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Gallbladder surgery
Old 11-14-2016, 10:44 PM   #1
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Gallbladder surgery

Has anyone ever had their gallbladder removed? If so, can you the process, including recovery? Thanks.
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Old 11-14-2016, 10:57 PM   #2
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I've had gallbladder surgery...but it was about 23 years ago.

I was in the hospital for 24 hours. The surgeon made three tiny incisions that healed easily with surgical tape. Even though I had a clerical position, I was told to stay home for two weeks.

Not much discomfort from the surgery at all but I got fatigued easily. I imagine procedures and recovery have been improved by now.
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Old 11-14-2016, 11:43 PM   #3
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My gall bladder surgery was 36 years ago, done the old fashioned way - I have a 4 inch "hockey stick scar" on my abdomen. They now do the surgery with small incisions.
But even with that major surgery, I was back to work in 2 weeks. I had a white collar job; would not have been able to work at a physical job that quickly. With current surgical procedure I suspect recovery would be very quick.
Dietary recovery was immediate. My first meal post-op, in the hospital, was a cheeseburger. That would have sent me into agony pre-surgery. No dietary restrictions after surgery.
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Old 11-15-2016, 12:04 AM   #4
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Thanks for the responses. Anyone with a more recent experiences?
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Old 11-15-2016, 12:22 AM   #5
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I had mine out 4 years ago. It was an outpatient procedure and I worked from home afterwards. No real problems except when my wife was driving me home. I'd drank some water after waking up but on the way home I felt like I was very thirsty and short of breath. It was very uncomfortable but when I got home I drank a lot of water and then started feeling better. It might have been from the anesthesia. Anyway, I'd recommend having plenty of water with you going home. I didn't have much pain either, and didn't even finish the vicodin they prescribed.
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Old 11-15-2016, 12:39 AM   #6
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I had surgery a few years ago. It was outpatient and was absolutely nothing. There was anesthesia but didn't give me a bad feeling afterwards. I remember I was starving after and I had my husband drive through Jack in the Box on the way home. I came home and used the computer a lot that day and night.

Some people after this surgery apparently have some difficultly eating foods with high fat, but I never had any problems. There was really no recovery to it for me. I was fine.
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Old 11-15-2016, 12:51 AM   #7
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Thanks Katsmeow and niven!
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Old 11-15-2016, 01:19 AM   #8
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I had mine removed in 1994. The surgery was pretty easy, although during recovery you won't want pets or kids/grandkids jumping up on you for a while. I had surgery on a Friday afternoon, was released Saturday, and went back to work at the university part time on Monday. I was a little too wiped out to work all day the first day or two.
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Old 11-15-2016, 06:47 AM   #9
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Most gallbladders are now removed by laprascope with 3 little incisions. But in some cases, the surgeons may have to do the old style surgery which puts you down a few weeks.

You might be down a week total.
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Old 11-15-2016, 07:29 AM   #10
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Most gallbladders are now removed by laprascope with 3 little incisions. But in some cases, the surgeons may have to do the old style surgery which puts you down a few weeks.

You might be down a week total.
I had it done 2 years ago. The surgeon will warn you that there's always the possibility of needing to change from laprascopic to full surgery if he finds something unusual, but this fairly rare.

I had had a couple of minor attacks, and the ultra sound showed several gallstones. As my surgeon put it, we can do the surgery now, the easy way, or we can wait until you are rushed to the hospital with an enlarged gall bladder, and do it the hard way.

Surgery was outpatient. Arrived at the hospital at 6am, and was in the car going home by 10am. In my case I had very little pain, worked from home for a few days, and then resumed normal activities (excersizing reasonable caution). The longest lasting effect was the bruise around my belly button. Looked like a took a cannon ball to the gut, but it was not very painful, and was gone in about 10 days.

Good luck.
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Old 11-15-2016, 08:10 AM   #11
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Easy. Like Cards fan suggested they sometimes have to revert back to the old fashioned way. The recovery from surgery was easy. The recovery of my digestive system wasn't!

Mostly my fault as I tried to eat my way through the problem. Listen to the docs advice on diet, particularly about fats! I didn't and had a very unpleasant first year. It's normal now, I could have saved a lot unpleasant times by following instructions.
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Old 11-15-2016, 09:30 AM   #12
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I had pancreatitis a year ago and that resulted in having my gallbladder removed. I was in the hospital for 10 days most of which was to get my pancreas to calm down before they took out my gallbladder. The Drs suspected it was brought on by a gallstone that got stuck in the bile duct. The pancreatitis was awful, but the gallbladder removal was nothing in comparison. Laparoscopic procedure with 3 small incisions. While I have decreased my fat consumption diet wise, I still enjoy eating cheese, yogurt, steak, etc and have not experienced any post surgery problems and have had no abdominal pain since getting out of the hospital last year.
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Old 11-15-2016, 10:29 AM   #13
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Timely thread for me. I'm planning to get my gallbladder removed within the next few months. I was released from a 2-day inpatient hospital stay this past Saturday when admitted from the ED for a gastric bleed. But when the pain started four days previously, I thought it was my gallbladder, and made an appointment to see a general surgeon. When I realized I was having a GI bleed I went to the ED immediately and was admitted. Had two blood transfusions, and endoscope to identify the gastric ulcers that were bleeding, and am on Protonix to help heal five ulcers.


My learnings from this....epigastric pain is not always what you think. I knew I had gallstones from an ultrasound 4 years ago, so assumed the pain was gallbladder. The GI bleed was quite a surprise. I am planning to have the gallbladder removed so there is less confusion in the future if I have pain again.
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Old 11-15-2016, 11:00 AM   #14
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CardsFan, u mentioned a couple of attacks. What did you mean by that? Als, thanks for the response. Now I'm greatly reassured.
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Old 11-15-2016, 11:22 AM   #15
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CardsFan, u mentioned a couple of attacks. What did you mean by that? Als, thanks for the response. Now I'm greatly reassured.
A gall bladder attack can occur when a gall stone moves into, and blocks, the bile duct. Symptom was pain in the very center of abdomen, just below the ribcage. It lasted about 3-4 hours. I was actually preparing to go to the emergency room when it disappearred as suddenly as it came on. Luckily the gall stone passed. After consulting Dr. Google (actually WebMD) that Sunday afternoon I was pretty sure it was the gall bladder. A follow-up symptom is a chaulky stool the next day (Yup).

Ultrasound confirmed the gallstones. Doc said that many people have gallstones with no symptoms at all. But once you have an attack, the probability of more severe future attacks increases greatly. Since I was frequently travelling to China and other countries at the time, I elected to have the gallbladder removed ASAP. The thought of a severe attack requiring traditional surgery, while in the neatherlands of China, did not appeal to me.

FYI, Doc said conventional wisdom is that women tend to have gallstones more than men, but when men have them the probability of severe attacks are greater. OTOH, He also said that gallstones may just be detected in women more often because they are more likely to have an ultrasound for other reasons, and have the stones detected accidentally.

Hope this helps.
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Old 11-15-2016, 12:07 PM   #16
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My learnings from this....epigastric pain is not always what you think. I knew I had gallstones from an ultrasound 4 years ago, so assumed the pain was gallbladder. The GI bleed was quite a surprise. I am planning to have the gallbladder removed so there is less confusion in the future if I have pain again.
In my case, I'd had these extremely painful events more times than I could count over years, and my doctor kept telling me it was acid reflux. Finally they said "hey, it might be gallstones!" and the ultrasound confirmed it. It wasn't just triggered by fatty foods in my case. Iced tea or coffee (which I don't normally drink) could set it off that night. Now I'm fine.
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Old 11-15-2016, 12:56 PM   #17
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Mine was about 4-years ago. It was done laparoscopically. I did not take it easy long enough, lifted something too heavy and tore a muscle in my side. That added a few weeks to my recovery.

Never had any problems with food afterwards. My wife also had hers removed and she didn't have food problems either. But some people do.

cd :O)
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Old 11-15-2016, 01:10 PM   #18
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Never had any problems with food afterwards. My wife also had hers removed and she didn't have food problems either. But some people do.

cd :O)
I also have had no issues with food. When I asked, the surgeon said there was no need to change my diet right away. If a particular food was bothersome it would be apparent, then I could limit/cut that food.

OTOH, I have a friend who had her gallbladder removed a few years before me. She does have issues with fatty food and spicy food, and to her great dismay, red wine.
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Old 11-15-2016, 01:50 PM   #19
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Ultrasound confirmed the gallstones. Doc said that many people have gallstones with no symptoms at all. But once you have an attack, the probability of more severe future attacks increases greatly. Since I was frequently travelling to China and other countries at the time, I elected to have the gallbladder removed ASAP. The thought of a severe attack requiring traditional surgery, while in the neatherlands of China, did not appeal to me.


I had no initial pain from the gallstone(s) at all, until the full pain of pancreatitis hit me. If a stone obscures the duct and causes a backup of pancreatic enzymes, your pancreas will start to destroy itself and it can be life threatening if not treated immediately. I definitely would not want to be in China given my episode.
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Old 11-15-2016, 06:33 PM   #20
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I had no initial pain from the gallstone(s) at all, until the full pain of pancreatitis hit me. If a stone obscures the duct and causes a backup of pancreatic enzymes, your pancreas will start to destroy itself and it can be life threatening if not treated immediately. I definitely would not want to be in China given my episode.
This was what happened to me. My pancreas and a good chunk of my liver and who knows what else, had been eaten up by pancreatic enzymes spilling into my blood. So, I almost died. I spent several days in the hospital before I was stabilized enough to withstand surgery.

But the surgery itself was a snap!
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