Gallbladder removal  

Introduction 

Illustration of gallbladder removal Laparoscopic cholecystectomy

 

  1. Liver
  2. Gallbladder 
  3. Bile duct
  4. Bile duct enters duodenum
  5. Stomach

 

Single-incision laparoscopic cholecystectomy

Single-incision laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a newer type of keyhole surgery used to remove the gallbladder.

Only one small cut (incision) is made, which means the scar left is barely visible.

However, this type of surgery is not always available. You may only be able to have this type of surgery if you are willing to pay for private treatment or are taking part in a clinical trial.

Surgical removal of the gallbladder is one of the most common operations performed by the NHS. More than 60,000 gallbladder removals are performed each year.

The medical term for gallbladder removal is cholecystectomy.

Why does my gallbladder need to be removed?

The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped pouch in the upper right part of your abdomen (tummy). It stores bile, the digestive fluid produced by the liver that helps to break down fatty foods.

Bile is made from cholesterol, bile salts and waste products. When these substances are out of balance, small, hard stones called gallstones can form. Gallstones often cause no symptoms and in many cases remain undetected.

However, in a small number of cases gallstones can become trapped in a duct (an opening or channel), irritate and inflame the gallbladder, or move out of the gallbladder and into other parts of the body.

This can lead to a range of symptoms, such as:

  • a sudden intense pain in your abdomen
  • feeling and being sick
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes)

There are several non-surgical ways to break down gallstones, but they are only effective in around less than 1 in 10 cases and are rarely a viable option.

For most people with painful gallstones, it is recommended that their gallbladder is removed.

What happens during gallbladder removal surgery?

There are two main ways of removing a gallbladder.

Laparoscopic (keyhole) cholecystectomy

This is the most common type of operation to remove your gallbladder. It involves using a tiny camera and surgical instruments that are inserted through small cuts (incisions) in your abdomen.

Open cholecystectomy

In open cholecystectomy, the gallbladder is removed through one large incision in your abdomen. This technique is called open surgery. It is a more invasive operation than keyhole surgery. You need to be in hospital for longer and it takes longer to recover.

Open surgery is now usually only used if there are medical reasons why laparoscopic cholecystectomy cannot be safely performed, or if the surgeon decides that it would be safer to switch to open surgery during the procedure (this is known as conversion).

Both techniques are usually carried out under a general anaesthetic, so the person having the operation is asleep during surgery and will feel no pain.

Read more about how a cholecystectomy is performed.

Recovering from gallbladder removal surgery

It doesn't take long to recover from laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Most people can leave hospital the same day or the next morning.

You can get back to normal activities within two weeks and it should be safe to do strenuous exercise after a month.

It takes much longer to recover from an open cholecystectomy. It may be three to five days before you can leave hospital, and it could be six weeks before you are feeling back to normal.

Read more about recovering from a cholecystectomy.

Complications

Both laparoscopic and open cholecystectomies are generally safe procedures with a low risk of complications.

The most common complication is infection at the site of the incision, which happens in around 1 in 15 cases.

Read more about the complications of a cholecystectomy.

Living without a gallbladder

You can lead a perfectly normal life without a gallbladder. The organ can be useful, but it's not essential. Your liver will still produce bile to digest food.

However, some people who have had their gallbladder removed have reported symptoms of bloating and diarrhoea after eating fatty or spicy food. If certain foods do trigger symptoms, you may wish to avoid them in the future.

Read more about making changes to your diet after gallbladder surgery.

Some people may also experience pain and indigestion as a result of a stone being left inside a bile duct. This will require further surgery to remove the stone.

Page last reviewed: 15/04/2014

Next review due: 15/04/2016

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Comments

The 87 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

LizAy said on 19 April 2014

I had my gallbladder removed on 17th April. Very luckily I had had no painful attacks, except perhaps some in pregnancy which weren't accurately diagnosed.

Was advised to have gb removed as there were stones

Op went well and took about an hour and a half from going under through to recovery

I have 4 very neat, very small wounds and haven't had to take anything stronger than paracetamol. The wound by my belly button is the most uncomfortable and I am finding that I am needing to rest.

I would reassure anyone that is going to have the procedure - take the painkillers as directed and take it easy

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Anelaida said on 13 April 2014

Although majority of patients benefit from having the gallbladder removed, my experience wasn't the case unfortunately. I had my gallbladder removed in July 2011 following surgeon's advice - I was experiencing some mild pain and discomfort but nothing major really. Operation went smoothly and I was discharged home the next day.

However, roughly 2 weeks after the operation I started to get pain under my right rib and right side of the abdomen that sometimes radiate all the way to the back. I thought it was just a normal post-op pain and decided to wait until the follow up appointment which was scheduled 3 months after the surgery. Because I was still getting the pain which was becoming stronger I have mentioned it at the follow up appointment but was told by junior doctor it was just a 'muscle or something'!

Well, now three years later and the pain is pure hell! I went to GP several times over the years and asked to be referred back - had blood tests, ultrasound and gastroscopy and because they are normal I was told there is nothing else that can be done. I am on Omeprazole and painkillers but they seem to have little effect on the pain sadly.

I am 32 and I go from no pain to severe pain at least once a month which tends to last week or two. I had to visit my GP yet again recently since I do not want to live the rest of my life like this. GP mentioned that it is quite possible that during the procedure either my muscle or nerve got damaged and is referring me to the pain management clinic.

I just hope that someone can provide me with an answer as to what exactly went wrong or what is it that's causing such pain for so long. The pain I had when I still had my gallbladder was nothing comparing to the pain I have now and had I known this before the surgery - I would have never agreed to the operation. So my advice is - if you're experiencing similar pain shortly after the surgery - go and demand answers. Don't leave it as long as I did.

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Sony80 said on 10 April 2014

I had my gallbladder removed at heartlands hospital 8th April. I had only two attacks last year in November. I was advised by my surgeon to have it removed now before my attacks got worse. I am sore and tired. This is my first experience of general anaesthetic. I am quite depressed as I don't feel I've done the right thing. The only thing my surgeon said post surgery was that my gb was slightly backed up. He rushed off I do not know what that means. I was so anxious and wish my husband could have been with me on the ward but they didn't allow it. The nursing staff were brilliant and soon got me up and dressed. I got there 745 and was nil by mouth from the night before. I wasn't operated on until after lunch. That was hard. I did an 800kcal diet for ten days before. I'm moving about quite a bit my tummy is sore and I did suffer from nausea. I guess it's early days so time will tell.

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Fairys85 said on 09 April 2014

I had my gallbladder removed last week and I just wanted to share some positive feedback, especially after reading sooo many horror stories online! After I'd first had the operation I struggled to sit up/stand up unaided, I felt sick and also felt a sharp stabbing pain when I'd take a deep breath, if you'd have asked me whether I regretted having it done that day id have said yes . However a week on I feel great! I'm eating what I like, I feel healthier and the incisions are tiny! It's amazing how quickly I've bounced back..

Just thought I'd share a positive experience!

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stuart1971 said on 03 April 2014

I had this procedure done yesterday at the excellent NE Surgery Centre at the QE Hospital, Gateshead, hopefully this will be useful for anyone waiting for the process.

I was asked to come in for 7.45am, we were collected at 8am to go to the pods/cubicles to get changed and have all the observations done. My operation was second in line, and took place at around 10.30am. Take a book!

The aneathetists/nurses were excellent and reassuring at every stage. The surgeon also made sure I was fully aware of everything that was to happen. Procedure took about an hour, I was under GA for an hour and a half.

Immediate recovery from GA was fine, on Oxygen and plenty of pain relief on hand and constant attention in the first recovery room (a small ward). The second stage recovery (4 hours in a cubicle/pod with regular visits from nurses) was also very good. After 2 hours the oxygen was removed at my request and after another 2 hours of rest I was able to move around and get dressed - though it was stressed that it was very much up to me and I didn't need to.

Overnight the wounds were sore but didn't need pain relief - today I can get dressed, move quite freely but cautiously and don't expect to need pain relief beyond the odd paracetamol. I'm out of breath quickly and can be uncomfortable when lying down, but I think that will pass fairly quickly. Another day of taking it easy and I think I'll be ok to be out and about a little tomorrow, and back to something resembling normal after a week or so.

Overall I'm relieved and pleased with how it has all gone.

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cira1992 said on 25 March 2014

Had my gall bladder surgery a few months ago and have gone through the dreaded dashes to the bathroom with "D". Was ready for this though as my doctor told me about it. Couldn't go very far without having a bathroom VERY close by; was even embarrassed to go to the gym in case I had an "accident". This has since settled down as long as I eat properly. Seem to have an aversion to all things with a high fat content. Goodbye lovely bacon for breakfast! My only remaining symptom seems to be a recurring one that others have mentioned. I have an uncomfortable feeling just below my right rib cage, right where the gallbladder would have been. Not sure if this is normal or not. It is not exactly a pain as much as a "funny feeling" of perhaps a strained muscle or something. Anyone out there have similar post op symptoms.

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Kayxx73 said on 02 March 2014

I first went to my GP in Sept 2013 complaining of symptoms, he told me it was indigestion! Anyhow it turns out he was only an F2 and I got a call later in the day from the guy telling me that he had spoken to a senior doctor who advised him to book me for a scan. The hospital never received the referral and I had to chase it up myself. I was eventually given a date in Nov, but ended up in A&E in October. from there a scan was booked and I saw the surgeon the same day. My op was booked in for the 19th feb, I was told to be there at 7.30am.
I arrived on the date, had not eaten since previous evening and hadn't slept much so I was eager to get on with it..Well I waited and waited and waited, the hours ticked by and by 2pm I was getting rather annoyed, I'm diabetic and my blood sugar was dropping and I was getting cranky to say the least. At 2.30pm they eventually called for me and the op took place. I awoke a couple of hours later, sore and very nauseated, my BP was very low so I stayed in recovery a long time but later I was moved to a post op ward.. They wanted me to stay overnight but I just wanted to go home. First couple of days were really sore, struggled to sit down, stand up and I was walking like an old lady! (I'm 41) The gallbladder sight didn't hurt to much the pain was actually on my left side and round the bellybutton, also pressure from the gas in my tummy. By day three the gas pains subsided but my bellybutton and surrounding area was very tender to the touch. I had severe constipation which I hadn't realized was exasperating the problem so much. My digestion is still sluggish and I am using laxatives to help, once they kicked in properly about 8 days post op my symptoms started reducing dramatically. it's now 11 days post op and I feel pretty good, odd twinge but there isn't much I can't physically do. I will be back to work approx 3 weeks after surgery and I'm not too worried about that unless things change for the worst.

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millycat said on 01 March 2014

I've been suffering with Gallstones for 4 years and I thought enough was enough. So I had my pre-op 4months ago and never heard anything until last week when I enquired. Had phone call last week to say a list was going ahead on 26/02/14 and did i want to be considered. So I turned up at 7.30am went thru all the checks met everyone involved, I wasn't nervous at all, I went under at 9.15 and woke at 11.10, no pain at all, by 12.15 I was back on the ward complete with drain. After a couple of hours I was moved to a side ward, still no pain, drain removed 4.30 by 6pm I was on my way home. Slept fine had sandwich, Still no need for painkillers, eventually had a couple of tramadol next day, now on day 4 still no painkillers just the odd twinge in bellybutton, no stitches just glue used, just experiencing itchiness from patches. can't believe no pain at all, I can only eat small meals now (which is a godsend) so eating little and often. No nausea no heartburn, nothing. Many thanks to everyone at the Jubilee Centre Countess of Chester Hospital.

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RachPach said on 21 February 2014

I thought I would share my experiences, I suffered attacks in Sept and Nov 2013 which landed me in A&E and gallstones were predicted and this was confirmed with a scan in December and an operation planned for Feb 2014. I had never known such pain when I was having the two attacks, however, other than that I am very healthy although over weight so was very nervous about having the operation. I questioned the doctor about whether it was really necessary but was advised that it was important to go ahead and sort it in a planned way rather than in an emergency.
I went to hospital at 7.30 am, was first on the list, in surgery for 2 hours, the recovery ward for 1 hour and back on the day time ward at 12pm. I felt tired, sore around my tummy button and an incredibly dry mouth but all in all, good. I had a slice of toast at 2pm, lots of water and was heading home at 5.30pm.
When I got home the first couple of days were tough, didn't sleep well and hard to move around as tummy muscles were tender, by day 3 things were on the up. I am now on day 8. I rest a lot but also go for walks each day and can can move about okay. I am due to get the staples out on day 11. I have 5 in my tummy button and 2 in each of the incisions on my rib cage. I am told that they are all healing well. I have planned 2 weeks off work and then think I will be ready to return.
I was so anxious and apprehensive about going ahead with the operation but it was so worth it. I am no longer nervous about having an attack or what I am eating. Go for it, I am so pleased I did.

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Sam1977 said on 19 February 2014

After couple of nasty acute cholecystitis attacks in two months, including hospitalisation for 2 weeks in the second one, got my GB last week. Although I was warned that due to my past conditions, I should be prepared for an open cut, thanks to the very experienced surgeon who managed to get it out through the key hole operation which lasted longer than usual. Initial week was uncomfortable with diarrhoea and side effects of heavy anti-biotics medication. However since I was home the following day, I was more at peace since I didnt have to be in an hospital environment. Still struggling to find out what food suits me and what not, for now, am playing it safe with low fat diet. I guess eventually it would depend on person to person in terms of the body getting adjusted to being without an internal organ, but best to get it out rather than suffer from a damaged one.

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Jewels54X said on 07 February 2014

After several years of sleepless, painful nights with indigestion and heartburn, i was diagnosed with a gallstone and eventually decided to have gallbladder surgery to hopefully improve my quality of life. I had my op on 26th November 2013, all went well and recovery after was long and uncomfortable, I went back to work after 7 weeks off and 3 weeks into being back I am experiencing terrible pain on my right side under my ribcage, I can't lie on that side, I am getting indigestion and heartburn after everything I eat even though I am still taking Omeprazole every day. Some days the pain is so bad, I feel as though a rib is cracked or broken, I am restricted to what I can do. I have been back to my GP and they have done a blood test which was fine, just waiting now for an ultrasound to see if they can detect a problem. At the moment I feel as though I am worse off than before I had my surgery. Good to read other people's issues as well, good luck to all those that have had the surgery and now feel better in yourselves, sympathy for those who are still experiencing similar or worse problems than myself.

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beagal said on 29 January 2014

Hope you all recover well and it is good to see the comments thank you for posting them makes me feel better. I had scan today and my gall bladder is full of stones, the Surgeon says he wants to do Gastroscopy first in case there are other causes as some people have gall bladder removed but still suffer symptoms like those of IBS which I have anyway. My pain is pretty much constant I have no appetite and when do manage to eat wish I had not bothered as end up feeling sick and in pain. It is the waiting I am worried about I cannot work at moment just not well enough usually work full time and I am a mum to 2 girls as well. How long did you have to wait NHS or did you go private anyone?

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Wikkidwitch said on 29 January 2014

Like many of you, I joined up so I can share my experience and put some minds at ease regarding the operation. I had mine removed 2 days ago (27/1/14) and I am already so glad. I was terrified about the op as I've never had surgery before and was scared of the anaesthetic, waking up, feeling sick, being in pain etc, especially as I hadn't had an attack for around 6 months prior to my surgery. I felt like I was admitting myself to hospital to get a whole load of pain when I'd been fine for so long. But, I'd been having agonising attacks since 2009 which went diagnosed as stomach ulcers, stress, trapped wind, inflammation... Incredible really as I always pointed directly to the gallbladder under my right rib when showing doctors the location of pain. In the end I diagnosed myself by googling a map of the body, was on the waiting list for a year and finally had it out.
The surgeon was lovely, really put my mind at ease when I started crying on him! The anaesthesiologist promised me more anti-emetics when I told him I was scared of feeling sick. When my time came a lovely scrub nurse held my hand as I lay on a nice inflating lilo thing in the theatre filled with warm air and I drifted off feeling more drunk than I've ever been.
I was woken up to tell me it'd been a success but I was gutted when they said I wasn't allowed to keep my stones and after all the suffering I didn't even get to look at them! Was in theatre at 10:30, in recovery at 12 and back ok the ward at 14:00. Had biscuits and tea, went for a wee unaided and was home by 6pm. Been on the sofa ever since with 4 very tender wounds and a bruised belly button but it is nothing compared to a gallbladder attack. Eaten very well today, still no bowel movement but urine back to normal (was a bit odd after surgery). I'm so glad I had it done, keep smiling and feeling very smug! Advised to have 2 weeks off and I probably will. Am going to the loo unaided and feeling better each day. Good luck to all!!

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Topmom said on 28 January 2014

Didn't realize this is a UK site, but a gallbladder surgery must be the same. I had a Laparoscopy one week ago. My problem is I didn't realize how great the pain would be, and how difficult it would be to sleep. Can anyone tell me how long the pain continues? I have stopped taking the stronger pain medications as they made me so nauseas, now just taking Tylenol. Still can't sleep on my stomach which is driving me nuts, can't find a place to sit comfortably, started taking little 5 minute walks yesterday. I will have no follow up care, just doesn't exist with my expensive healthcare in the USA. A little support would be welcomed.

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Toopster63 said on 25 January 2014

Had my gallbladder removed on 14 Jan, 11 days ago...had been having attacks every other day beforehand and at one point had to stay in hospital on intravenous antibiotics due to my gallbladder becoming infected.
I was looking forward to being able to return to normal but have suffered 5 attacks in the last 11 days....nasty pain in my upper abdomen and under ribcage and my back on the righthand side. Not sure how I can still be suffering gallbladder attacks without a gallbladder? I'm still eating a virtually fat-free diet (which has been great for weight loss!) but I'm unsure now whether its being triggered by a certain type of food because it seems to be happening regardless of what I've eaten!
If anyone has any ideas I'd be extremely grateful, looks like a trip back to GP is in order tho :-(

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Dixon03 said on 05 January 2014

For a long time I thought I was suffering from indigestion or heartburn symptoms. However, it proved to be gallstones and my gallbladder. Last August and September it was at its worst, often starting at night, with vomiting and pain running from my back to just below my ribcage and on my right hand side. Early September I had jaundice and an excellent out-of-hours doctor was the first to diagnose me with gallstones. My own GP requested a scan, and this confirmed the diagnosis. I then saw a specialist and she suggested keyhole surgery. I didn't need much convincing, knowing the discomfort I had been in recently. I was not worried about the surgery, more concerned about the recovery afterwards. The operation took place a week before Christmas. It was meant to be a day case, however, due to the gallstones being located in the bile duct and the size of them, it was more complicated. It took four hours in stead of one (similar to previous comment). I was in hospital for four days in total. Stitches were in three places of my belly, as well as a hole for a drain. The recovery from this operation is difficult, due to the fact that your abdomen are such an integral part of your body. Every movement hurts for the first couple of weeks. Walking, sitting, lying down and trying to get up; it's all painful. However, take it slowly, make sure you have plenty of help and day-by-day you will get over it. Try some days without painkillers and only take them when really necessary. I thank the staff at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford for the thorough care. I was so grateful for the operation date I was given, because I was unwell with gallstone attacks a week and again just days before!

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Anonymous79 said on 23 December 2013

I was finally diagnosed with gallstones and an inflamed gallbladder after suffering several attacks over a six month period, starting in pregnancy (I had no idea that gallstones often manifest in pregnancy). The pain was just unbelievable (I would agree that it's worse than childbirth because there's no let up from it - it's constant!) Anyway, after having an ultrasound and an MRI, they removed stones from my bile duct by ERCP (using an endoscope basically). I was terrified of this procedure having had a lifelong fear of endoscopes but it was perfectly fine. It's done under sedation rather than full anaesthetic but I can't remember a thing about it and had no pain or discomfort afterwards. Really impressed. The next day I had my gallbladder removed by keyhole surgery. The operation was more complicated than they hoped due to my severely inflamed gallbladder (it was all infected) and took four hours instead of one I believe. As a result, my recovery was a lot harder than I expected. The pain and nausea when coming round was significant, and it was many days, possibly even a week before I was able to walk with ease. However please don't let this put you off the operation. I am now three weeks post-op and I am so pleased I had it done. The incisions are absolutely tiny and I'm no longer in any pain. All I wanted to say is - especially if you go in as an emergency case like I did - don't expect it to be a walk in the park, don't plan to go back to work straight away or try to go on holiday (as I'd hoped - I had flights booked for two weeks after). It's all fine and you WILL feel better very soon, it just took a bit longer than most for me and I wish somebody had warned me of the possibility beforehand so I wouldn't have felt so upset about it. Good luck to all of you awaiting this procedure. The surgeons and nurses at my hospital were amazing.

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Lucyd said on 16 December 2013

I had my gallbladder out 4 weeks ago and I was petrified so bad I nearly backed out of the op! From August when I was told I will need gallbladder removed I was worried and panicking and had many sleepless nights and now it's all over with I wonder what all that fuss was about I would definately have that any day than have a filling at a dentist! I went to hospital a at 7.15 am went down 11.00am woke in recovery at 12.45pm back on the ward an hour later at 1.45pm and up walking about And able to go toilet at 2.15pm and see the surgeon at 4pm and was told I could go home all I felt was bruised round the rib area no internal pain, no side affects nothing. Feel completely normal only with out heartburn every morning that some mornings would be so severe I was doubled up, no acid in my throat at night and no severe indigestion type attacks under my right rib and back :) glad I'm all done for Xmas and future holidays with out worrying about getting pain heartburn and acid reflux.

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Rayjay21 said on 15 November 2013

About 15 years ago I was diagnosed with Acid Reflux and went of pills to reduce my acid production. Approx. every 6 months I was having an acid reflux attack. It usually lasted for about 24 hours but was very unconfortable. This year, early oct. 2013 I had a severe attack and had to go to Emerg. The ER doc did an ultra sound and found that my gallbladder was enlarged and full of stones. Finally saw a surgeon and was operated on 2 1/2 days later. The surgeon first tried laparoscopy but decided it was too risky and did an open operation. It was found that my gallbladder was. 90% necrotic! After the operation I saw the surgeon and he told me that my gallbladder was probably the instigator of my acid reflux symptons all this time! Now I am feeling better but still having to have dressings changes after 4 weeks. It is slow going but getting better. Thank you very much for a job well done to docter Somani! I am eating well and my bowel function are great. A bit tired of not able to do much; cannot strain my stomach muscle untll everything is healed properly.

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Jenny jenny said on 09 November 2013

I had my gallbladder removed on Thursday in Hereford Hospital and I am feeling better already. I have been having gallbladder attacks for over 12 months and I had a trapped stone in March, leading to severe pain, jaundice and sickness. I was not keen on surgery but after reading other positive stories I decided to go for it. Mine was straightforward, day case laparoscopic surgery and I was up and about 4 hours after getting back from theatre. My only pain now is where the incisions were made, I have no sickness or diarrhoea. I am pleased it has gone well and with my recovery so far. Hope this helps others thinking of having this surgery.

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OVG said on 06 November 2013

Well, I have a gallstone, about 2 cm in size, which was confirmed by US scan and later by CT scan. The gastroenterologist whom I saw (one of the best in the area) recommended referral for surgery which was duly done by my GP.
In the beginning of September I was seen by a specialist who told me that I 'do not fit criteria'. So far I had two very painful attacks and several mild ones.
The lady who saw me said that I could be accepted for surgery if I was admitted to the hospital with pain attacks (well I was not, because when the first attack happened there was 3 hours waiting time at the A&E, the triage nurses gave ma an injection which eased the pain and I decided to go home as I was so weak and tired and dreaded waiting 3 hours). My second bout of pain I endured with a help of Buscopan.
Other things for fitting the criteria are: getting severely jaundiced and having a stone in the biliary duct.
I wrote to the specialist who suggested referral for surgery in the first instance and he confirmed his view that I bound to have problems with my condition all of the time and although he is not sure what criteria I supposed to meet he does recommend surgery.
Full circle. I do not think I can fight the system which failed me dreadfully.
I'm now scared to go on holiday abroad as it would be dreadful to find myself inn the position of needing medical attention in some foreign country.
Thank to the gastroenterologist who suggested referral and thanks to my GP, at least they did not fail me.

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Katie93 said on 05 November 2013

I am 20 years old and I have about 10 galstones about 4-5mm and have been told I need surgery, would you recommend having surgery or having them blasted

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kyles88 said on 29 October 2013

I had terrible stomach pains, nausea, fever etc at the start of summer - after a blood test this was diagnosed as H.Pylori. After the course of treatment I was still having problems so I went back to the docs. They gave me the same treatment again and said it hadn't been eradicated. I was sent for an ultrasound and they found a 19mm gallstone - the reason why I was still having problems! I saw a consultant a week later and my op is on the 6th Dec. Things have moved really quickly for me now I finally have the right diagnosis. I'm at a private clinic (as an NHS patient) which is why the wait list is only 6 weeks. If I had been referred to the hospital it would have been a lot longer. My pain is becoming worse - tramadol isn't touching it so I cannot wait to have it taken out. It's been a long 4 months of struggling to make it through the day. I have passed out on several occasions and I generally feel sick every day. The worst of the pain is at night after my evening meal and laying down is a bit of a nightmare. The one bit of advice I would give anyone suffering in pain without a diagnosis is bug your GP to make things happen. If they had given me an ultrasound when I first was experiencing pain, this would all be over now - yet I'm having to spend Xmas recovering from the op.

Hope whoever is reading this finds some of my experience useful, I have spent a lot of my time reading people's comments for info I couldn't get out of my GP! Good luck everyone.

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Lucyolivercharlie said on 29 October 2013

I just wanted to post about my experience. If you are considering this surgery do not read all horror stories on the net. It freaked me out and nearly backed out of surgery. I had it done yesterday 28/10/13. I was in theatre for 10.30 and on the ward eating toast and biscuits by 12. Surgery went well. The pain isn't great for the first 24 hours but I am feeling better hour by hour. The only thing that has set me back a little is the surgeon inserted a catheter which has made doing a wee really difficult and sore. If you need this surgery please get it done. If I can do it so can you!!! I was a complete scaredy cat. I had my surgery done at kidderminster and the treatment I received was fab!

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lisamarie82 said on 29 October 2013

does anyone know the rough waiting time for gallbladder removal at Walsall manor hospital, I was put on a list with a waiting time of 18 weeks!! but was told up to 26 weeks?? can anyone help??

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Jhd12 said on 24 October 2013

Had my gallbladder removed 6 days ago after several painful episodes since I had my baby a year ago, (never knew pregnancy caused gallstones!) I was really uncomfortable when I woke but had some oromorph that really helped and went home shortly after. No real pain since, just discomfort and stopped taking any more than paracetamol after 2 days as felt it made nausea worse. Only persisting issue is that I still have no appetite and feel bloated with occasional bouts of right sided tummy pain. Normal bowel motions so not caused by constipation. Going to give it another week and then see GP if ongoing. I'm a nurse myself so been signed off of work for 4 weeks due to not being able to do any lifting for 4-6 weeks. Needing naps in the afternoon, as my baby will allow but feeling a little bit better everyday.
Not quite the 'breeze' that I expected but nowhere near as bad as my caesarean and if all this bloating disappears will definitely be worth it to avoid that pain!

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samg317 said on 19 October 2013

I had my gallbladder removed on Tuesday 15th October. Was on the ward by 7.30am, went down to theatre at 8.45 and was woken up in recovery at 10.45, I think, I was a bit dazed and confused, was greeted by the nurse asking if I wanted my stone, its the biggest one she's ever seen apparently. Having never had a general anesthetic before I was a little worried but everything went well. I'd read, and been told, after having gallbladder removal that you can suffer with an upset tummy and end up spending a lot of time in the toilet but so far I've had the opposite problem, fingers crossed that doesn't happen as I have busy life working and looking after my 7 yr old daughter so spending days on the loo wold not be ideal. The hospital sent me home with paracetamol and ibuprofen for the pain but I'm not a fan of taking tablets if I don't have to, the pain has been manageable without the need of the tablets. Went into the shops for an hour today and that exhausted me, had to have an afternoon nap to recover. All in all feel much better than expected, can't wait for the bloated tummy to go down and to be able to do a bit of exercise. Well worth it! Massive thanks to Wycombe General Hospital for their excellent care.

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wisteria56 said on 16 October 2013

Had my gallbladder removed on Monday 14th October at Northampton General Hospital, and just wanted to reassure anybody thats about to undergo surgery that you wont regret it. I had a couple of nasty gallbladder attacks earlier in the year, and like everybody i suppose i hoped it would just go away - but it doesn't. Its not "if " its when you will have your next attack, and most likely it will come in the middle of the night, or when your on holiday, or looking forward to something. I just wanted to let anyone know who is about to go through surgery, that its worth it.
I arrived at 7.30 am in theatre by 9 a.m in recovery at 9.45 and eating hovis biscuits and drinking tea by 10.30. and sitting in my kitchen by 2.15. O.K my tummy is tender, but compared to those attacks its a small price to pay. So to the staff at Northampton General Hospital - a very big THANK YOU.

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Mollyzipcat said on 13 October 2013

My experience so far, I'm currently awaiting my gallbladder removal.

I visited my local A&E after 2 episodes of getting chest pain. An ECG was done and fine so they were going to refer me to the out if hours gp's. I decided to go home and get appt with my own GP the next day as the pain had subsided.
Next day pain came back with a vengeance , I went to A&E again and was climbing the walls in pain.
The docs in A&E were fab, after giving me some omeprazole, the pain vanished. My bloods showed my liver function was poor and they arranged a scan straightaway to confirm their suspicion of stones. I was admitted, I had an MRI to check if a stone was blocking the bile duct.

I was kept in for 5 days while my liver function recovered. I was discharged but told I will need my gallbladder removed in the next 6-8weeks.

I think I need to go back, I'm itching like mad but I can't fault Medway Hospitals service in this instance, everyone else I have come across have suffered for months and some years before getting a diagnosis!

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Hansel Arjan said on 07 October 2013

Hi my name is Hansel,I am 53 years go age on 4 th Oct 2013 I've had my gallbladder removed together with gallstone size of gobstopper. It was pain full under right side breast and under bra strap at the back . I put this down to muscle pulled or stitched ? This was diagnosed in India when I had my "well women" check up . My GP in Uk was brilliant she arranged for scan and followed by operation at St. Albans hospital. Staff was brilliant . I was given gas & air to reduce pain. Come home same day feeling blotted and felt sick once I bought all water up it was relief , my sides was aching, could not eat much as didn't feel hungry. Two days later suffer from stomach cramp for 45 min then had runs all night , just settling down . Taking pain killer hoping to feel better each day. Indian Tonic water helped when I've felt blotted .My family & friends been very supportive. Avoiding fatty food hoping to lose some weight too. Lisa 18 weeks is about estimate waiting time.

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lisamarie82 said on 07 October 2013

I have been suffering with gallbladder attacks now for 2 years, but only found out I had gallstones in august after numerous tests and camera's I'm finally getting sorted. my consultant has put me down as urgent to get my gallbladder removed.
I've been told the waiting time is 18 weeks, can anyone confirm this?? I really cannot wait to get this gallbladder out after suffering this long!

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fedupofscreennames said on 03 October 2013

I had my Gallbladder out on Tuesday 1-10-13. I went into Chorley Hospital at 7:30am. Receptionist showed me to my room on Winstanley ward. Surgeon came to see me and was taken to theatre at 9am. Came round in my room around 10:15ish. Toast and coffee was welcomed Allowed out of bed 11:15. I had shoulder pain from the gas but other than that was fine, apart from a very dry mouth which I was drinking water by the cup load. Arranged transport home for 15:30. Not had the need for pain management just some mild discomfort which gets worse when led in bed. A big thank you to the staff on Winstanley, the surgeon and his team.

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visio2020 said on 24 September 2013

My wife was taken by ambulance to A&E at the weekend with severe abdominal pain and, after tests, it is now confirmed that she has gall stones and was jaundiced.

She is feeling a bit better now and is now being told that it's o.k. to go home without having anything done.

From the comments I heave read it seems that there is little choice (after being diagnosed with gall stones) but to have the gall bladder removed.

Does anyone have any experience in this condition ever getting better?

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ibizas said on 22 September 2013

I had repeated pain down right hand side under breast sometimes going to lower back. Had an ultrasound and was diagnosed with gall stones - Gall bladder removed as emergency surgery.

The Staff at Ward 4 Hairmyres Hospital in East Kilbride were fantastic and after 24 hours was let home

The pain leading up to this was exceptional sore pain down right hand side always at night. felt like labour pains except worse and nothing eased the pressure. I have no doubt having had several episodes that fatty foods in particular brought on the attacks. I have lost 4 stone but very quickly put 2 back on and there is no doubt in my mind that my poor diet and yo yo dieting has contributed to having gall stones

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birstall50 said on 19 September 2013

I had my gall bladder removed using key-hole surgery on 04.09.13 at Dewsbury District Hospital. This was after a very traumatic bought of cholecystitis and pneumonia in June which involved an 8 day stay in hospital. The surgery went well and I had to have a drain in my abdomen fitted as a precaution and an overnight stay in hospital. I suffered abdominal pain after the surgery which was treated with paracetamol and oromorph. The trapped gas caused some minor discomfort for 24 hours. The drain was removed the following morning and I was discharged. As I had had clips to close the wounds these had to be removed 10 days after the surgery by the local GP practice nurse. I have been unable to drive for 2 weeks as per the consultant and insurance company. I have minor discomfort in my abdomen which improves daily. I have experienced some loose bowel motion which I hope will improve overtime.
Overall I would like to thank the staff at DDH and the NHS for looking after me and making me better.

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LKJandLCJ said on 02 September 2013

I am/was 43 when I had my op in Dec 2012. Had a private surgeon paid through work benefits package. st Joseph's hospital, Newport, Wales. very positive experience. In and out within 12 hours.
Trapped gas was painful next day. Needed tramadol to manage pain. Dressings needed for 1-2 weeks ; large bruise/haematoma.
No issues with abdominal muscles. Return to a normal diet is fabulous.
If in doubt and young ish, then do not hesitate to have the GB removed.
9 months later...I don't miss the GB and it feels totally normal, as if the episode never happened (will always remember the excruciating pain of an attack though).

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TA13 said on 31 August 2013

I had my surgery on 28 August 2013. Was very poorly before and wasn't on waiting list long. Emersons Green hospital in Bristol were fantastic from start to finish. Went into theatre at 11.20 am and was on the ward at 3.35. Quite a long op due to gallbladder being hidden under liver but still laparoscopic . Came home the same evening a little discomfort but controlled by paracetamol and ibuprofen. One recommendation is peppermint tea, as I had no trapped gas in shoulder and convinced it was this although still was very bloated.
Had a diahorea dash day 3 but only once. Eating low fat food and bland food although have gone off milk, which makes me feel sick. Haven't been able to go to bed yet as laying down feels like someone is pulling my insides.
NHS brilliant and thanks for making me better!!

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Carpediemf said on 30 August 2013

Hi Hslatk12, sorry to hear you had a bad reaction but hopefully now they know a substitute to give you after the op so on the bright side at least this happened before your op even though I can imagine it was a scarey experience for you.
Just wanted to say that I had my gallbladder removed on Saturday & although it was sore afterwards it was more like muscular pain & a lot of the pain you initially feel is caused by carbon dioxide that is fed into your abdomen before surgery so the organs seperate and so the surgery can be performed more accurately so u will prob feel discomfort in your shoulder caused by that in fact for me that was more painful than the pain in my abdomen at the start!However everyone is different to how they feel after an op like this& they usually let you out the same day if its done in the morning however mine was later on& I was quite sore however I had had pancreatitis shortly before my op so that increased the pain&sensitivity.
Anyone that's going to get their gallbladder out feel comfort in the fact that it is such a common procedure and the surgeons are really good so are all the medical staff. Don't be afraid to ask for pain relief or ask questions about what your feeling as it will help you understand what your feeling.
I am still currently healing and finding it still quite hard to get up out of bed & walk freely etc & I personally wouldn't have had this op done if I had known it was going to take a lot more time to heal than I had heard.I assumed because its generally a day release op that it wouldn't incur so much pain/disability however in my case I was mistaken.So if anyone is getting it out and has a choice make sure you have people who can look after you & help you as you will definitely need it and give yourself time to heal.

Good luck on all gallbladder ops


Carpediemf

X

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hslark12 said on 15 August 2013

hi i just want to say i having my operation on 30th august 2013 if it not been cancelled i hope due down to being on the waiting list for over 6 months being on 20 years of age it very rare for some one my age to have gallstones but i have the whole thing removed to treat my pain. I got rushed in to hospital last Friday with fits and found out that my pain killer of Tramadol was the one caused the fit they not said nothing about not going to have the operation so fingers crossed still going for it but as the day get shorter and shorter to the op i am really worried

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operation6august said on 09 August 2013

I am 18 years old and been suffering with gallstone attacks for nearly 4 years with doctors putting down to IBS, it wasn't until my auntie suggested to the doctor for me to have a scan and they said I was too young to have gallstones! But nope I had a huge gallstone in my gallbladder! I had my operation on the 6th August 2013 and went in for day op! I was in quite a bad way and was kept in over night! I keep waking up with this burning sensation and numbness in my lower right side!? Has anyone suffered from this at all?? I am finding it quite hard to recover and I only had keyhole, I am pleased I have found my problem with the stones and had them removed but hope this is just a common complication and nothing major! Going to book an appointment with practice nurse today for my dressings changed but if anyone knows please comment back! Thank-you!!

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warringtonian said on 28 July 2013

I had my op three days ago. I had never been ill until three gallbladder attacks, the last of which put me in hospital on antibiotics for four days. The NHS has been brilliant. I was offered the op immediately, but had to wait six weeks because of work commitments. I managed the intervening time by restricting fat. It worked. There were no more attacks, just a couple of minor sickly spells. There was very little pain after the operation, just a bloated feeling because of the gas inflation and a wee bit of indigestion. I have stopped taking the painkillers because I don't need them. So far there have been no complications whatsoever and I feel great. Thanks, NHS.

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benthecaravaner said on 26 June 2013

Had my gb out two days ago as day patient. They told me it was a difficult operation. In the theatre for 2 hrs. Went home three hours after op.made sure I slept on my back propped up. Still feeling a bit tender around my middle. Pain in right shoulder. Taking paracetamol. Staff at RDE devon excellent. Will try and keep my weight down as I blame a bad diet for my gb problems.

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sazza04 said on 20 June 2013

I had my gallbladder removed 3 months ago and am so glad I went through with it, despite being very nervous about it. All the staff at St. George's Hospital in Tooting, London were fantastic and definitely made the whole experience less scary.

The first 2/3 days were the worst as my tummy was very sore and I still had the gas from the operation which made my shoulders ache a lot. However I could eat (light) and drink (coffee, water, tea) normally and didn't have any tummy aches afterwards.

I was off work for two weeks in total although by the beginning of the second week I felt I was already back to normal as I had no pain and the surgical wounds were healing perfectly (just hitching a little but that's a good sign!)

When I got back to work the following week, I went straight back in to my daily routine walking to and from the office for a total of 10km and was fine and not at all tired.

Only for 2/3 of weeks after going back to work I had a few episodes of diarrhea especially after drinking my latte in the morning but that went away pretty quickly.

I definitely recommend this operation to all those with gallstones. You never know when they will flare up. I am very happy I had the operation and now I can try for a baby without worrying about going through a pregnancy with a gallbladder full of stones!

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benthecaravaner said on 15 June 2013

Having my gallbladder removed in 10 days. I, m a bit nervous. Have put the operation off for 18mths during which I have stopped drinking at home. Stopped eating doughnuts, applepies , chocolate . I, m now three stone lighter, but still feel bileous after spicy food so the gallbladder will have to go. Will give an update after the op. Wish me luck.

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sadie1706 said on 27 April 2013

I am a 42 year old female, married with a 8 year old son and was diagnosed with 3 gallstones last year, felt i needed to leave a comment on here for all people who have to go through gallbladder surgery. Prior to my surgery i read all the comments and to be honest i was absolutly petrified of having the operation, i had my gallbladder removed on tue 16th april, when i came round from the aneathetic fine, i was chatting to the nurses, i had very mild discomfort, i was then taken back to my room where my wonderful mom was waiting for me, i felt fine and relaxed, within 2 hours i was drinking pots of tea eating biscuits, able to go to loo, and allowed home at 10.30pm, i had a couple of days of stomach discomfort which i dint need to take pain killers for,my appetite was normal, my bowel habits were normal, 3 days later i was back in my car driving out and about, 2 days later i was back to everything i usually did before the op. It is now day 11 and im feeling great, so completely relieved that i have no longer have to live in fear of those horrific gallbladder attacks and i can finally live my life to the full. I would just like to say good luck to anyone about to have this operation and maybe its not a good thing to go on the internet reading other experiences like i did, everyone is different, and remember a positve mind leads o a much better recovery....

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Lealia71 said on 17 April 2013

I had my gallbladder removed last Tuesday (9th April) and, I am pleased to say, it all went remarkably smoothly. The procedure itself lasted about an hour. The worst side effect I experienced was nausea and vomiting, but this was due to the anaesthetic rather than the op. Two days after the op I took my children on a half hour walk around our village. The day after that I was able to drive without any problems. Within a week I was dancing at a rock gig! Having read other comments on this site, I was very nervous before the operation, but the vast majority of procedures do go smoothly. I am just hugely relieved that I will no longer have to deal with the excruciating pain that used to knock me out for days!

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multicolour said on 10 April 2013

Ok I promised I would say what happened and here I am post opp. Had the opp here in France thursday pm-was out by saturday pm. Hugely sick evening after opp-massive load of bile I guess as green sick! I am unfortunately Sciatic and have been since before the opp. I have been eating and its all going in and out normally! Some concern as stabbing under left rib cage-although only mild. Had key hole and you get the staples out in hospital. Here have a nurse coming for 12 days post opp to give me blood thinning injections (too stop deep vein thrombosis) and to swab the operation points..the only part which is not yet healed externally is where they put some blood drainage tube thing through my chest-just below the boob area. Time will tell..so far so good! Plus had room all to myself and own bathroom in hospital here..well that is the least of anyone worries but it was comfortable!

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multicolour said on 27 March 2013

I feel so sorry for all those people who talk about going to A and E and their respective doctors and having it put down to food poisoning, trapped wind..astonishing!! After 3 months when I finally realised my pain was not related to my monthly cycles!..I ended up in A and E here in France-I went straight there-no point seeing a doctor. The very same week I had my ultrasound. Finally I accepted after my 5th episode and visit to A and E again, that I had indeed got probs with the stones that were showing up. Blood tested there and then and told me some enzyme thing showing up..got to watch liver etc. Next day had 2nd ultrasound. Two days later they had me in with a camera down my stomach and found ulcers too. Two weeks later appointment with surgeon..who asked me when wanted my opp. To my surprise, he has booked me in for the very next week. Would I like my own room? No its ok dont mind sharing with one other as you each get your own en suite anyway. Key hole surgery due but sounds like I might not get out the same day as was hoping for..booked to be in the night before. Surgeon made it very clear they operate rather than risk pancreas infections etc. Thanks everyone who shares their experience..I'll let you know how it goes

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Mel 57 said on 11 March 2013

As per the previous comment, I too had the keyhole op. - on a Thursday evening in Feb.The Op. was at 1930 and was back on the ward by 2300.
Up and about for breakfast at 0700 next day, walked down to shop in reception at 0900 for a paper! a fair trek to be fair. Had lunch & went home in the afternoon, had a stroll out the following day (Saturday) for a mile or so.
I took painkillers until the Monday morning.and only very minor discomfort followed for another day. My digestion system took 3 days to settle, all told.My diet is as normal as it ever was, no reactions to anything.
All 4 minor wounds healed well without problem.
I cannot believe it was all that straightforward, I was ready and able to go back to work - and drive on the Wednesday, just taking 4 days off work, including day of op. It is now 18 days since the procedure and all incisions are fully healed, and as was the case less than 1 week after the op. -I am fighting fit and glad that I will not get that excruciating pain again. I can only state my own experience as it happened, but I wholly recommend it.
It appears that this condition may possibly be genetic in my case, as my sister also had hers done a couple of years ago, again, without problem.
Wish my mother would get her problem sorted too, but she is just too scared and manages the problem, to a degree, with her diet.

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philnet said on 04 March 2013

I joined this site specifically to add feedback for other worried patients. I'd read all the problems that other users had experienced so was quite worried when going in for my operation, it turns out I needn't have been.
The operation itself went smoothly, I had 3 wounds along the edge of my rib cage and one in the tummy button, all were sealed with non permanent stitches and had some sort of protective covering, like spray on breathable plastic. no plasters, no bandages and I was able to go home the same day.
I was given some cocodamol for any pain and I did use them but only for a couple of days. The most discomfort initially was in my shoulder, which is apparently a side effect of the fact they use gas to inflate you during the operation. The wounds themselves felt tight and were sensitive to sudden movement so I needed propping up in bed for a few days as sleeping flat was uncomfortable.
I was out and about after a couple of days, albeit only gingerly pottering around a supermarket and I did find that for the first week, I'd get tired if I walked about too much and my back would ache, so I suppose plenty of rest is advisable.
I was back at work after 13 days, I don't have a manual job, I suppose you'd need a little longer if you do.
Its now 2 and a half weeks since the op and the last of my stitches have come out, there was no infection and I've (so far) not found any foods that cause the pain/toilet issues that other people have commented on. Admittedly I've taken it easy on the fattier foods though which I suppose isn't a bad thing anyway in the long run.
Anyway, in closing, I'd say that you probably shouldn't worry as probably, the vast majority of outcomes will be like mine where there are no complications. I can now live life knowing that I won't be struck down at any moment with a gall stone that decides that now is the time to make itself known!

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LumaLu said on 11 February 2013

I wanted to share my experience as when I was been looking up GB removal online I could only really find horror stories and it scared me, so I wanted to tell mine to show that it's not all bad. I had my Gallbladder removed by key hole just over 2 weeks ago. I know everybodies different but I am so glad I have had it removed. The operation was fine, I was home before i even knew where I was. I had a few days of mild pain and 2 weeks on I wouldn't even know I have had surgery. As far as eating goes, I have spent the last 6 months on a seriously low fat diet (lost nearly 3 stone) and couldn't wait to eat other things again. In the last week I have tried things i have been scared of eating, for instance, chocolate (lots), a chinese, mcdonalds, a fry up and a couple of alcoholic drinks. It has all been fine apart from a slight bit of discomfort after something very greasy. I just wanted to say that there is hope and if it's a choice between GB attacks or slight discomfort after eating something greasy , it's an easy choice. Like I said before everyones different but there can be a good outcome from it. ;)

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vixandjack said on 29 January 2013

Dont panic memoimo complications like that are uncommen ive got to have the same op soon so i know how you feel my siser my mum and my nan all had the op and they were absolutly fine my sister had to stay over one night cos of her liver levels but went home the next day as they were going down i have i.b.s aswell so im used to loose bowels and 90% of the time you get a pre warning and then ya gotta just go i also have epilepsy and theres risks i can have a fit on the table its only a simple surgury that lets you go home the same day and also it says its a low risk op so dont worry and if you keep calm about it and not let yourself get worked up about it you should be fine and not have to stay in

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memoimo76 said on 27 January 2013

Having my pre-op in 5 days, surgery in 8...bricking it a bit, have read some horror stories on the internet, sometimes its not a good idea to be able to access so much information ! I dont do well under g.a so planning an overnight stay, ended up having a panic attack after my ruptured appendix were removed. I live in a 2 bed house with no downstairs toilet...loose bowels is the last thing I want. I will miss my pain..odd but true, its been a part of me for nearly a year, have learned to live with it..the way morphine can make your worries disappear will also be sorely missed. I am a HCA so thinking 2 wks off work after wouldnt be unreasonable. I have lots of manual handling to do..any tips on making this any easier for myself ?

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just red said on 20 January 2013

I had my gb out in october 2012 and were allowed home next day, (wednesday). i had no pain etc. On Early hours of saturday morning i woke with severe stomach pains but only took 2 paracetomol tablets and went back to sleep.
When i got up around 8 am i felt great , no pain, But by midday i was in severe pain and wet through with sweat, My partner phoned an ambulance and i was rushed back into hospital where i was diagnosed with hospital acquired pneumonia. I was very poorly and on a high dependancy ward fpr 16 days, I was then diagnosed with blood in my abdomin but was still sent home to recover properly. I have had further scans which reveal i still have a pocket of blood in my abdomin ( but they are not doing anything about it) . I have been off work on just sick pay for 3 months, I have been left with bowel problems ( yellow and green loose bowels) I am seeing my surgeon tomorrow and hope he can sort things out as i need to be back at work . Good luck to anyone having this surgery.

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Umer Malikk said on 12 January 2013

Hi I'm 39 years old Asian male had about 7 gb attacks every time I was give morphine and sent home, then i had my ultra scan, and camera in my tummy, ultra scan said I've 2 stones, in terms of junk food I've abused my body for the past 10 years I've been eating done kebab McDonald's fish and chips and anything I get my hands on when I'mooutside, I've had my surgery today and I'm still in hospita , after the operation I had sharp pain in the center hole, for which I was given morphine, it's been abt 18 hours still in hospital and feeling much better and I can move, for trap wind take green mint tea with honey it helps and you can buy lemon dressing juice 6 spoons of lemon dressing in boiled glass of water will digest any thing tried and tested works 100 boil the kettle and let it cool down for abt 30 minutes

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RachMo said on 09 January 2013

I had my GB removed on Wednesday 13th December 2012 - 4 weeks ago today. It went well via the laparascopic technique, I was kept in overnight and out the next morning. Lay around on Thursday & Friday, was back doing laundry etc on Saturday, back to work (office job) on Monday. The wounds themselves were uncomfortable as expected but the worst pain was in my shoulders as a result of the gas they have to use to inflate your abdomen during the procedure - this is worse than childbirth!! After 3 days it had disappeared but I wish someone had prepared me for that. I didn't have much appetite for a week or so but ate little and often. I'm not majorly overweight (5ft 7 female, 30 yrs old) so I don't eat a strict low fat diet, I have everything in moderation. I haven't had much alcohol apart from a glass of wine with Christmas dinner so can't really comment on the effects of that. No issues with bowels or digestion however if I eat after 9pm and go to bed before 11pm I wake up around 1am with heartburn. This was my first operation and I was really worried but there was nothing to worry about. It's the adult version of having your tonsils removed as a kid - everyone's getting it done! :o)

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Firths said on 28 December 2012

Had my gall bladder removed by key hole on 17th December. Although I had only had 1 bad attack back in August due to gall stones, I decided I should have it removed, as doctors said it would come back again at some point so whilst I was relatively fit, I decided to go for it. I was a little concerned about other people experiences with digestive system, bowels etc, but have to say so far so good. In first 2 days had some pain ( felt like someone had kicked me in the ribs), and pain from trapped gas in shoulders when I moved around, and took pain killers for this , but after 2 days pain receded and stopped the pain killers. Straight after the op was eating lightly ( soup, sandwiches), and within 2 days was eating fairly normally, and had no adverse impact on my digestive system. Since August I have been following a low fat diet, and still continuing with this, as I figure my body won't like the extra fat, and like the fact I lost 2 stone in 3 months so want to keep it off. In first few days didn't do much else but shuffle round the house, and my mobility felt restricted, but went out for the first time after a week, and done some walking in last few days. Can't imagine getting back to the gym for a few weeks yet however. So ten days post op, am eating or normally, drinking alcohol ( moderately), and all seems fine. I am concerned about other people's experiences of putting on weight post op, and I will watch this carefully, but if I stay on low fat I am hoping this will not be an issue. If you have gall stones they don't go away, and you will get an attack at so,e point, and for those that have habit, its not nice.

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Ted78 said on 22 December 2012

Same story as a lot pf people on her I suffered mis diagnosis of acid reflux. So after 2 years and many trips to A & E with severe abdomen pains I was finally diagnosed with gall stones. I had 7 A & E visits where I was given morphine and sent home and 3 further visits where I was transferred to Scunthorpe hospital and admitted once for 2 nights and one 3 nights, the final admission was December this year. I also suffered at home where I tried to control the pain with Tramadol.

All I can do is praise Scunthorpe Hospital they kept me comfortable on pain killers and antibiotics and they operated on me on 13th December as an emergency patient.

The Operation was a conversion to open, due to the state of my gall bladder and the first nights pain was unbearable. 2 days later I was allowed home and recovery has just been amazing, no pain, no issues with fatty or spicy food and apart from the obvious discomfort from the open surgery my staples are out and everything will be back to normal for Christmas.

Best thing that has happened to me and I didn't realise how poor I had felt until it was removed. If you have to have open surgery then don't be down heartened and work hard to get out of hospital and recover at home.

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dayenu said on 14 October 2012

I had an operation recently and I have had nothing but a positive experience from it. Immediately after I was in great pain, but the morphine stopped that, and apart from an unpleasant night in hospital (more the noise from other patients), I have fully recovered, and knowing that I will no longer have to suffer the severe cramps of passing a stone makes me feel even better. I had no after effects apart from some tenderness from the cuts, but no pain. I feel sorry for those who have had poor outcomes, but felt I needed to balance these with my experience. I am 61 and overweight (BMI 29), so don't be put off!

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lancashirehotpot said on 30 September 2012

I had my GB removed by keyhole surgery in March 2006 and was quite poorly after the op. In hospital for 5 days, couldn't eat or drink as felt sick. Eventually had some toast after 5 days, and within an hour or two I started with bright yellow diarrhoea.....and continued with it for 4 years, every day. Drs & consultants didn't take me seriously, it affected my life & put me off going on holiday, as I was always having to runto the toilet. They said they had never heard of this happening to anyone else - maybe they should have looked it up on this NHS website!?Moved to Cumbria & finally a GP took me seriously & sent me to a consultant in Carlisle. The consultant saw me for less than 5 mins, and had already worked out what was wrong before he met me. Was prescribed Colesevelam (v expensive & GPs don't like to prescribe it!) and my quality of life improved overnight! I wasn't told anything about the drug, and you have to work out your own dose, but I now take 2 tablets every night and things have improved greatly. I still have to rush to the toilet every morning but at least it's only once (instead of 6,7,8 times) and it's not yellow diarrhoea! I still have abdominal pain & haven't had any follow up to the medication even though I've been on it for 18months. With hindsight, I probably wouldn't have had this op done as although gall stone pain is dreadful, it is just sporadic attacks, not constant like the diarrhoea. If you do go ahead and have complications, don't be fobbed off and ask to try Colesevelam! Good luck to DonBennett1979 - I know exactly what you're going through, espcially with little ones, and I now know it can be sorted!

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vichy2011 said on 11 September 2012

Hi

I had my gallbladder removed just under two years ago and have been problem free. The last 2 days i have been having central abdo pain like i used to have before my gallbladder was removed. Has anyone else experienced the same symptoms? Any ideas what it might be? Thanks a lot

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jessie1991 said on 08 September 2012

I had trouble with gallstones for over a year, but it was misdiagnosed as acid reflux, i spent many nights in server gallbladder attacks feeling like i was having a heart attack. I had a server gallbladder attack at the start of july which lasted 2 weeks, i went to a&e and called 3 ambulances and they said i was time wasting and not to phone again and told me to take paracetamal, i did not eat for 2 weeks as i was constantly sick. I got an emergency appointment at my dctrs with a different gp from my norm, he said it sounded like gallstones and booked me in for a ultra sound scan for 2 weeks time and perscribed me tramadol to get me through the attack which never helped so my mum took me to a different a&e they took one look at me and said it was gallstones, and booked me in for a ultra scan the next morning, and i had several gallstones in my gallbladder, they put me on the waiting list and sent me home hoping the attack would pass, then i got jaundice and went back to the hospital and was admited for 1 week, i had a mri scan which they said showed no gallstones trapped in duct, sent me home as the pain had passed, could keep no food down and was still yellow so returned a week later and was admitted again, saw a different surgeon who checked my mri scan again and said i had a stone trapped, so they put the camera down me to cut it out but by the time i had this done it had passed so they put me on the emergency list to have my gallbladder removed and sent me home the pain had gone. i stuck to a low fat diet and 1 month later had my gallbladder removed through keyhole surgery, i was sent home the same day. i began to eat normal food 2 days after, not suffered from diareha or anything, even drank alcohol 1 week after and no side effects. i am only 20 but so glad i had it done as i feel i have my life back now i can eat what i want with out dreading a gallbladder attack. so glad i didn't give up after first hospital who said nothing was wrong with me.

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donbennett1979 said on 01 August 2012

Hi I really need some advice. I had my FB removed on 24 July, op went well felt fine till the eve after. Accute stomach pains, sweating and vomiting. Ended up in a+e they went through all possibilities from infection to stone left behind, but all came back clear. They said they wanted to try one more thing before having to do emergency surgery!! An enema, oh my god I did not stop with severe diahhrea for 36 hours until a nurse gave me a codene, normal pain killer but it backs you up a bit she says. Well that helped for about 5 hours I suppose. Now its constant diahhrea. I'm back home this morning I am on my 4th anti diahhrea tablet already but still can't stop going. It's bile as its yellow. I had read on so many sites about this severe diahhrea after surgery but thought oh its all the negatives no one writes the positives!!!! Silly girl! Have any of you suffered with the diahhrea and how long did it last??? I am so depressed as thought was making right choice with surgery as FB attacks were so frequent and painful. Surgery wise feel like I'm on the mend can't really complain so far. I just want to enjoy my 5 month old without running to toilet every 10 mins. Will this ever stop and what can I do to help it???? Please help me or my son is going to be a recluse with no friends at this rate. Xx many thanks xx

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Kuldipkenya said on 28 June 2012

I was admitted for severe gallbladder pain. The pain could not be stopped by morphin. I had it 5 times but nothing happened. Then one of the doctors gave me an injection of volterin. The pain quickly left. I think gallbladder pain does not stop with morphin. In fact the pain gets worse. Anyone else had such experience?

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Kuldipkenya said on 28 June 2012

I was admitted for severe gallbladder pain. The pain could not be stopped by morphin. I had it 5 times but nothing happened. Then one of the doctors gave me an injection of volterin. The pain quickly left. I think gallbladder pain does not stop with morphin. In fact the pain gets worse. Anyone else had such experience?

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Kuldipkenya said on 28 June 2012

I was admitted for severe gallbladder pain. The pain could not be stopped by morphin. I had it 5 times but nothing happened. Then one of the doctors gave me an injection of volterin. The pain quickly left. I think gallbladder pain does not stop with morphin. In fact the pain gets worse. Anyone else had such experience?

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batgirl2k9 said on 31 May 2012

i had my gallbladder removed on 27 jan 2012, i was on the afternoon list so was kept in overnight and discharged the following afternoon, i was obviously extremely sore, over a few weeks that started to fade, then around the 21st of april a stinging burning sensation started under my ribs where my gallbladder was and in my right side where two incisions were made one for a drain and one used during the procedure, around my navel has been fine so far since the initial soreness, my concern is the the stinging inside type symptoms and a stiffness around the bottom of my rib cage in my back which if anything seems to be getting worse, if this is still the same by the end of june then i am afraid its going to be a docs even hospital visit because that will be five months, it is preventing me from going back to work and it hurts to sit up and drive for long periods of time, something is not right :(

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foxvox said on 04 April 2012

Well for 2o years I have have extreme pain where my gallbladder is and I have had scans on my liver, kidneys etc, had an endoscopy but no one thought of looking at my gallbladder, I did internet research on the pain, made an appointment with my GP and said "someone suggested when I told them I had pains I get a scan on my gallbladder" I couldn't say to my GP I did internet research, well low and behold I got my scan that showed 100's of calcified gallstones.
I am now being booked in to have my gallbladder removed, I spoke to the surgeon asking why a scan was never performed before I requested it, his reply was I am not the normal candidate for gall stones. OMG 20 years or rolling about in extreme pain for hours sometimes two or three times a week.
My advice to the people doing scans for people with abdominal pain, it takes seconds to skim over the gallbladder so why not just do it!

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bslinky1968 said on 19 February 2012

hi, i had my gall bladder removed by key hole on the 24th jan 2012 after suffering really bad from september 2011 so bad i was taking mst slow release morphine and also oramorph and pain killers to top up, after having my op i was sent home the same day which i really think the after care should be a at least 2/3 days, well being home i went right to bed to recover having to be helped out of bed and holding belly button as this was used as one of the port holes after a week i noticed it had started to swell so went to see my gp who said i had an infection and was given anitbiotics, next day swelling was so big i went to my A&E who admitted me i was scanned and was told i had a hematomer which is a blood clot under my belly button and was sent home saying it will clear in a few days, well a few days later and it had turned purple and even more swelling so back to see my GP who sent me back to A&E who then admitted me again and operated the very next day to remove my blood clot, well now were on the 19/02/2012 and i'm home but seeing the district nurse every day as they have left my wound open so it can heal from inside out with packing, only problem is i'm still bleeding and lots of puss coming out so went to see surgeons and they say its ok better out than in but if it's not cleared up by next week to go back and see them so here's hoping by next week it will have stopped bleeding out, but i'm sure when it's healed it will all be worth it as the goota be better than the pain i was in before having the operation, just wondering if anyone else had also been through the same sort of thing be good to hear from you :))

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ethelbert said on 21 January 2012

have been having gut trouble for about 2mts went to drs he said just a tummy bug 3 wks later went for ultrasound scan maybe stones not sure 2 wks later another scan yes positive gall stones .went to see surgeon gave me a date 9th janurary 2012 hospital 7.15 am op about 11.30 keyhole stay over night then home great hospital prh telford surgeon great after care first class But now having terrible stomach why anybody else had same problems early days maybe just getting over op if not what could be the reason

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danny m said on 14 December 2011

I had my gallbladder removed on monday 12th,the worst thing for me was all the waiting about at the hospital,not to have the op but for a bed after Recovery,there was a few things that i could have a moan about though.
The canula put inmy left hand did`nt work so they had to put it in the inside of my elbow which would have been fine except blood started gushing out,and it has taken two and a half days to get my discharge paperwork and meds,i came home the same day because although sore i felt fine,i think one of the worse things is never knowing whats going on because you ask nurses etc and nobody gives you a straight answer.
I think that anybody thats thinking about having this operation must ask lots and lots of questions,then you cant moan about having it done if everything was told to you,they do tell you on leaflets about drawbacks and problems.you have to remember that you could be the one in twenty that gets diarrhoea or something else,we all cope in a different way,its only been three days for me,just hope the soreness goes and i have no more probs.But i decided to have the op,nobody forced me.

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macdona123 said on 19 November 2011

thought i would give an update.its been 7months since op.made comments 2 months later.was still sore.Now off all painkillers.back at work as teacher,full movement.swimming.tummy still numb ,takes upto a year for nerves to knit together.
Can eat what i want.bowels normal.energy a bit low thats all.Thank you to the consultant and their team at north east london treatment centre ,

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ArticunoGail said on 05 November 2011

I had the keyhole procedure on 29th October and I think it is one of the bset things I have ever done.

I went to the A&E department of the Norwich and Norfolk university hospital with what I thought was food poisoning. I could not keep food or sugary drunks down, and my entire abdomen was hurting, and it was this extreme agony that prompted me to go to the hospital.

Within an hour, I was triaged and taken to a cubicle and a blood sample was taken. The doctor thought it was food poisoning, the pain was my stomach twisting to move the off food out, he could give me anti-cramp medication and painkillers and send me home.

Twenty minutes later he returned to tell me that my blood test had shown that I had pancreatitis, that I could not go home, that it needed to be treated in hospital. I was put on a drip and classed nil by mouth. I was given painkillers wich was a great help. This was the early morning of 27th October.

In the two days following, I could not have been better looked after. The consultant came and explained that they suspected gallstones and arranged an ultrasound scan which confirned it. If I was in pain, a there was some sort of pain killer available. I ate once but felt so ill that chose not to eat again till after my op.

The surgeon came up to explain what would happen, but to warn there might be delays ) I was able to ask any questions I wanted, so when I was taken down to theater, I was very relaxed.

As the general anaesthesia was administered, I was chatting to the surgeon. I thought I'd go gradually, but no, it was fast! One moment i was asking the surgeon what gallstones were made the next thing I knew i was waking up in recovery, the op done (in about an hour, fast!) in hardly any pain hooked up to a drip. Later that day I was able to eat, and again pain relief made things much more comfortable. Three days later, the Tuesday, i was released and am now at home no longer needing painkillers. Hope this helps.

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Esther23 said on 30 October 2011

I had breast cancer in 2000 and chemo did a lot of damage - including a large hiatal hernia. So I've been putting the pain and nausea down to the hernia. I had eggy burps a few times too and just put it down to the hernia again. Then a few weeks ago I woke up at 1am with strong pain and nausea and knew it was something else. My son eventually (and after a lot of 'phone calls) got an amulance for me. The paramedic actually asked me if I might have eaten something 'off'! After being left on a trolley in A&E for a couple of hours I got some pain relief and eventually saw a consultant who guessed I had gall stones. I had them once before in my 30's but they passed - accompanied by unbelievable pain - and nothing else since. A scan shows I have at least 2 stones around 2cm in size and I'm hoping they will be able to remove my gallbladder with key hole surgery. I'm on warfarin for life - had 3 DVT's - so I am worrying. I will have to stop the warfarin for a week before surgery but I have found that healing takes a lot longer. I haven't fought to survive cancer and chemo just to die through some problem with this but reading people's stories on here doesn't reassure me! Has anyone a positive tale to tell?

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hannahmabob1 said on 23 September 2011

Open Cholecystectomy probably saved my life, I was diognosed with multiple gall stones and severe aucte pancreatitis. I suffered from infection which could have let to septicimia and multiple organ failure if not managed properly. I had given birth just under 2 weeks before i was admitted to hospital. I experienced pain during my pregnancy. I had to give up breastfeeding, and endure a long seperation from my 1st new born baby. I suffured a PE and a splenic vien thrombosis and have to take Warfarin for 6 months! It was the most painfull experience of my life both physically and emotionally!

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jetsum said on 11 September 2011

I suffered severe pain around 1 am after gettingout of bed feeling sick. Barely concious, I was taken to hospital by ambulance.By 8am my husband was told was suffering from pancreatitis.4 days of antibiotics drips and morphine made no change. during this time I had x rays. ct scan ultra sound scan then an mri scan. Mt sugeon then decided on the 5th day to remove my gall bladder. I returnes home 2 days later. Very week and tired , but very little pain at home.I have nothing but praise for the surgeon and his team .I was informed all the time about what was happening. The ward nurses were superb. All this on the NHS. People complain about the Nhs. Not me I think it is a superb service

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Goldilocks said on 06 August 2011

I had my gallbladder removed on 4th August and came out the same day the operation went well and i although it some pain which is natural I believe i am hoping to be back to normal very soon the hospital signed me off for at least a week from work and follow up appointment in about six weeks, Thank god for painkillers and Chelsea and Westminster hospital were fantastic !

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ppotter said on 18 July 2011

I had my gallbladder removed by keyhole surgery on july 12th 2011, i had been getting the pain for around 3 years but put it down to trapped wind, as the pain passed after a few hours on each attack, then in January of this year i had my worst attack in the middle of the night, this time after a few hours i had no choice but to seek medical advice and went to my local hospital where after tests they kept me in for 6 days, i was diagnosed with gallbladder/pancreatitis, i had a gallstone lodged in my bile-duct and had to be put on antibiotics to take the in-flamed pancreas down, i was then told i would need surgery to removed my gallbladder to prevent the pain happening again, i was put onto a waiting list and had the operation like i have said on tuesday 12th july 20011, i had been nervous about the operation and my blood pressure went up and since i have been put on low medication for that, i went into hospital at 7.00AM went down to theatre at 9.15AM and was back in the recovery ward at 1.30PM & back home by 3PM, the operation was a total success with no follow uo appointents needed, im glad i had this done knowing i can now live a normal life without ever worrying if i may get that horrid pain again, i will be off work for 4 weeks, and can not drive for the same time, due to my job, im a little sore but that can only be expected after any operation, I may be a lucky one after reading a few other comments on here but like i said im just glad i went ahead with the operation.

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berylcouling said on 04 July 2011

Had gall bladder removed 9/3/11 (private). Aftercare from private Hosp. non-existant. Have had major frightening probs. because of nerve damage. Hot shuddering spasms thro' upper body at night and constant swelling,tingling of mouth,face and throat. Even eyes affected. Life miserable and surgeon 'has never experienced anything like it before in all my years'.... All in the mind. Also debilitating sickness. Heavy, leaden feeling beneath my breasts constant. Difficulty in swallowing.Asked for 2nd opinion and have found doctor(private) who is investigating. I do not have much hope. MRI today. 2nd doctor agreed that there are several things that can go wrong with this op. inc. nerve damage. Beware. Try sonic treatment. Beryl

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macdona123 said on 01 July 2011

i had gallstone attack 1/11.The attack lasted 16 hours,very painful.went private for ultrasound.2 large gallstones impacted in duct with calcification of gallbladder.so no choice but to come out.had 2 infections.very smelly burps.main problem was adhesions in abdo due to surgery as child.surgeon said try keyhole but turned into 3 hr op with 'rooftop' incision,scar from one side of abdo to another.gallbladder stuck to liver and very difficult to get out.given morphine on waking.still very painful.4 x days in hospital .sent home tramadol but makes me very sick.stayed on ibrufen and paracetamol but not very effective.diarrhoea 3 days.difficulty sleeping and getting in out chair.used pillow to support abdo,used it all the time.not lifted anything 7 weeks .4 weeks sore to lean over.6 weeks surgeon said my mobility ok .pain was due to type of incision rather than rremoval of gallbladder..incision goes through 4 set of nerves.week 7 walking upright(nearly).good news is feel healthier ,clearer thinking and can eat anything i want.still on painkillers 12 week recovery needed.hope this helps

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tinawaynebrown said on 20 June 2011

I have been in severe pain going on 3 weeks and had symptoms for about 6 weeks, i get the pain under my ribs, shoulder and back and my stomach is distended so my clothes don,t fit, the pain is constant now and i am sometimes in tears with it. I went to our local A and E who did an xray and took my bloods he said because it was sunday i would have to go to my gp and ask them to book a scan which i have done its been 2 weeks and i still havn,t heard about a scan date. My gp said if pain gets too unbearable i have to keep presenting myself to hospital until they do something, it is terrible that you are not taken seriously when you are suffering so much pain and can,t sleep, i am giving until end of the week and if i hear nothing i will be back at the hospital, i have never been ill before and now i need help i can,t get it, i have paid my taxes all my life so far ( i am 46 lol) and havn,t used them on my healthcare as yet. If i was a dog i would of been put down by now. I am sat here writing this and the pain is agony it feels like there is something moving just under my ribs its so strange..

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scouselass said on 18 June 2011

I had my gall bladder removed last Sept 2010 after having told my Doctor about my abdominal pains for over a year. I was in severe pain over a weekend and had developed pancreatitis because of gallstones in my pancreas. I had an emergency cholecystectomy with keyhole surgery. Ever since I have had a painful niggle in my side that feels like it is getting worse and is more painful now, especially first thing in the morning, it is hard to get out of bed. The doctor sent me for a pelvic scan and two cysts were found on my right ovary but the Gynaecologist said they would,nt cause the pain I am in so I am back to square one. I am now worried something else has been damaged during surgery having read other peoples notes.

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umu said on 04 April 2011

My Daughter had gall bladder removed early December 2010 following 2 ERCP operations to remove bile stones in ducts.All this in space of 3weeks, she still in so much pain in lower abdomen she was so poorly and jaundiced, has anyone else been in pain for so long.We been back to doc who done another scan but did not do scan where she getting pain. still awaiting to go back and see doc for results.He said could be IBS but if she did not have it before the op why would she have it now?.umu

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mrhairyman said on 24 January 2011

In Sept 2010, I was in terrible pain for 2 weeks with what turned out to be a gallbladder infection. Following this, the specialist recommended I get a cholecystectomy. I was willing to do anything to not experience the pain again.

4 days ago, I had a Laparoscopic cholecystectomy. It went well as I am overweight - I was worried I would not be eligible for the keyhole option, but I was ok.

I stayed in hospital overnight as I was operated on late in the day. I was quite sore the next day - but since then it's not been too bad. Getting in and out of bed is sore, and I've had the runs for 2 days, but I knew these things would happen. The pain from the operation is less now, and I know a low fat diet for a few weeks will sort my digestion out.

I'm very glad I had the operation. Even got 3 'stones' to take home in a jar

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galawen said on 09 January 2011

dear redpencils,if you have that much pain then I suppose you have little choice although I do believe that you can have gall stones treated by somekind of sonic treatment that break up the gallstones.I also found a low fat diet eased a lot of the pain whilst I was waiting for the surgery..My surgery was technically successful but afterwards my specialist admitted to me that 5% of people have permenant gut problems following gall bladder surgery.I currently am suffering again due to excess bile in my stomach and going into my oesophagus,there's no treatment and the symptoms are hard to bear.I wouldn't say it's incapacitating but it does stop me from enjoying life as it's been with me constantly since June of last year.Good luck.

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redpencils said on 08 January 2011

For the last 5 months I have been going through nausea, gas and gut-wrenching pain. They only other options are medicine that dissolves it, in about 2 years, after which they usually return or live with the pain until the gallstones start really moving around and causing even more problems. There isn't anything else you can do, something like this does not go away on its own. You may want to see a doctor about your problems, it sounds like something went wrong with your surgery, which is always a risk. I'm planning on going through with the surgery because the pain is the worst thing I have ever felt in my life. It's completely incapacitating.

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galawen said on 06 December 2010

Think carefully before you have this surgery.For 45 years had no problem with gut until gall stones,had cholecystectomey and have had major problems since,nausea,weight loss low B12,having the surgery was the worst thing I've ever done.Seriously consider other options and don't just take surgeons word.that everything will be okay afterwards.

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