General chatter - Gallbladder removal




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LindsaysMommy
07-23-2010, 11:23 AM
Anyone want to share their gallbladder removal experience? I will be having mine out in August. I don't know what to expect, though wish there were another way. Doctor said it was not working at all after the testing I had done, so I asked why can't we just leave it alone? Of course that didn't go over too well, he said that is the reason for the pain I have been having all this time.


ThicknPretty
07-23-2010, 11:35 AM
I had mine removed 6 weeks after I had my son by C-section in 2004. I had the laser surgery.

Recovery is not bad. I don't remember being in a lot of pain. I have four scars (three in various places on my abdomen and one IN my belly button!) that look like little rail road tracks and have faded a lot in the past few years.

I will say this: learning how to eat after having my gall bladder removed was...quite an experience. I don't know if it's similiar for everyone, but my stomach became VERY sensitive. I was actually convinced that I had IBS, but my doctor said that comes along with gall bladder surgery, especially in the first few years. I really had to be careful...I couldn't eat anything with a lot of fat or grease or really just anything very heavy or I would be miserable. (Sorry if that's TMI).

Overall, it's an easy surgery to recover from and you shouldn't have any terrible battle wounds, just be careful how you eat after! Good luck!

Losing It 2010
07-23-2010, 11:36 AM
Okay well I woke up one morning, was fine, did my business and got up, I thought I was going to DIE the pain was so bad (worse than childbirth) so I went to the ER and learned what the true meaning of writhing in pain meant until they shot my IV wth Diladude. So after getting pain med, I went to see a surgeon who scheduled me for the next week. He removed it laprasocopilcally on a Friday and i was back to work on Monday.

I do look somewhat like a spotted leopard because 4 mos after that surgery I had a total hysterectomy and they added three more laprascopic sites to my belly..lol

Gallbladder surgery is a no brainer, you will be just fine, prayers being said for your speedy recovery

Anyone want to share their gallbladder removal experience? I will be having mine out in August. I don't know what to expect, though wish there were another way. Doctor said it was not working at all after the testing I had done, so I asked why can't we just leave it alone? Of course that didn't go over too well, he said that is the reason for the pain I have been having all this time.


LindsaysMommy
07-23-2010, 11:55 AM
ThicknPretty, that's what I was scared of the eating and the feeling of IBS, and how my body would feel after "getting back to normal". I have suffered from IBS for years or could it be the gallbladder knowing more informaiton. I am starting the South Beach Diet on Sunday so hopefully this will help with the eating.

I had mine removed 6 weeks after I had my son by C-section in 2004. I had the laser surgery.

Recovery is not bad. I don't remember being in a lot of pain. I have four scars (three in various places on my abdomen and one IN my belly button!) that look like little rail road tracks and have faded a lot in the past few years.

I will say this: learning how to eat after having my gall bladder removed was...quite an experience. I don't know if it's similiar for everyone, but my stomach became VERY sensitive. I was actually convinced that I had IBS, but my doctor said that comes along with gall bladder surgery, especially in the first few years. I really had to be careful...I couldn't eat anything with a lot of fat or grease or really just anything very heavy or I would be miserable. (Sorry if that's TMI).

Overall, it's an easy surgery to recover from and you shouldn't have any terrible battle wounds, just be careful how you eat after! Good luck!

LindsaysMommy
07-23-2010, 11:56 AM
Losing it 2010, After the surgery, Do you mind sharing how your lifestyle was affected, about eating different things? Did that change for you?

Okay well I woke up one morning, was fine, did my business and got up, I thought I was going to DIE the pain was so bad (worse than childbirth) so I went to the ER and learned what the true meaning of writhing in pain meant until they shot my IV wth Diladude. So after getting pain med, I went to see a surgeon who scheduled me for the next week. He removed it laprasocopilcally on a Friday and i was back to work on Monday.

I do look somewhat like a spotted leopard because 4 mos after that surgery I had a total hysterectomy and they added three more laprascopic sites to my belly..lol

Gallbladder surgery is a no brainer, you will be just fine, prayers being said for your speedy recovery

dewdrop1970
07-23-2010, 12:10 PM
Mine was removed in 2000 (wow! has it been that long ago?!) and I did not have any problems with eating or digesting.

Maybe you won't either since your doctor said yours is not functioning at all currently.

My recovery was simple~a little sore at first when sitting up, but nothing that required much pain medicine. I learned that the pain meds were making me feel bad, so after 2 days I stopped taking those.

I also have the 3 scars around my belly button. Nothing dramatic or traumatic.

I was glad to have it out, so the pain of the gallstones would go away!

Thinking of you...
:hug:

caryesings
07-23-2010, 01:06 PM
Regarding your post-eating/digestion question. Warning, TMI for the squeamish

I have had a problem most of my life with sudden, barely-make-it-to-bathroom in time diarrhea either during exercise or after eating high fat meals. Knowing this was a side effect a friend suffered after her GB removed, I'm thinking now that mine had already lost it's function years before. So my digestive adjustment period was none. I had already learned to avoid the real problem foods like cheesecake or real ice cream.

The sort of good news is now when I turn down ice cream or cheesecake, I can just say I can't "handle that since GB removed" and people don't ask for details.

Renwomin
07-23-2010, 09:00 PM
I had my gallbladder out a couple of months ago. It was the first surgery I ever had and I was VERY nervous about it and wasn't sure I wanted it. But after going to the ER in extreme pain and feeling like my body was poisoning me I was ready to see it gone. Now I am really glad I had the surgery!

I had laparoscopic surgery as well. I have four scars from the surgery two of which are really small and are fading nicely. The one at my belly button I thought would never heal right but it is flat now. (It was bumy and raised for so long!) I was in a fair amount of pain the first week after surgery. I don't normally take pain meds but I was on mild narcotic pain drugs for about a week. I gradually went off them when I discovered they were making me constipated.

I was back to work half time in two weeks. (I tried going back full time but I was too exhausted.) Losing It you are wonder woman going back to work after three days!! I don't know how you did it. I know someone that took four weeks off straight to recover. It just goes to show our bodies are all different!

TMI ALERT!
I was dieting before the surgery and continued to diet after. Every once in a while I will have diarrhea or an upset stomach from eating a meal with a LOT of fat. This happens maybe 3 times a month and it has never been so bad that I have to stay right near the restroom. I do wonder how much this is from not having a gallbladder anymore and how much it is from my body not being used to high fat anymore.

All in all I am glad I had the surgery. The attacks were awful and having the possibility of one looming over my head was not pleasant (They found out I was passing my stones which isn't as common.) I wasn't eating a high fat diet when I had the surgery so just extreme diet modification wasn't the answer. Ironically enough losing over 3 pounds of fat a week on average increases your chances of getting gallstones!

I posted about my whole experience in the thread here (http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/weight-loss-support/202626-abdominal-pain-gallbladder-attack-2.html) since I was a nervous wreck. I got some good advice from people. Hang in there! :hug:

LindsaysMommy
07-23-2010, 10:38 PM
Ren, it seems your doing much better. Thank you for sharing your story and the old posts, it helps. Did you ever having a burning feeling when your gallbladder would act up, I have the pain but also burning.

nikki531
08-06-2010, 02:02 PM
I had mine out a few years ago. Before I had it out, I was having pain every time I ate something spicy or greasy. I haven't had any issues since! My scars are almost not visible now, I had some slight pain for a few days, but nothing terrible.
I must be one of the lucky ones...I haven't had much issue as far as "bathroom issues" go since I had it removed! I stick to a fairly low carb/high protein diet but I do allow my self carbs in moderation now and then.
Good luck!!

JustBeckyV
08-06-2010, 05:27 PM
Had mine removed about 10 years ago. My sister, SIL, mother and niece have all had theirs removed and had the same IBS as described. After about 5 years mine went away but I know my sister still has issues but I am not sure about the others.

I agree that the recovery isn't too terrible bad. I know I was out of work for just over week but could have stayed out for 2 if I had needed it.

bacilli
08-07-2010, 10:11 AM
I had mine taken out about 10 years ago also. I took two days off of work after the surgery, in case I needed the pain meds. The incisions were more of an ache, unless I was crunching my stomach like you do when you sit up from laying down. I still can't handle greasy foods well, they make me vomit. No issues at all with spicy foods or any IBS-like symptoms though. I have one scar, maybe 4 cm across, a few inches below the middle of my chesties, and one inside of my belly button.

Hearing how they do the surgery was actually more disturbing for me than the recovery.

I'm very glad I had it taken out, mine was working ok but was so deformed (yay birth mom for your multiple birth defects on my insides!) that I'd been vomiting multiple times a day for weeks until they took it out.

Rtsmme4life
08-08-2010, 09:33 PM
I found out I had gallstones after I thought I was going into labor at 8 months pregnant. I was induced, had my Logan then 1 week later had the surgery. This was 4 years ago this month. I have the same scars as everyone else. I have the really bad IBS symptoms no matter what I eat :( It has drastically changed my life and not for the better. I hope that you do not have the same problems after your surgery. All I can hope is that one day it gets better!

Losing It 2010
08-08-2010, 11:09 PM
Okay I am late answering but I had my GB surgery about 2 month before I had a total hysterectomy so I have no definite answers to what caused what. I did basically lay around and do nothing for about 18 mos so I gained a crap load of weight. For me I just want to be comfortable in my own body and that usually at my age now is about 150lbs. This is considered overweight at my height but I feel that as long as I am exercising and eating healthier it's all good.

I never really ate much fried food before the surgery and I think that is where the problem usually lies with digestion and upset system. I did not have any problems from either surgery and I have never felt as good as I have even with excess weight than I did before the surgeries.

Alicia87
08-09-2010, 10:22 AM
Yeah, a lot of the problems with diet after gallbladder surgery is that you need to avoid fatty foods. Your gallbladder helps to digest fat, and with it gone, it makes digesting them unpleasant. We were just talking about this at work the other day, I'm shocked how no one ever seems to tell patients this.

LindsaysMommy
08-09-2010, 04:16 PM
Thanks Everyone, looks like I need to avoid the bad stuff anyway. I am just so tired of the discomfort and nausea.

KarenBee
08-12-2010, 03:12 AM
I just found this thread --

(warning -- may be TMI for some -- )

I had mine out in late 2006 -- I had been having horrible attacks, and finally went to the ER -- they said it was riddled with gallstones and had to come out. I also had the laproscopic. The surgery was not bad, and once I learned what foods to eat and not, the recovery wasn't too bad. If I ate any kind of animal fat at all, I had severe diarrhea, and certain other foods caused a lot of gas and discomfort -- but like I said, once I learned what not to eat, it wasn't too bad at first.

But here's the thing -- after a couple of years I found I could tolerate all the "offending" foods again, even animal fat, so I started eating the same way I did before the surgery. And guess what? I started having the same symptoms I had before I had it out -- the belching, bad stomach, and discomfort -- not the sharp pain of the gallstones, but the same general all over yucky feeling, and that telltale loud belching after I ate. I thought to myself "How could I be having gallbladder problems again? I don't even have one!"

I went to a naturopathic/homeopathic doctor, and she said that when you have your gallbladder out, they actually leave a little bitty bit of it in, and if you are not careful of your diet you can get all the same problems back again. I was also having a lot of other physical problems, and it turns out I had a severe magnesium deficiency, caused by not having a gall bladder.

I have since done a huge study on the gallbladder, what it does, and what happens to your digestive system when you don't have one any more. I have changed my diet dramatically, and take supplements, and now feel 100% better.

One thing I am not sure was mentioned by the other posters -- I have struggled with constipation my whole adult life, and it got a lot worse when I started having the new attack this past year. And fiber and Metamucil wasn't working, it just made it worse. I have since found out by self study that bile production by the liver is a huge issue when you don't have a gall bladder. So I take supplements that help stimulate bile production, and that helps.

Rtsmme4life
08-13-2010, 11:05 PM
I just found this thread --

(warning -- may be TMI for some -- )

I had mine out in late 2006 -- I had been having horrible attacks, and finally went to the ER -- they said it was riddled with gallstones and had to come out. I also had the laproscopic. The surgery was not bad, and once I learned what foods to eat and not, the recovery wasn't too bad. If I ate any kind of animal fat at all, I had severe diarrhea, and certain other foods caused a lot of gas and discomfort -- but like I said, once I learned what not to eat, it wasn't too bad at first.

But here's the thing -- after a couple of years I found I could tolerate all the "offending" foods again, even animal fat, so I started eating the same way I did before the surgery. And guess what? I started having the same symptoms I had before I had it out -- the belching, bad stomach, and discomfort -- not the sharp pain of the gallstones, but the same general all over yucky feeling, and that telltale loud belching after I ate. I thought to myself "How could I be having gallbladder problems again? I don't even have one!"

I went to a naturopathic/homeopathic doctor, and she said that when you have your gallbladder out, they actually leave a little bitty bit of it in, and if you are not careful of your diet you can get all the same problems back again. I was also having a lot of other physical problems, and it turns out I had a severe magnesium deficiency, caused by not having a gall bladder.

I have since done a huge study on the gallbladder, what it does, and what happens to your digestive system when you don't have one any more. I have changed my diet dramatically, and take supplements, and now feel 100% better.

One thing I am not sure was mentioned by the other posters -- I have struggled with constipation my whole adult life, and it got a lot worse when I started having the new attack this past year. And fiber and Metamucil wasn't working, it just made it worse. I have since found out by self study that bile production by the liver is a huge issue when you don't have a gall bladder. So I take supplements that help stimulate bile production, and that helps.




I would love to know what suppliments you are taking. I cant seem to find anything to help me since I had mine out and would love any advice!

KarenBee
08-14-2010, 01:44 AM
I would love to know what suppliments you are taking. I cant seem to find anything to help me since I had mine out and would love any advice!

Sure, I'd be happy to tell you what I take --

500 mg of Magnesium and 2 Potassium Gluconate caplets that are 99 mg each -- I take these because it's common for people with no gallbladder to be deficient in Magnesium, and the Potassium helps with Magnesium absorption. I call them my "mental health pills", because before I went to the naturopathic doctor in February, I was having all kinds of weird spaciness in my head, and just a couple of days after I started on the Magnesium/Potassium combo (the first change I made), the weird spacey floating feeling was gone.

I also take Digestive Enzymes -- the ones I take now are 100% vegan/plant based -- however, I used to take these ones that were made with ox bile -- they are supposed to be more effective, but the thought of ox bile just grossed me out so I switched :) -- this is for bile production and overall digestion

Probiotics / Acidophilus -- also for bile production and overall digestion

Turmeric -- increases the bile flow in the liver

EFA's -- Essential Fatty Acids -- also increases bile flow in the liver


I also take a bunch of other things -- C, E, D3, St. John's Wort, Ginkgo, Ginseng, Cranberry Fruit, B Complex, Ultra Minerals, Spirulina, Olive Leaf, Horse Chestnut, for other reasons.....



Another thing I do is that I try to avoid processed food as much as possible -- I read food labels, and if it's full of things that I can't pronounce and have no idea what they are, I avoid it. I used to eat a lot of Hamburger Helper, made with ground turkey, but no more. I found out that without a gallbladder, your body has trouble digesting processed foods. So I eat mostly whole "real" food ...



After I saw the naturopathic doctor, I did my own research -- I spent several days just digging around at various websites, learning as much as I could about gallbladders and the lack thereof, and then started eliminating things from my diet -- it was definitely trial and error, and I am still learning. For instance, I have finally just figured out that pasta makes me "pass gas" -- I eat it anyway in limited quantities because I am Italian and I can't imagine living without it, but I can expect the resulting flatulence after eating it.


Another thing I learned from that research is that many doctors really don't know what they are talking about regarding living without a gallbladder -- some may tell you to eat a low fat diet, but some say that you can eat normally -- and then when you start having all the digestive problems and head spaciness like I did, they prescribe pharmaceutical drugs to treat the symptoms. In my opinion there is absolutely no reason to take any drugs for this -- it can all be controlled by diet and supplements -- it just may take some trial and error to find what works for you.