Dieting with Obstacles - Gall Bladder Surgery recovery time question

08-06-2009, 08:51 AM
I had my gall bladder removed last THursday. It was done laparoscopically. It was supposed to have been out paitient but I had to stay overnight due to a drainage tube being needed.

A week later I am having a bad stinging/burning pain in my upper right midsection. This is a pain that I had right after surgery but it is still pretty intense at times.

I am just wondering how long the pain takes to go away. People I talked to before the surgery said they were up and going in three days and had very little pain. Did having the drainage tube make that much difference? I got dressed for about 3 hours yesterday and that was about all I could stand before the pain got bad.

Just wondering if anyone else who has had gall bladder surgery could share their recovery time. I am doing well except for that pain. I am eating OK. Other organs seem to be doing the job they are supposed to do.

I don't go back to the doctor until next week for my followup. I guess I was just wondering is this pain normal?

Thanks for any input.

08-06-2009, 09:13 AM
I had an open cholecystectomy so my recovery was about 6 weeks long. But I dont recall ever having that kind of pain after the surgery (I also had a drainage tube) - the incision was quite painful obviously. I thought the laparoscopic surgery had a 2 week complete recovery time - ie. to the point where you can go back to work etc. Some people seem to heal even quicker than that and seem to be ok after a few days.

Sorry to hear you are in pain :( Hopefully your doctor can shed some light on it.

08-06-2009, 10:19 AM
I had my gallbladder removed in may. I went into the hospital wednesday had my surgery thursday and went home friday. I think it took about 4 days for me to be ok and walk around. I still walked slower than normal for a little because I had the opening by my belly button. It does get better and you do get your appetite back. Im gonna say about a week you start to feel like yourself again. For me the only thing I cant eat now is cheese. It hurts my stomach

08-06-2009, 10:35 AM
I had mine removed on July 9th and within 48 hours I was off all meds and feeling good. The incision you talk about is the one that I could "feel" for a couple weeks. Even today it still has a little knot but no pain.

I returned to the treadmill after about a week but waited 2+ weeks for weights. I did have to lower my weight because every now and then I would get a pang between the belly button incision and one of the belly ones.

I would listen to your body and if something doesn't seem right I would pay a visit to your doctor.

EDITED TO ADD: I just reread your post and I thought you were talking about the area around the chest incision; looks like you are actually talking about the area where the gall bladder was. I would say that a call/visit to your doctor is in order.

08-06-2009, 11:12 AM
I had the exact same procedure done a couple years back and even though I was off meds almost immediately, the pain from gas pockets was horrible. What made it worst was that I chose not be active, and being active is what gets the pockets to break up, this lasted a little of a week.

Anyway...I hope you feel better.

Get n healthy
08-06-2009, 11:28 AM
You may want to just let your physican know about your activity level and pain level. With you still having that much pain, you may have a clogged duct or something like that.
Hope you feel better soon.

08-07-2009, 12:54 PM
Thanks for everyone's reply. I am feeling better today. There is still some soreness but that intense burning I had yesterday is gone. Hopefully it was trapped gas. I did have to burp alot late yesterday afternoon. It was shortly after that that the pain started easing. I am going to try to really watch what I eat and try to avoid "gassy" foods to see if that helps.

Thanks Again!

08-07-2009, 01:34 PM
Let me jump in here and tell you the one thing they never think to tell you (everybody I know seems to get this and the docs never warn them): for a very long time after your gallbladder is removed, you can get "dumping syndrome" which means you will have an immediate need to get to a bathroom for a bowel movement. Particularly if you eat anything at all fatty. When I say IMMEDIATE, I mean it. So don't be surprised if it starts happening. For some people it can last up to a year, for some it's forever. I still occasionally have the problem and I got my gallbladder removed 20 years ago.

08-07-2009, 06:39 PM
I have that! I found the only thing that eased it has been a diet low in carbs and processed food in general. Awful!

08-21-2009, 04:34 PM
I had mine removed in 2004 at only 22 years old.

I had the laparoscopy out-patient surgery and one hour after waking up and after the anesthesia wore off I was up and walking around. I was to stay in bed for a few days but I was walking around and everything. It's definitely helped me to use a pillow on my abdomen when getting out of bed, sitting up or walking. I guess the light pressure from holding the pillow really helped. Recovering time was very short for me, my friend just had the same procedure for the gall bladder 3 weeks ago and she was in a lot of pain for a few days but within days she felt so much better.

It sure beats that horrible gall bladder attack pain, I swear it feels like a heart attack ! I lived with that intense pain for over a year before I got to the Doctors ! Oh and yeah.... "dumping syndrome" sucks big time ! Since I've been on a better diet and exercising I haven't had it as bad, rarely now days, but years before I had it all the time. Needless to say I was unable to go out for lunch and then go shopping afterward :(

Me Too
09-04-2009, 09:19 AM
I still have my gallbladder, just because my insurance deductible is to high right now to have the surgery.
regarding dumping syndrome, what can be done about it, and does it happen at every meal? I have it so bad some days I can't leave the house, or barely make it to the bathroom. HELP

Lady Elite
09-04-2009, 11:29 AM
My gallbladder is out but I still has that right side pain but I think its due to hermangiomas in my liver and my pancreas just acting up. Hopefully the pain will subside soon. Being diabetic just seems to make things go a bit slower. Will be praying for you.

07-11-2010, 01:15 AM
a med called Questran will help control the "dumping". It's a powder, the generic is cheap. Ask your Dr about it.

07-11-2010, 02:31 AM
I had the same procedure done back at the end of November and took about a week to get back to half way normal.
I can eat about anything except chicken seems to bother me unless i can microwave it. There are times where I still have the burning/stinging sensation right where my gallbladder would have been. I talked to my surgeon about it and he said it was normal to have that for awhile. I've also noticed that if I don't eat regularly (all day no eating) that is when the pain starts up. In fact i had it all day today but i was stupid and only had 500 calories all day until 8pm tonight. Lesson learned, I guess it was my body's way of telling me to eat. I'm not hundred percent sure the pain is from that but it is the same pain i had when i was having all of my gallbladder pains. I'm just thankful I don't have it all the time.
I hope your recovery goes smooth. Make sure you rest!

07-11-2010, 05:24 PM
I had mine out and one week later rode 9 hours to my son's dorm to move him in. I remember that on the drive up there, I was still on pain meds and slept almost the whole way. I was up and at 'em the next day and back at work two weeks later. Mine was outpatient.

However, the right side pain lasted about a year. I was told it would take a year for it to really heal and I did feel little twinges of pain for around a year.

07-20-2010, 08:49 AM
I had mine out in January. It seems the only thing I can eat is stuff like breads, pasta, and some veggies anything else and the dumping syndrome starts up. Some days I may as well just take my meals in the bath room as awful as that sounds. I feel hungry almost to the point of it being painful all of the time, and I have gained 15 pounds since the surgery. Anyone else have this problem? or any ideas how to get it under control?

03-09-2011, 04:59 PM
Sorry to bump such an old thread but I have a couple questions.
My surgeon told me to return to regular activity ASAP. I told him I was moving from TX to MI and he said go ahead.
About 5 days later I pulled something one night fixing/fluffing my pillow (where the top incision is near the ribs). It felt like being stabbed by a hot poker. Driving 1200 miles was tough. The pain is getting better (in the past 2 weeks) but a hard spot is still there. I assume this is kind of normal?

03-26-2011, 08:19 AM
Hiya, i had mine removed 2 years ago and was out of hospital the day after i had it removed ... my GP told me not to over do anything, i was off work for a month after key hole ( i was a school cook ) and during that time i tried doing light housework as i felt fine. I managed to cause all kinds of pain and my GP told me off and reminded me i had an organ removed and just because i had a couple of little scars it didn't mean it was a minor procedure. People who have had this surgery should REST to a minimum of 3 weeks! :)

03-30-2011, 10:02 PM
I had mine removed last year and I went in through the ER because apparently my gallbladder caught and infection and it passed it to my pancreas. Well, they took my gallbladder out and b/c of the pancreas I was in the hospital for 4 days, but my recovery was quick and not very painfull.

04-04-2011, 04:41 PM
I had mine done last Thursday too, and I'm still having quite a bit of pain on the right hand side. I think it's just going to take time for things to get healed up in there is all.

Good luck in your recovery. :hug:

04-14-2011, 04:06 PM
Well I think everything is healed. I feel a lot better except for a new thing... lol
About once a week or so I get excruciating pain where the gallbladder pain used to be -center near my ribs. It has at times been worse than the pain before the surgery. There's no common preceding event. Eating, not eating, once it happened after drinking water. I'm not sure. But I don't have insurance anymore and my old doctor is 1800 miles away now because I moved.

06-05-2011, 06:01 AM
Wow, mine was removed 16 yrs ago, I was 19. Can I just ask, does ANYONE still have their gallbladder??? Seems to be a very large number of people having to undergo this surgery.

07-02-2011, 02:39 PM
A bit OT I suppose, the the original post has been answered several times already.

I've noticed after i've had mine out, "dumping syndrome" is worse if I don't eat small things regularly.

Here's how I figured out this out: I was sick every Saturday, sometimes Sunday. I soon figured out my routine: I sleep in (so I don't eat breakfast at my normal time). When I get up, I often play around on the Internet or something for a while. I get really hungry, and then I finally eat something. Inevitably, I'm sick 20-30 minutes afterwards. I really don't feel well when this happens, but 5-10 minutes after going to the washroom, I'm ok again.

Keep in mind without your gallbladder, there's nothing to control the extra spurt of bile needed to digest food when you eat. It also means bile is being poured into your empty stomach, too.

Keep more consistent hours and eat small things regularly, and you'll feel better. It's advice that good workout material (i.e. Oxygen) and dieticians advocate anyway.

07-04-2011, 03:54 PM
I went to see the doctor today due to my third attack of nasty abdominal pain, and he thinks it may be gallstones and is referring me for an ultrasound. On reading up a bit about gallstones, I am feeling thoroughly intimidated. I've been vegan and on a healthy diet (just a bit too much of it) for 14 years, d*mn it, plus I'm already severely disabled from CFIDS/ME and don't need anything else complicating my life. Any advice?

07-08-2011, 08:44 PM
I had the surgery,and thought it was a piece of cake..really. Just rest the next day or two,and have some tylanol at hand if you need it,take care of yourself...:hug:

07-14-2011, 09:06 AM
I just had my gall bladder taken out. Unfortunately I am on vacation in Switzerland. So, a hospital and doctors I didn't know did the emergency operation. Apparently I had stones and inflammation that I knew nothing about until one big banger of an attack hit me. The doctors and nurses at the hospital spoke some English, but not well enough to explain everything to me so I would know what to expect. So I've been reading after the fact. The doctors and nurses of this hospital BTW were very good and tried to communicate with me as best they could. My German is bad, but I was trying while not in pain to talk with them likewise. We got around the language barrier.:carrot:This was waves and waves of pain along with stabbing pain non-stop. If people go through this type of pain for years and don't have something done to their gall bladder that's crazy. The one thing that I really have a question on is are you supposed to get the hiccups so much after this surgery? I get them often now and never had before this surgery. I'm hoping this is a temporary situation after the surgery because of whatever they use to expand the abdominal cavity,

07-20-2011, 03:21 PM
By now the problem has hopefully subsided, but all I know is that my stepdad got nasty hiccups when he was in hospital after having a knee replacement. Maybe it can be set off by some of the pain meds? How are you doing now? Emergency surgery in a foreign country must be no fun at all.

I had my ultrasound yesterday, and yep, one little gall bladder full of stones. I haven't spoken to my GP yet, but I looked up NHS waiting lists for gall bladder removal and it looks like it'll be a good few months. Hopefully I'll be OK if I just keep my fat levels lowish for the meantime, and avoid having too much fat in any one meal.