Gransnet forums


Anyone had their gallbladder removed?

(25 Posts)
Bluebellwould Thu 05-Nov-20 12:45:43

I’ve had a lot of pain with gallstones for 25 years and I’m finally ready to have them removed. Anyone had theirs removed and could you tell me your stories please. Absolutely petrified, never had a general anaesthetic before or an operation so it’s really new territory for me.

anna7 Thu 05-Nov-20 12:58:23

I had my gallbladder removed over 40 years ago. I believe this operation is now done by keyhole surgery but 40 years ago it was not so was a bigger procedure (not entirely sure about this) However I was absolutely fine afterwards and recovered very quickly. Probably helped by being only 24 at the time admittedly. I have never suffered any ill effects and can eat anything with no problems. Good luck Bluebellwould. You will be so glad you are rid of your gallbladder. flowers

Septimia Thu 05-Nov-20 12:59:52

I'd never had an operation before, either. I had to have the full op rather than the keyhole version. There was an 80 year old in having the keyhole surgery and she was discharged after a day or so! I was stuck there for a week.

I made such good use of the morphine pump (you can't overdose) that I had no appetite. Moreover, they kept telling me to drink plenty of water. Between the morphine and all the water I wasn't hungry so not eating and they said I couldn't go home until I did. A nurse making toast in the middle of the night finally cured the problem!

I went home with the drain still in place and even went back to work - a part-time job in an office by myself - as I felt fine. Back for the drain to be removed after a couple of weeks.

But nothing to worry about. If you have the keyhole surgery it will be brief, if you have to have the full version just remember to get back to eating and drinking as soon as you can. I still get the occasional tweak of pain but it lasts just a few minutes instead of hours like it did before. Well worth it!

MawB2 Thu 05-Nov-20 13:24:45

I remember when you said you were worried about what they might find if you had the recommended colonoscopy Bluebellwould

Bluebellwould Tue 13-Oct-20 01:01:27
I have been invited for a colonoscopy as I have repeated bouts of diverticulitis

And I wonder whether you have now gone ahead with this?
I had my gallbladder removed 20 years ago (keyhole) abd was home the next day with no ill effects.
I even had to walk to theatre - but they did wheel me back on my bed!

Good luck, all will be fine.

Beauregard Thu 05-Nov-20 13:42:19

I had my gallbladder removed 25 years ago with keyhole surgery. I had no pain and little discomfort after the op, was home after a couple of days and felt back to normal in two weeks. I felt guilty that I had been signed off work for 4 weeks as I could have gone back earlier.

Last year I developed more gallstones in my bile duct and had them removed by an endoscopy procedure. For this they sedate you but you don't know what's happening. Again, no pain or problems encountered.

Hope you have a good experience too Bluebellwould. Having it dealt with is better than living with the pain.

silverlining48 Thu 05-Nov-20 13:52:47

I had my gallbladder removed last year, my first ever operation.
All went well, no pain, stayed overnight as I was the last operation in the evening and have been fine since.
It’s very straightforward. Good luck.

Luckygirl Thu 05-Nov-20 13:59:06

I had my gall bladder removed 30 years ago by full abdominal surgery.

I have been unlucky to get a syndrome (Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction - SOD!) that occurs in less than 1% of people having their gall bladders removed. It causes pain, means I have to avoid fatty food, and cannot take morphine or its derivatives (like codeine) because bizarrely rather than stop pain it causes the sphincter of Oddi to go into spasm.

This is very very rare indeed and I have been b****y unlucky to get it. Unfortunately there is no way to predict who will get it and who will not.

I believe that the new surgery for removal of the gall bladder is now far more sophisticated than the hack and slash version that I had! I have never heard of anyone else getting this syndrome.

There are millions of people who do brilliantly on the new surgery and I think you are very lucky to be having yours done in 2020 (I hope you do not have to wait beyond that) when surgical techniques have moved on. Gall bladder pain is awful and it will be wonderful to move on to a pain-free life.

Luckygirl Thu 05-Nov-20 14:00:55

PS - even though I have SOD, I am still far better off than I was with my stone-filled gall bladder.

Sarahmob Thu 05-Nov-20 14:04:20

I had mine removed 15years ago. I had keyhole surgery and recovered very quickly. It was so nice not to have to restrict my diet and I was released from dreadful pain. I’ve never looked back.

CassieJ Thu 05-Nov-20 15:03:14

I had mine removed about 12 years ago. I stayed in overnight, keyhole surgery. I had two weeks off work, then went back with no problems. It was good to finally get rid of the pain.

Last year I was diagnosed with bile acid malabsorption, which apparently is due to not having a gall bladder --- something I was never told could happen when I had mine out. Even though I have this illness now I don't regret having my gall bladder removed.

chloe1984 Thu 05-Nov-20 15:08:41

Luckygirl - I too have SOD so perhaps nice to know we are not alone or perhaps we are just special .

Ladyleftfieldlover Thu 05-Nov-20 15:17:56

Three or four years ago I woke in the middle of the night in excruciating pain. OH was overseas so I waited until 8 am and rang my local surgery. I drove there with a sick bowl next to me and subsequently managed to throw up on the GPs carpet - she made me ring a friend up to drive me home. She said I needed to be in hospital, so while I waited at home with my friend, the GP arranged for an ambulance. It turned out I had a severe infection so had to be put on intravenous antibiotics before they could remove the gall bladder. That was the Monday. I had managed to call my OH and he flew back the next day. By Thursday I was ready for the operation - keyhole surgery - and went home the next day. I have recovered pretty well although fry ups can cause some discomfort so I have one or two a year!

Barmeyoldbat Thu 05-Nov-20 15:37:59

I mine removed by keyhole surgery about 25 years ago, I was kept in for the night as I was as white as a sheet. No pain, no problems and can eat anything. Much better with out it.

Luckygirl Thu 05-Nov-20 15:42:05

chloe1984 - another SOD! - the first I have met!!!

Bluebellwould Thu 05-Nov-20 16:40:55

Thank you all so much for your stories. I emailed my local private hospital on Tuesday. The consultant I chose, his secretary phoned me today, have a telephone appointment with the consultant tomorrow! They will take it out before Christmas! Hate having to go private but considering covid I think I’m saving the nhs some stress. I only have the money because my husband died and I know he will be pleased that I’m finally doing it. Thank you all for taking the time to reply.

Lexisgranny Thu 05-Nov-20 17:33:10

Luckygirl. I too am one of the 1% that has SOD diagnosed after keyhole gallbladder surgery about 10 years ago following an epidural scan of the area around my pancreas. Mine is slightly different, as for no reason whatsoever it goes into spasm by itself. Fortunately it is now more or less controlled by drugs, but like you, no morphine, no codeine, and I can’t take Tramadol, so pain relief is a bit of a problem.

Bluebellewould Please do not get concerned about what I have been saying, as previously stated it is very rare. The gallbladder operation was fine, I was in for 24 hours as far as I recall and recovered quickly. I have had a number of operations and always felt nervous beforehand, and without exception afterwards wondered why, because everything was fine. Good luck, and enjoy your Christmas free from pain.

BlueSky Thu 05-Nov-20 18:00:35

I guess they don’t always remove it? I’ve just been just diagnosed with gallstones, no symptoms, had abdominal ultrasound for unrelated stomach issues, so incidental finding.

dragonfly46 Thu 05-Nov-20 18:14:48

I had mine removed because a scan showed I had stones or a polyp. My consultant said I was lucky as it was a polyp which could have turned malignant. I had no symptoms and it was found by accident.

Sparklefizz Thu 05-Nov-20 19:28:01

Luckygirl I have been unlucky to get a syndrome (Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction - SOD!) that occurs in less than 1% of people having their gall bladders removed

I have a very rare condition called Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) whereby the pancreas stops making digestive enzymes which eventually causes all the symptoms of malnutrition. I am an Admin on a closed FB Group for EPI and we have a number of members who have had gallbladder surgery and have gone on to have Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction. before developing EPI.

If you feel a bit isolated with having an unusual illness, I can highly recommend joining a group of like-minded people, which has really helped me with EPI. The other group members understand better than my gastroenterologist, we support each other and we also learn from others' experiences.

You would be very welcome to join our group even though you don't (I assume?) actually have EPI. If you're interested, send me a pm.

Sparklefizz Thu 05-Nov-20 19:29:37

All those with SOD are welcome to join the FB group I refer to above. Please pm me if you're interested.

Katyj Thu 05-Nov-20 20:30:12

I had a scan as I was suffering pain around my ribs the dr thought it was costochindritis ( inflammation of the muscle in between the ribs) gallstones were discovered so I’ve just see a consultant hoping to have it out.

He’s convinced my pain is due to my ribs, not my gallbladder, so now won’t take it out, he said there are quite a few complications to consider including SOD and chronic diarrhoea which may need medication for life.
I wish didn’t know about the gallstones now as I’m waiting for some symptoms to appear. He said their very common and might never cause me problems. I hope you have your operation soon and everything goes well for you.

BlueSky Thu 05-Nov-20 21:17:36

Katyj same here wish I didn’t know because like you I’m now expecting severe pain like a lot of people on here have said!

Nannatwiglet Fri 06-Nov-20 15:20:04

I had a full abdominal operation for removal of gall bladder. I was 34 and told it was quite common after having a baby...something to do with hormone levels? I had a lot of cholesterol which blocked the bile duct.
Was in hospital for 10 days..and it took me several months to recover as I had a long scar about 10ins down my stomach. This was in 1981.
BUT...when my older sister had a similar operation in the 90s to remove gallstones, hers was keyhole surgery. She was only in hospital for about 24hours and when we compared notes, she felt fine afterwards and recovered within a week or so. Both of us found we could eat anything after our operations..and have had no problems since then.

HAZBEEN Fri 06-Nov-20 15:56:17

My DD had her Gall bladder removed by keyhole surgery 8 years ago. She came out the same day, her choice as her autistic son who was only 10 at the time couldnt cope with her being in hospital! She has recovered fine except for an odd bit of pain when she overdoes the fried food so no chips!

avitorl Fri 06-Nov-20 18:09:59

I had mine removed 5 years ago by keyhole surgery.It was done early afternoon and I was home again in the evening. I had no post op pain and my recovery was very easy.
I had had dreadful pain attacks before it was removed and I was so pleased when it was gone.
Try not to worry about the anaesthetic,it is very quickly done, and all over before you will realise the Operation has been done.