39 answers

Gallbaldder Surgery

Hi Mamas! I know I've seen posts about this before, but I couldn't find them, so here I go.... The short version of the story is that I have known for 10+ years that I have gallstones, but haven't really had any difficulties until recently. For the past 2 months, I've had on and off pain, bloating, etc. I've finally made the decision to have my gallbladder removed at the recommendation of my PCP an a surgeon. It was a difficult decision because I'm petrified of surgery, but I'm tired of not feeling well and want to do it when it's not an emergent situation. I've had LOTS of tests, and it seems pretty clear that the gallbladder/stones is the cause of my symptoms. Anyone had this surgery? Any thoughts/advice (or reassurance?? :) )

I am having laproscopic surgery

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So What Happened?™

Thank you all so much for your advice and encouragement. Had the surgery 3 weeks ago. The first few days were rough, and I still couldn't pick up my daughter for another week... but I am SO GLAD I had the surgery! I'm feeling so much better!

More Answers

I had mine out as a same day surgery and was driving a week later. and as long as you are not hauling on little ones go for it ASAP. A galbladder attack can be deadly ,if it ruptures. I was told that the galbladder should be removed the first time you hav eissues with it because it can then rupture at anytime...

I had the surgery 2 years ago, when my son was only 6 weeks old (and my daughter was 2). The surgery went very well....I was in the hospital at 6:30am and home by 1:00pm! Obviously, I rested ALOT that day and had LOTS of help from my husband and family for the next few days as well. It was such a wise choice for me and I think you'll be happy after you have the surgery. I, too, had the laproscopic and the healing process went well. It made me feel SO much better....after I had lived on Saltines and Jello for weeks since those were the only things that didn't give me an attack! Good luck! You'll do fine!

I had my gallbladder removed after my first was born (turns out the pregnancy was part of the cause). I would have to say that my attacks were worse than labor pains so I'm glad that I don't suffer with that pain anymore. I had the surgery laproscopically as well. I think it's only about an hour long surgery and the recovery is a couple weeks. I suffered from infection but otherwise, everything went well. Don't sweat the surgery part since it's a fairly routine surgery. I was sent home the same day. Good luck and take care.

after repeatedly being rushed to the ER for symptoms resembling a heart attack, they figured out I had gallstones because a sister ten years younger than me had them out the week before. I was young, and thin, so they never suspected. Sure enough, gallstones. Got it out, still felt phantom pain for a bit, but it fades away till one day, you notice, hey, I feel ok! Had some adhesions as a result, during a Csection my dr fixed them. Yes, I am glad I did it. I can not drink more than two alcholic drinks in a day anymore though, or I throw up about 6-12 hours later. I just can't digest it for some reason. So, I take zantac before any cocktail, and hope for the best. I am so glad I got it, sounds like you are at the beginning stages of need. Trust me, they don't go away, and only get worse. Have it before you are rushed to the ER begging for it, as I did. Happened to be in an attack the morning of my surgery, I am normally a scardy cat, instead I growled just rip it out already lol.
I talked them into letting me go home that day, as an inlaw was a nurse who was going to "take care of me". Frankly I hate hospitals, the noise, the germs, etc, I just can't rest, so I went home that same day. Back to work in a couple of weeks, back to the gym in a month.

Good luck,
D.

Good Morning J.. I had the laproscopic surgery to remove my gall bladder almost 8 yrs ago. It was absolutely not big deal at all. I was back at work within a couple of days and pregnant for my first child within a month!! It was same day surgery, I think I had to be there at 7:30am and I was on my way home around 1pm. The only complication I ran into was that they had given me percocet to take for the pain immediately after the surgery on an empty stomach. That was a bad idea, vomiting after stomach surgery is NOT fun!! So just shy away from any narcotic pain killers until after you've had something to eat. Good Luck with the surgery and I hope this helps to ease your mind.

J., I really don't mean to scare you by writing this however I just want you to know how important it is that you get this taken care of. Last year we were at my parents house haveing dinner when my father said that he wasn;t feeling well. He ending up going to the hospital(which we knew something was wrong when he agreed to go). My father ending up having a gall stone lodge in his common duct which caused massive complications, we lost my father on May 15th of last year. My dad was a pretty healthy guy, other then the fact that every now and again is stomach would bother him. There was never enough pain that he couldn't handle it, thus never enough pain to drive him to go see someone about it. I know that people get gall stones all the time( my mom for one.. she had the surgery/ no problems) and they end up being O.K. however there are those rear cases where it can turn into something bigger. So I'm telling you, as I do all people who mention gallbladder issues in front of me, stay on top of it and do whatever you can to make yourself healthy again

I have had the procedure with great results. I had it done last year while I was pregnant with my second child. Everything went very well and I was feeling back to normal in just a few days. I hope that helps.

Do it! The surgery is minimal--in and out, with an easy recovery and little scarring....AND I felt SO MUCH BETTER after I had it.

I had it, also had 2 c-sections. the laparoscopic surgery is by far easier. Just take the pain meds the first couple of days. Also, fatty food sometimes give people who have had gall bladder removed loose bowels, just to warn you. I'd take the loose bowels over gall bladder attacks any day.

J.,
I have never had this surgery myself but just this week I had 2 family members that had it done. My sister got hers removed on Wednesday. I talked to her that night and she was fine. It was just day surgery and it didn't take long. She is on some pain medication and can't lift things for a while, but she said she feels fine other than that. My father in law also got his out this week and all went well. It doesn't seem from my perspective to be a very horrible surgery. You should be fine and it sounds like it would be worth getting it done if you are having all those issues with it. I don't know if this helps much, but good luck!

I had this surgery about 2 years ago and I put it off as well for the same reason. It was a relief to get it done really I had regular symptoms and they were awful. The surgery was so easy and I was ready to go home as soon as I woke up. It all depends on how well you react to those types of things. My sister had it too and had to stay overnight. The only thing is lifting your kids can be sore for a little while. I had a two and a three year old at the time and it wasn't that bad. You can get some internal scaring from the surgery which cases some pain though me and my sister both have it. The look of the scars is barely noticeable for me I have really bad stretch marks from my pregnancy and they just made the incisions in them. I don't know if it was purposeful but I thought it was nice :) and then the one in the belly button is in the belly button so you can't notice it.

Hi - - i'm sure you've gotten alot of responses by now. I had the same procedure back in 2003. My daughter was around the same age as yours. The surgery went very well. It of course is outpatient surgery, & they dont let you leave until you can be up & about. I had to goto the bathroom & the nurse was going to bring a bedpan! No thanks, i chose to get up & walk to the bathrm. The 1st few days were rough, alot of pain & discomfort. After a week the pain is pretty much gone. I would suggest that you have a sitter at least the 1st week while your husbands working. You'll be taking painkillers & the ones i took knocked me out. It'll take a couple months, but you will definately notice a HUGE differance in the way you feel. You'll feel so much better healthwise. Good luck, have you got a scheduled date yet?

J., I had my gallbladder removed while I was pregnant! The surgery was quick and easy and there's very little scarring (they only do three small incisions anyway). The recovery time was probably about a week before I felt good enough to move around on my own. My stomach muscles were very sore and I had a hard time sitting down, lying down, and getting up from those positions. The sitting down/getting up thing made it difficult to go to the bathroom without assistance, so prepare for a little bit of embarrassment if you end up having to have someone help you with that. Laughing was also pretty painful at the beginning. Once the surgery was done I was able to eat like a normal person again! What an awesome feeling! Also, the most important thing about the surgery was that it took away my worries - wondering when the next horribly painful attack would come. I think you should do it and get it over with - it's truly worth it. Good luck!:)

Will you have laproscopic surgey? I had mine out 11 years ago that way and the recovery was really manageable and not too long at all. I spent one night in the hospital, and when I got home I just rested and kept my feet up the first couple of days. I had one small incision on my belly butoon, one on my upper abdomen, and two little ones on the side near my hip. They were sore for about a week, but I was up and walking with no problem after a couple of days. It was much better than having the pain and the attacks that were debilitating! It is pretty much routine surgery these days so I'm sure your surgeon knows what s/he is doing. Good luck and don't worry too much!

Hi-
I had this surgery after the birth of my twins when the symptoms really flared up. I had laproscopic as well. I opted to spend the night in the hospital as I had 4 litle one's at home and knew I wouldn't get much rest if I didn't. I didn't feel badly til day 3- I guess the gas they fill your cavity with doesn't always come all out at the end and can cause pain in the shoulder etc. When we called the Dr he said to take more of my pain meds and give it a few hours and it would get better which it did. After that I felt better each day and was back to normal pretty quickly. The scars are minimal and I have no recurring symptoms that some people have. I often forget that I had the surgery until one of the kids asks about the scars. Good luck!!!

I had my gallbladder taken out about 10 yrs ago...I was brought to the hosp. ER because of immense pain that made me unable to breathe and left me in a fetal position on the floor of my work (yah, not fun...lol). In the ER, they told me to sit down, I would be fine (after triage), they came rushing back and told me to follow them, they had a bed ready for me with a morphine drip....I was like, uhhhhhhhhhh...lol....
They told me I was being rushed into surgery because my gallbladder had "backed up" and was poisoning my system (apparently I had waited to long?)so all I remember about the surgery was the IV to put me out making me sick....the first week afterwards was a little tough, but I was out the next day after surgery and on my feet! It wasn't a big deal, and they did the surgery laproscopically (sp?) and I only have 3 little scars, like dots, with one being on my belly button...I am a medium build woman, so I was just at the cutoff weight for that type of surgery I was told (thanks for that I told them...lol..).
Well, good luck, and it's not that big of a deal, the risks are minor and it'll help you feel MUCH better almost immediately!!

sidenote- since I had this surgery, I have "developed" IBD (irratable bowel disease), but they don't know why ppl get it...could it have been from the surgery? maybe, but I do know certain foods afterwards affected me a little differantly, such as spicyier foods and off all things, doritos...lol...
If you have any more questions I might be able to help you with, feel free to messege me on here!

Do it!! I'm so glad I did. No more pain:) Surgery isn't as scary as you think. I was up that evening, & walking around (shopping) with a few days.

Hi J.,
I too had significant trouble with my gallbladder for a number of years, it was AWFUL! I'm sorry you have to go through it. Having my gallbladder out was the BEST decision I made. Although after the surgery was uncomfortable for a while (just a couple of weeks) it was like have a little piece of evil removed from my body! Seriously, it does take a little adjusting of how different foods affect your body, but it is SO worth it in the end. Good luck to you, take your pain meds if you need to and try to take it slow during recovery - you'll be glad you did.
M. O

I had this surgery 9 years ago. I can tell you that it went realy well and I only have 4 Little scares on my stomach.The recovery was not bad at all. The only problem I have is sometime spicey things are hard to digest.

B.

I've never had it, but a friend of mine did after having her daughter. If I recall correctly she was in and out of the hospital the same day. She only had a few tiny holes from the scope. I remember she had to eat bland foods at first, but she was up and about with it the same day. Now she had to take it easy, but it wasn't as bad as having her whole stomach cut open like they used to do it. Good luck! I'm sure you'll be fine. I think as surgeries go these are relatively easy ones.

M.

Hi: I had my Gallbladder out by micro surgery. I was home the next day. I've had no problems from the surgery.

Good Luck
L.

I had the surgery 4 years ago, and it was a breeze.
The worst part was the pains in my neck and shoulders post surgery... displaced air from the surgery.
I had to do it due to an "attack."
Don't wait for that...it was pretty awful... definitely worse than the surgery.
Good luck!

Any surgery is scarey but I'm sure you will be just fine. I've had a few laproscopic surgeries and the pain after is very minimal. You will be back to yourself in no time. My grandma had her gallbladder removed about 3 years ago and did wonderfully. It took her about a week to fully recover and she's older so I'm sure your recovery time will be shorter. I only recommend that when you schedule your surgery you make as early in the morning as you possibly can. I had 2 surgeries done at 8am and the last one I had wasn't scheduled to 11 and it was terrible waiting that long because you can't eat or drink anything that morning. Even if they tell you can have a glass of water in the morning don't because some drs. won't do the surgery if you do. Good luck.

I had it done 3 years ago it was a breeze. I'm not fond of surgery either and this is day surgery so your home the same day. unlike when my mom & grandmother had theirs our years ago. I felt sooooo much better after it is definitly worth it. Good luck

Hi J.,
You already have a lot of answers here, but I thought I would as well. I had mine removed (laproscopic)about 13 years ago ( I was 18). I was in extreme pain before hand and I can tell you it is SO SO worth it! Even the minor pain after the surgery was better than the attacks. My mom, aunt, brother and 2 friends have also had it done and all of us are so glad we did. I promise it is not a big deal. I have had some of the issues others have mentioned about bowel problems, but nothing at all like the problems before. It will literally change your life, for the better.
Good luck and get it done, you will be so relieved!

Hi J.,

I too had years of pain and white lips from all the maalox I drank in the middle of the night to try to ease the pain. I tried everything they recommended but the pain was getting worse. I did have the surgery. The procedure has been so streamlined and is not like it used to be. In fact now you can go home the same or next day instead of a week in the hospital. But if you wait to long the gallbladder can get so inflamed that they would have to go back to the old surgery instead of the lapriscopic (sp?) procedure. I did have the lapriscopic surgery where they make a few small cuts to remove the gallbladder. It is abdominal surgery so the laughing, coughing, sitting up etc., daily movements may be difficult for a while. The results are so much better than the suffering. It did take some time to adjust after the surgery though. I had to watch what I ate and steered away from the gallbaldder attack triggers for me like cream, chocolate, etc. until my body adjusted. Most doctors preform 100s of these surgeries and it has almost become a common procedure. You can ask your doctor how many they have done. Good luck and you will feel better soon! Hope this helps.

M.

My mother just had her gallbladder removed laproscopically two weeks ago and had a very positive experience. She was really sore for the first two days, but after that she was able to get up and moving and the more she walked, the better she felt. She is near 100% now and is so relieved to have had the surgery. Good luck!!!!

Do it, do it, do it. If all you've experienced so far is a little pain and bloating, consider yourself very lucky. A gallbladder attack is agonizing. Get that sucker out before you have one of those scary attacks that feels like a heart attack. I had it done four years ago. I've found that people's recoveries are very different - for example, I know a lot of people that felt perfectly fine in a few days, but it took me a good two weeks before I felt like myself at all. My most practical advice would be, fill the painkiller Rx on your way home from the hospital. If you're like me, you'll need it by the time you get home (if you go home the same day). Sleep will be the best way to heal quickly, so definitely line up help with your daughter. You'll be really glad you did it!

Several people I know all had the surgery. My mother in law just recently had hers done & said it really was no big deal. The worst part I hear is the "belly button" area. They make like 3 or 4 incisions & the biggest is the button, that is the sorest but with medication you should be fine. They all feel much better & are back to normal now! It is a day surgery & nothing to worry about. I have had several surgeries so I know your anxiety. But if you don't have it done you are going to get worse & even toxic at some point. Have it done, feel better you will be fine! My prayers are with you.

I had my gall bladder out almost a year ago. I ended up at the hospital in the middle of the night in excruciating pain. I had surgery that afternoon. I was so nervous my body was shaking. I've never been put to sleep before. The surgery was pretty easy...the recovery was much longer than I expected. I thought hey they are only making 3 little holes I should be fine in 3 days. Well it did take longer than that, but I have not had any pain or symptoms since the surgery. My advise is to do it, just be realistic about your recovery time. I have 1 tip...when you go to sleep cuddle a pillow, it will sheild your belly from other people in your bed (kids) and give you comfort.

Good Luck!

Sam
Mother of 3 - Devin 7, Donovan 5, Mya 3

I had the surgery done 11months after having my first son, of course that was in 1988 and i was in the hospital 7 days..I also had stones lodged in my ducts...But remember the pain before and after so much better after

good luck to you

I had this surgery five years ago...I was actually 4 weeks pregnant and had no idea. It never showed up in my tests either. Needless to say, I am petrified of anything and it was fine. I was a little sore afterwards but nothing some good pain drugs couldn't handle. It is a very simple procedure and the only downfall was I do still have some small scarring where the incisions were made. Good luck...if ya had a baby this is NOTHING!!

I had gallbladder surgery several years ago without problems and felt great afterward. I had a quick recovery. Scars were minimal and very small. The attacks are horrible! You'll be glad you did it.
Good luck,
J.

I had my gallbladder taken out after my second child. I too put it off until I absolutley couldn't stand it anymore. I ended up driving myself to the emergency room (knowing what the pain was from my gallbladder) and they addmitted me to the hospital to do the surgery a few days later. My tell tale sign was the color of my urine.....it was a very orangy color. From what I remember this was because my gallbladder was causing havic with my pancreas. I would not push your surgery off any longer if I were you. I know surgery is a scary thing but the comfort you will have once it's done will all be worth it. Good luck.

Hi J. -
I see you've already gotten a lot of response, but I had the surgery and it was fairly simple. There is a strange shoulder pain from the carbon dioxide they use during surgery which I thought was weird and you have to really lie down and rest the first few days. I felt okay so I probably over did it and ended up having to have a bunch of fluid drained from my belly button. Watch some good movies and enjoy the drugs and you'll be back on your feet in no time. Lots of Luck, T.

P.S. The relief you feel from Gallbladder symptoms is AMAZING!!! I never realized how much pain I was in until it was gone. Well worth it!

J.-

I have not had the surgery but both my mother and my MIL had it. It is a in and out procedure, very easy. I think they make 3 VERY small incisions and take it outthrough one of them. Not much pain or actual REAL surgery involved. Good luck! I am sure you will be fine, no worries!

I had the surgery several years ago and wish I had done it sooner!! I was an emergency situation so had to be on IV drips for three days to "calm" the infection. I felt great almost hours after sugery.......you'll do super!!

I just had a friend have emergency surgery to remove his gall bladder after not feeling well and going to the doc and having them chalk it up to a stomach bug. He spent the week in the hospital just because it was SO bad that it was affecting his other major organs. But, he is just fine and feels much better. He lost a good amount of weight too!! HAHA. Good luck.

hi J.,
i had the same surgery about 6 years ago and it went fine. It took a little longer than the surgeon predicted for me to feel comfortable enough to return to work and driving, but it definitely fixed the problem. I was having pretty severe pain, so it really wasn't an option for me. One thing to note, in case your Dr. didn't mention it, they try to do it through the scope, but if they can't verify a major artery that way ( in order to avoid it) they end up doing a full incision. Just so you are aware. I did end up having the scope. I'm sure it will be fine and you will feel so much better! Good luck!
A little about me: I am a mom of 2 teen girls, wife and owner of a small business called 'K. johnston ARTWORKS' in Mansfield, MA where you can paint your own pottery, take an art class(children and adults) or browse my original watercolors.

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