go away.
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« Reply #33 on: August 19, 2010, 02:07:42 PM »

Quote from: Einsteinium on August 19, 2010, 04:01:12 AM

Running a mild fever, so hopefully the tylenol in Percoset will make it go away.

Get plenty of sleep.
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« Reply #34 on: August 19, 2010, 04:28:03 PM »

I too had forgot about the gas stuff...although I never found it painfull...just gives you a good excuse to be rude for a few days.......it will work itself out thru all exits if you get my drift........
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Einsteinium
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« Reply #35 on: August 19, 2010, 08:27:45 PM »

Quote from: rickfc on August 19, 2010, 02:07:42 PM

Quote from: Einsteinium on August 19, 2010, 04:01:12 AM

Running a mild fever, so hopefully the tylenol in Percoset will make it go away.

Get plenty of sleep.

I'm a side sleeper, so I haven't slept well on my back, especially while elevated.
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Einsteinium
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« Reply #36 on: August 20, 2010, 10:25:58 PM »

The hits keep on coming. I've been running a fever for the past few nights, so they've prescribed some antibiotics. Hopefully I'll feel better before Monday, as I've already burned through almost all of my leave from work.
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Scuzz
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« Reply #37 on: August 20, 2010, 11:03:32 PM »

I am surprised they didn't include antibiotics to start with....I know I started with a one week supply from day one.....
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Einsteinium
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« Reply #38 on: August 21, 2010, 12:06:49 AM »

They started a course of antibiotics in pre-op, didn't think I'd need them afterward.
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« Reply #39 on: August 21, 2010, 12:19:56 AM »

Did you ask if the doctor lost his cell phone around the time of your surgery? Heard any muffled ring tone sounds?
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