gall bladder surgery

old_mpMarch 23, 2009

Has anyone had gall bladder surgery recenly...I just went through it a week ago...any thoughts or suggestions?

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LibbyLiz

I had it Nov 2007 or maybe it was 2008. I didn't watch my fat intake afterward, but I did have problems with diarrhea for a while. I still have the scars.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 10:30AM
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ilmbg

Why are you asking? Are you having problems? How old are you? After a week you should be back to normal. Did you have a lap or open surgery? It is a simple surgery/recovery. I have taken care of many, many patients post-op, and also had mine done several months ago.
I had no problems at all. Up to the bathroom in Recovery Room, walking around a few hours later. (because I am a nurse, I knew how important it was to get up/moving right away- nobody would expect someone to get up as I did, but no problems).
About 1% (some docs say 10%), have diarrhea after.
If you do, avoid dairy, fatty foods and some avoid spicy foods. You still make bile- it is just 'drip, drip, drip' into the intestines instead of being released when you eat. There is a very small increase in intestinal cancer possibly due to the irritation of the constant dripping of bile (5%)

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 4:21AM
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scarlet_morgan

ilmbg, you must be one blessed person! I know many, many people who have had their gallbladder removed and it is not always as simple as you would have one think. Yes, there are some people who go through it with flying colors but for many, it takes several weeks to get 'back to normal'. Even then, almost everyone I know has had the dreaded diarrhea. I am a nurse, as well, and for the last 6 years I have worked in family practice. We hear this complaint almost every day. I also know from personal experience that it is no walk in the park! I had mine out in 2003 after being terribly sick with salmonella. It has been a nightmare ever since. My mom and 2 of her sisters have had theirs removed and have the same horrid, chronic diarrhea. It has truly been a life changing experience and if I had it to do all over again, there's NO WAY I'd do it again, even if someone paid me to. The after effects have just not been worth it. Sure, I was in pain before but it was nothing compared to the nightmare that I'm going through now. So, please do not make this operation sound like it is similar to getting a tooth pulled because it is not! It is a major abdominal surgery (regardless if it is done lap or open) and not to be taken lightly! For those thinking about having it done...PLEASE, do your research, ask lots of questions and know what you are getting into.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 3:38PM
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littleonefb

I had my gallbladder removed years and years ago, 27 years to be exact, Surgery was the old fashioned one and the recovery was really hard and breathing without pain took months to go away.

Once recovered from the surgery I have been fine, got pregnant 4 months later without any problems as well.

Never had any problems with diarrhea either and have never had a problem with eating any kind of foods.

I've known many people who have had theirs removed as well, over the past 27 years, both lap and open and no one has ever had any of the problems that you describe Scarlet morgan.

None of them nor do I have any regrets about having the surgery. It was the best thing we ever did.

In my case, I would be dead if I had not had the surgery. My gallbladder was 50% necrotic and bordering on gangrene.

No surgery is a simple thing, but trust me, it was nothing compared to the 2 spinal surgeries I have had in the past 3 years and facing a 3rd in June.

I would take a gallbladder surgery any day over any one of those spinal surgeries.

A friend of mine who is a nurse says the same thing as I do, never once has she seen the post results of gallbladder surgery that you are talking about and she works for a surgeon who does this surgery all the time, The doctor follows his patients for 12 months and never has anyone complained about any problems like you speak of

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 3:09AM
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scarlet_morgan

littleonefb, as I said before, I understand there are many, many patients who have their gallbladder removed and do very well. They are in and out of the hospital, often within the same day, and are back to work very quickly. However, there are also many patients who DO have a difficult time recovering and/or DO have post-operative diarrhea that is literally life-altering. Does that mean patients should not have their gallbladder removed? Of course not! Many people MUST have their gallbladder removed, regardless of the potential for post-op problems. If the gallbladder is infected or if it is not functioning properly, then there is no other choice. However, all of this needs to be discussed between the patient and the surgeon prior to surgery. I feel strongly that every patient should have ALL information pertinent to their condition/surgery. However, there are always going to be surgeons who don't take some time and do a thorough job explaining the surgery and the possible complications.

The reason I said 'if I had it to do all over again, there's no way I'd do it again' is because after all was said and done, my surgery was not really necessary. I was having acute abdominal pain and gallstones were found on an ultrasound. With no further testing, a surgeon immediately decided I needed surgery. I was pretty out of it on pain meds so I didn't have much say so in the whole matter. Once my surgery was over, I was very frustrated to learn that I was still in the same pain and then later I was bombarded with the terrible diarrhea (which I'd NEVER had before) that has now been going on for over 6 years. I have been to many GI docs and have had every test known to mankind and they all say it is due to having my gallbladder out. My mom and my aunt have had the same experience. However, they are much older than I and they are not able to control theirs very well. They must wear protective undergarments because they never know when it is going to hit and they often do not make it to the bathroom in time.

littleonefb, I'm not sure why you became so defensive. I am only trying to help make people aware of some potential complications from this surgery. I'm not just making this stuff up! Why would I? You can do a Google search and you will find all kinds of information regarding this. I also find it very hard to believe that a surgeon who does cholecystectomies all the time has never once had a patient complain of post-op diarrhea.

For those who are interested, I have attached a link for more info. It is just one of many you can find through Google. As I said before, I'm not telling anyone not to have the surgery, just be well informed. Do your research, find a reputable surgeon and ask lots and lots of questions.

Here is a link that might be useful: Diarrhea after Gallbladder Surgery

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 10:47AM
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littleonefb

littleonefb, I'm not sure why you became so defensive. I am only trying to help make people aware of some potential complications from this surgery.

Not defensive, just your post made it appear that having your gallbladder removed results in most people having chronic diarrhea for the rest of their life.
Something that is not true.

Your own link says that it is 1 in 5 have some diarrhea post op and that most recover from that.

There is always the potential for many kinds of complications from any kind of surgery, but your post made it sound like the results of gall bladder removal are worse than the problems that exist prior to the surgery or the complications that can come from not having the gall bladder removed.

I also find it very hard to believe that a surgeon who does cholecystectomies all the time has never once had a patient complain of post-op diarrhea.

You where speaking about chronic diarrhea in your post and not a few days or weeks of a temporary diarrhea, something that abates after a few weeks and ends.

I was speaking about the chronic diarrhea that you referring to in your post.

The doctor I spoke about in my post has seen patients that have had a few days to a week or 2 of some diarrhea, but he has never had a patient with chronic diarrhea.

What can happen is that some patients may have problems eating certain foods that where also a cause of gallbladder attacks prior to surgery and remain a problem post op as well.

And there are many, many more people that have no problems post op, other than recovering from surgery itself; are able to eat anything they want and never have any further problems.

It was never my intent to imply that there are no risks in having a gall bladder removed or post op complications, they always exist.

My intent was to show and word that the majority of patients never suffer from what you describe as a chronic diarrhea.

My own primary care physician of more than 25 years, and has been in practice for almost 30 years, has never had a patient complain to him about any kind of chronic diarrhea after having a gall bladder removed, nor has he himself and he had his removed about 20 years ago.

He has had patients who can not eat certain foods without having a problem, but that is considered a normal process post gall bladder removal.

I'm sorry that you suffer from this problem and that you have so many patients in a practice that do have this problem.

Why you see this kind of result and experience it yourself, is something I don't know, but I do know that there are way more people without any of the problems you refer to than do have the problem.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 9:39PM
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avaclark

Did any of you have the following symptoms?

Pain in the middle of your chest, left arm and shoulder pain, pain across your back?

I have been having the middle, between my breast pain, buring--not sure how to describe it pain and it goes to my left arm. Then of course it scares the crap out of me--Literally--and I go into a panic attack. Went to urgent care and they did ekg and said thought it was gallbladder since a HIDA scan 2 years ago show a ejection of 13%.

I just get scared thinking this could be heart but I have had stress, test, Thalium test, EKG etc.... and nothing found--which is a good thing.

Could this be gallbladder--did you think you were have a heart attack?

    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 6:41PM
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littleonefb

Those are all classic symptoms of gallbladder attacks. They can be scary and many people do end up in the ER thinking that they are having a heart attack.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 9:51PM
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alenamaria

I had this surgery done almost two years ago and thank god for it. It was lap done and in few days I was entirely OK. Occasionally I have some diarrhea, but very rarely and I even do not have to control my eating habits. My gall bladder was necrotic and pains were unbearable - so there was no question for me if I go for it. But after it is done I am still grateful I got rid of pain. If you have problems after one week and it was laparoscopy than better contact your doctor, just to feel safe.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2009 at 5:25PM
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