Gall Bladder Trouble....

Updated on February 14, 2008
M.B. asks from Spring, TX
57 answers

Hello Moms,

Hope everyone has had a Merry Christmas, first of all!! Here is my problem. Sunday night I had to visit the ER due to some SERIOUS teeth clenching pain, and as it turns out, I have gall stones, and they want to take my gallbladder out....

I am healthy, almost 34, never had any serious medical issues, and I AM TERRIFIED!!!! I was just wondering if any of you had experienced this, what did you do, etc. ANY THOUGHTS,ADVICE,PERSONAL EXPERIENCE,ANYTHING anyone has to offer, and in a hurry (I have to call the surgeon in the morning) would be so terribly appreciated I cannot even express it enough!!

Thanks in advance, and ya'll enjoy the holidays! :)

****I decided to throw in a little more info, I just get tired of typing!! I have been dealing with the pain for the past 4-5 years, it's just now that I have had two SERIOUSLY bad attacks.....Also, after my 3rd baby I didn't lose weight, just gained, and so last March I went back to the gym and have lost 60+ pounds, which now I suppose may have REALLY aggravated my GB!!!! You moms are just awesome, I can't tell you how much better ya'll have made me feel about this whole thing!!

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So What Happened?

You moms are all so awesome!! I really appreciate all the info, and encouragement I've gotten from ya'll....it has helped my nerves TREMENDOUSLY!! I see the surgeon in the morning, and I'll let ya'll know how it all goes!! I have considered a more holistic approach, however, I know now that I should have done that several years ago when the pain started!! I think I'm past that point now!! Thanks again so much, ya'll have all been a blessing to me!!!

Alright ya'll, the angry little gall bladder comes out in the morning!! (Wednesday)Evidently it's all infected, and just a real mess. Thanks so much to all of ya'll that responded. I am really scared now, and am going back through and reading all of the things ya'll told me to help me feel less terrified!! I am so grateful, and thanks again!!!! :)

******GALL BLADDER IS OUT!!!!! I feel better already, just cannot wait to get back into the gym........thanks again for all the info, moms, ya'll are the best!! :)

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A.J.

answers from Dallas on

I have a friend who had that done and he had it done lapriscopically where they dont cut they just use an instrament and make small holes. it was easy for him and he had no complaints... wish you well as well. A. J

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C.S.

answers from Amarillo on

Just relax about the gall bladder removal!! It is so easy and I was back to normal in 2 to 3 days (meaning pain-free). Anything using the word "sugery" is scary, but it really is easy and if you are a mom of 3, you have NOTHING to worry about!! Good Luck and don't worry!

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A.W.

answers from Fayetteville on

Hey April,

I had mine taken out at 12 (back in 1995), the youngest in my hospital history... It was really scary, but you can do it.. Specially if you have kids!

A few bad things about it is, you're body won't be able to digest heavy fatty foods or it will be hard to control weight gain. I've found it a little difficult but then again I'm not the healthy eating type.

Another bad thing is there's a chance that the laparoscopic part won't work and they'll have to slice you open. It left a huge scar on my belly, along with the tiny laparoscopic scars from their first try.

Wish you the best of luck and a fast recovery!
~A.

Ps. Follow the diet they gave you to the letter. Specially no nuts or chocolate!

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H.A.

answers from Houston on

If you're looking for a more natural approach on dealing with the gall bladder and how they to treat the stones, please go to www.mercola.com. Do a search for gall bladder. My brother is chiropractor and has a lot of other alternative medicine education. One of his seminar leaders has a practice in Webster, TX that he highly recommended to me. (He does MUCH more than just chiropractic, and might be able to help. You would be suprised!). Here is their website if you want to get a little more info on him. www.gcih.net If nothing else I would just call them and tell them you've been diagnosed with gall bladder stones and ask if they believe there's anything they could help you do to avoid surgery. Hope that helps. Goodluck and I hope everything works out!

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A.Y.

answers from Rochester on

I worked for a wonderful MD in Rochester, Ny and she offered this to her patients with gall bldder issues, ESPECIALLY if one was to have it removed. One patient called up and said she had returned for her first post op appointment and the nurse was astounded at how well she was feeling. SO she was buying a bottle for the nurse who had also had her gallbladder removed!

See link here http://www.standardprocess.com/display/StandardProcessCat...

You may have to purchase this through a health care professionalas Standard Process has that policy I believe. Most chiropractors carry it. Dr. Wise on Monroe Ave. carries it and you can walk in and ask for it at the front desk.

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T.H.

answers from Dallas on

Don't worry!! I had to have emergency surgery to have my gallbladder removed on November 28th. It is no big deal...promise. I started out in horrible pain and indegestion like you wouldn't believe. So I called my doctor and she sent me over for a sonogram. The radiologist said living with my gallbladder was not an option because it was infected, inflamed and full of gallstones. I went home and my dotor called me that afternoon and told me not to eat anything after midnight and be at the outpatient surgery hospital the next day at 10 am. I went in the operation room at noon for the laparoscopic procedure and I was back home by 2:30. (No joke). the relief was immediate and I was back to normal in about 5 days.

P.S. I just recently lost 40 lbs in 4 months and my doctor said that is definitly what aggrevated my already infected gallbladder.

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M.P.

answers from Corpus Christi on

I had the same problem.I was having to go to the E.R.a couple of times a month.The pain is very bad.I suffered with it for over a year. Then I finally had the surgery, they found over 50 stones. I am so glad I had it done I feel so much better now. Good luck to you. God bless you.

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R.I.

answers from Dallas on

I am 25 years old and I had mine taken out when I was 19. Yes I know it seems young but it is hereditary in my family. All of my sisters have had there gallbladders out and the worst of it is the first day. My husband (boyfriend at the time) had to help me out of bed to go to the bathroom but that was about it. I slept most of the first day and felt a little better by the second day. I went back to work 4th day so it isn't really something to worry about. Of course at the time I didn't have a kid so I would suggest finding a friend or family member who can come help out for a few days. You will feel a little sore for a few days after the surgery but because they do it laproscopically there are no big incisions just a small one on your belly button and three half inch ones on your stomach. Hope this helps. Biggest piece of advice that I can give you is don't forget to take the pain meds, I did and I did regret it for about an hour till they kicked in.

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H.B.

answers from Dallas on

I had my gall bladder removed about 5 years ago. I didn't have stones, it was infected. I had it removed with laparoscopic surgery. The procedure was done on a Thursday and I was back at work (although moving slowly) by Tuesday. The only trouble I had was the spot where the gall bladder was actually removed (through my belly button) was a little sore for a while. I still have remnants of scars, but I felt better IMMEDIATELY after the surgery. I think this procedure is done so regularly that I wouldn't sweat it. Just make sure you're going to a surgeon who's experienced in this type of procedure. Good luck! You'll feel much better after it's done!

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M.B.

answers from San Antonio on

Hi I am a 30 year old SAHM with an 8, 7, and 5 year olds. When I was pregnant with the 8 year old, I was having problems with my breathing. It turned out I had gallstones. But that was not found out until after I had him and he was a month old. I was in alot of pain to the point that i could not breath and could barely take a step. I went to the emergency and found out the problem and went into surgery but it was not bad. They put you to sleep and make 3 very small incisions on your stomach (one below your breast, one on the side and one above you belly button). I didn't hurt too much afterwards and I was up and doing my normal daily routines within 2 days. In the end it really is all worth it because the pain was unbareable. Well good luck with your decision.

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A.K.

answers from Dallas on

Please don't wait!!! I found out that I had had gull stones for years without even realizing what the pain was one month after giving birth to my first son. I had ignored the teeth clenching pain as it would always pass after a while...that is until that HORRIBLE night when I just couldn't take it anymore! DON"T WAIT! By the time I went to the ER my gull bladder was so infected that they had to do emergency surgery and they were unsure if they would be able to do it laproscopically and they were unsure if my pancreas had also become infected. I was in the hospital for several days due to level of infection required IV antibiotics, however for most people it is day surgery. Don't wait. The hardest part of the surgery is that the pain is not that severe, but the restrictions seem incredibly strigent. My general surgeon put it to me simply...you can do the things that I tell you not to, however you will be visiting me again for your hernia surgery! Good luck...trust me it is really not a big deal. Three little incisions. Good luck and Merry Christmas!

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T.P.

answers from Sherman on

I had to have mine removed when my son was 6 weeks old. I had day surgery and was back on my feet the next day. I did have to go back a week later and have a few stiches removed from my belly button, but it really wasn't that bad. I hope this helps. If you have any other questions feel free to ask.

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J.R.

answers from San Antonio on

Dear April,
I hope I am not too late! The same exact thing happened to me the weekend before Thanksgiving. I was out shopping with my 3 yr. old daughther for her Christmas dress when I experienced the worse case of indigestion I ever experienced (At least I thought!)

Long story short, I had to drive myself to the ER while my hubby stayed with our 3 and 4 yr. old kids. Doctor told me the same thing, that it was Gallstones and my gallbladder needed to come out. My situation was different though, because that very day my husband was traveling out to Maui on business and my mother had just been released from the hospital with a mild case of pneumonia so she couldn't watch my children.

I am into holistic treatments, so I called my holistic practioner and she advised me not to have the surgery. It was my first attack and she suggested a series of supplements and colonics and lots of aloe vera juice.
Well, it worked, and I haven't had an attack since.
I have just heard too many stories of people who have their gallbladder removed having problems later. My sister and at least two other people now have Crohn's disease and spend most of their time on the toilet with severe diarrhea when they get attacks, which is very often.

Good Luck,
J.

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M.T.

answers from San Antonio on

I had the same thing, it was horrible until they figured out what it was. I was traveling alone on a friday night with my 5 month old son when I had to pull over because I was so sick. the next day I went to the hospital and didn't get out until 5 days later. BUT it was so worth it. I got the gall stones from pregnancy and after I gave birth I would get this awful pain that would keep me up all night. Now I no longer have it. The surgery isn't bad really at all, and the only restriction is your fat intake afterwards. It really helped me to have it removed but then agains mine were so bad I really didn't have a choice. HTH. Good luck

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T.B.

answers from Abilene on

Hi, I am SAHM and part time preschool teacher. I also have three kids close to yours in age. I had problems with my gallbladder when I was 23. At the time, I only had one child who was 9 months old. I had pain for months and they finally figured out what was wrong when I had a gallstone pass and get lodged in the bile duct. It was VERY painful. I became jaundice and was in serious condition. They took out my gallbladder and stones through laprocscopy and everything turned out great. Mine was done through the ER. They first had to removed the stones by ERCP, (going down the throat). I'm glad that I don't remember that! I recovered completely and have no problems whatsoever. The only explanation I got was that I had a child and it probably triggered the trouble with the gallbladder. The doctors said I was way too young to have that problem, therefore that's why it took them so long diagnose. I didn't have the typical symptoms either. The surgery itself was fine, recovery was only 3 days of soreness. I hope this helps you. Also, I was never up and down on the scale. I have always been below my ideal weight so that was really puzzling doctors. It has been so nice to be out of pain--10 years now.

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D.O.

answers from Dallas on

I had my gall bladder out almost 9 years ago. The gall bladder attack that led to me going to the ER & having surgery a couple of hours later was the worst pain I have ever felt, including back labor. I had the surgery (laparoscopic) in the early morning and left the hospital late that evening. I was off work for a week. I was pretty sore for the first 4-5 days but it wasn't nearly as bad as after my c-sections. I have never had that kind of pain again and I don't have any issue with what I eat. I believe some people have to watch what the fat content of what they eat but that hasn't been an issue for me. I say DO IT! You will never have that kind of pain again and from what I understand, if you don't do it, the pain will only get worse over time. Good Luck!

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K.T.

answers from Kansas City on

Sorry I just found this on my email. About your gallbladder I had to have mine removed 3 weeks after my first baby. I was sick with her the whole time in and out of the hospitial and never gained a pound lost 65, but when I went to the ER they told me it is common for pregnant women to have problems so maybe you had the same thing and just happened to deal with it longer. Kim

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J.

answers from Dallas on

Hi April! I had my gall bladder removed 8 years ago and I've never missed it! The surgery was short and I went home the same day. They say not to eat fatty or spicy food after you have it removed; however, I have not had any issues. Apparently, it's one of the most common surgeries performed. Don't worry, you'll be fine. :)

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E.M.

answers from Dallas on

I had my gallbladder out when I was 27 weeks pregnent. I had small stones which were passing through my bile duct. So, I would have an attack (which would last for many hours) and then be fine for a while, until I ate or drank something. Then, I'd be in agony again. That lasted for four days (during which I was on a only clear liquids diet. The surgeon was afraid that one of the stones would go into the duct that branches off toward the pancreas which would be an emergency. That is why they did not wait until after the baby was born to do the surgery. I didn't know that I was passing the stones until after the surgery. The surgeon could tell by the appearance of my bile duct that stones had been passing through it. I had one more stone pass about a week after the surgery. Apparently, it was not seen by the surgeon and got left behind.

My sister just had the surgery last week. My grandmother, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law have all had the surgery too.

The thing that helped me the most with the pain fron the attacks was a heat pack.

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J.S.

answers from San Angelo on

April!

Dont sweat it! I had my Gallbladder out 3 years ago, after holding out for almost 2 years. The recovery isnt all that bad. I was out of the hospital the day of surgery, and driving myself around town 4 or 5 days later. I am a Weinie and try tend to heal slower than some. I have had some friends recover quicker than I did. The only advice i can give it go ahead have it removed, and get up moving as soon as you can. The nurses had me taking my pain meds every 4 hours for the firt 24 hours and that helped me just get up and move. They do pump CO2 in you so they can see what they are doing and the move walking and moving you can do (within reason ofcourse) the faster the air is gone and you feel better.

let me know if you need anything or anymore advice

J.

[email protected]____.com

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M.K.

answers from Dallas on

Relax! You are lucky that they found the stones so early; now you can get it taken care of!
I was only 20 when I had my gallbladder taken out. I suffered for FIVE MONTHS with unbearable pain before they discovered that it was gallstones! It went on so long that I developed a pancreatic infection AND I had a blocked bile duct that had to be unblocked before they could even do the surgery. I was in the hospital for 10 days and my son was only 7 months old at the time, which created a real hardship for us.
The surgery itself wasn't much at all. I had no more pain after that, aside from the recovery. The anesthesia made me a little sick, but take it from me, you want to take care of this now! Chances are, you can even get it done on an outpatient basis and be home the same day!
Don't worry about this... After surgery, you'll just be a little sore for a couple of days and they'll tell you to take it easy and not lift anyting, etc. But the surgery is nothing like it used to be because they usually do it by laparascopy. I have a one-inch scar below my belly button, one below my breatsbone and two small ones on my right side. Small incisions equal a quick recovery!
Good luck and I hope everything goes great for you!

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L.R.

answers from Dallas on

I am an OR nurse and I see gallbladder surgury all the time. 99% of the time they can do it laproscopicly and you'll be home later that day. Just follow the diet and restrictions after the surgery and you'll be just fine.

Where are you going to have surgery? If it is in Ft Worth I can recommend a few of the best surgeons I work with, and I'll tell you who to avoid. I hope this helps. [email protected]____.com

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A.O.

answers from San Antonio on

I had my gallbladder removed in april. I was very relieved to have the surgery because i was in a lot of pain. It was a fast surgery. Its a same day surgery called a laparoscopic cholecystectomy. within a week i was perfectly fine. it was fast and easy.

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K.D.

answers from Houston on

I had to have my gall bladder removed also at a very young age. I am a bit concerned for you though because gall bladder problems do not come on suddenly they evolve over time. I was treated for ulcers for about 6 months before I passed a stone ( and had the horrible pain and trip to the ER that you experienced.) At young ages i was told this happens by losing and gaining a lot of weight ( which applied in my case) I could barely eat everytime I had anything remotely fatty or greasy I was in excruciating pain - also I had horrible back pain with it - they say either your back will hurt or your shoulder depending - very odd I know - lol. Nowadays they have laser surgery instead of the huge scar that I got, and IF you are experiencing a lot of pain, believe me getting it out will be such a relief!

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W.M.

answers from Dallas on

I had the same thing happen to me in June. My daughter was 10 monthsa old and I though I will I take care of her. But it was very easy. You can lift for I think it was 6 weeks. But as far as the surgery it was a piece of cake. No need to worry. And you will feel 100% better. Good luck.

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A.S.

answers from Dallas on

Two years ago, I had the same problem. It is scary, but necessary. At the time our second daughter was 8 months old & we were still nursing, but with the help of my husband & great hospital staff, it was pretty painless. Once you have your gallbladder removed (laproscopically) they do another procedure to make sure the ducts are wide enough & there aren't any more stones. It never seems to be a convenient time to take care of our own health...but it is OK.
Take care of yourself...

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L.P.

answers from Dallas on

I had mine removed a year ago. I was freaked myself, since I've only been in the hospital to be born and to give birth (3 sons)...yikes! I think the anticipation was worse than the actual procedure. Just try to relax, easier said than done, but I said "try". The hardest part was right afterwards, but with a few pain pills all was right in the world again. Good luck!

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C.B.

answers from Houston on

Hello April! I had 5 stones and just had mine removed a few months ago. They did laproscopic surgery. The surgery is such a simple procedure! I needed a little help at home for a full week, but other than that everything was fine. I was in at 6am and home by noon.

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T.T.

answers from Dallas on

I know this is late, but just one more story.

I had my gallbladder removed just last May. It was a very easy surgery with just some soreness afterwards. I asked my surgeon how long it would be before I could pick up my kids, and he said the next day. He said it might hurt, but I wouldn't injure myself in anyway. I just have a few buttonhole scars, and those are fading.

It's incredible after the surgery. I didn't realize how bad I felt before the surgery. After the surgery I so much more engergy and felt better than I had in a long time.

Good luck to you!!!

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S.V.

answers from El Paso on

well i am 30 and i had my gallbladder out in 2003. i didnt even know i needed it out. i ended up in the hospital for my heart so they wanted to make sure everything is ok so they did alot of test and found out that my gallbladder needed to come out asap. i have 4 little scars. it isnt a bad surgrey at all. I hope everything works out for u.

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L.V.

answers from Dallas on

I developed gallstones while i was pregnant!!! I didnt know what it was until the day before I went into labor... the er nurse said that it COULD be that but I would have to get an ultrasound and If I wanted it that night then I could.. but I was tired and said no and I still had the pain when I went to sleep and 5am the next morning I had it and I went into labor and I had that pain during labor and a week after it...... it was HORRIBLE but I had hydrocodone from the hospital and thats how I survived until I had the laser surgery thing.. then when I had the surgery it was supposed to be just have the surgery and go home that same day but they found stones in the liver cystic duct (i think thats what its called) and I had to stay another three days in the hospital.... yes I am GLAD its all over with but now i have my war wounds and happy to tell the story =)

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M.A.

answers from Dallas on

Hi. I had to get mine removed when I was 23, also perfectly healthy. Can they take the stones out or do they have to remove the whole gall bladder?

Make sure you get a 2nd opinion. The only reason I had to take out my gall bladder was because it ruptured and was spreading poisonus bile in my body.

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C.P.

answers from Dallas on

I had my gall bladder removed in 1991, just when they had begun doing the surgery laproscopically. Let me tell you, by the time I got scheduled for surgery, I was in such misery I would have done the surgery myself. It can be very dangerous to let the situation go--a stone can get lodged in your bile duct, you can become septic, and not to mention the awful pain which you know all too well. It will not go away on it's own, and it's not like kidney stones that you can pass. The gall bladder has to come out. The surgery itself was outpatient and relatively easy. I missed about 5 days of work, but I was pretty tired. I was around your age at the time, maybe a couple of years younger. The pain is not too bad, just gas pain which is alleviated by walking, drinking lots of water, and taking Phazyme. Certainly nothing compared to the gallbladder attack. Any surgery can be scary, but the potential for some serious problems if you don't have surgery are scarier. Best wishes!

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T.E.

answers from Houston on

my husband had his gallbladder out in late 2006. He had horrible pains and it was an emergency situation. (they compared it to an appendix- it could have burst). They did the surgery lathroscopic way.( that means they went through the eely button and had 3 other small incisions rather than going in like a c-section way). The recovery time is decreased by many days by doing it way. Also he had the surgery on a Friday and was supposed to come home Sat. but he always runs a fever and had to stay until Sun. A.M.
He said that the worst part of his recovery was comfort. He couldn't get comfy when he slept.
Also, he couldn't drive for approx.10-14 days, so you will need someone to help .
Good luck.

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C.B.

answers from Houston on

I had mine out 5 years ago. I was scared, but it was no problem at all. It went so smoothly and not much time to recover afterwards. I also had laproscopic procedure and hardly can tell at all now. You will be just fine. The only problem may be picking up your 3 year old for a couple of days. All in all it is a piece of cake. Good luck.

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M.W.

answers from Dallas on

April,
Have the surgery...you will feel SO much better! I had it and it is done laproscopically 99% of the time and it was a quick and easy recovery. I have had more than 10 sugeries and that by far was the easiest. Besides, what's the alternative? Suffering? No way...you will do great! Take care. HTH
M.

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C.H.

answers from Amarillo on

I had mine out when I was 21! I believe it was caused by dieting. Anyway that was 8 years ago, its a very common thing this day and age, my grandmother had hers out last year! You will feel much better. They make 4 tiny incesions and pull the gallbadder out though your belly button! The only down side is still to this day if I eat food that is too spicey or too much or too greasy then I have a case of what is called dumping syndrome where what you just ate comes right back out. Not all the time just some times. A lady that I worked with had hers out she was about 24 and she was still hurting after the sergery and everyone told her she shouldnt be, so she went back to the doctor and there were some that had traveled into her I guess GI tract. They had to go back in and get them. They can travel. The sergery itself is not bad in and out day sergery I was back to work the next week. HTH

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D.G.

answers from Dallas on

You need to talk to your physician. I have had stones when i was pregnant, but never had problems again until last year, 16 years later. They gave me a sonogram & said i needed to get them out, but I am still waiting. i was told laser surgery is the way to go. Good luck, and don't panic.

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S.S.

answers from Wichita Falls on

I had mine removed endoscopically the night before my college graduation. I was able to shuffle the stage the next night to get my diploma. I haven't missed my gall bladder - and I sure haven't missed the pain.

S.

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K.W.

answers from Dallas on

Okay so you have had a lot of responses and you probably have a good idea of what you want to do.
I want to do a comparison for you. I am about 50 lb/s overweight and a friend of mine and I both had gallbladder pain and everything else that comes with it. My friend was thin and ate a great healthy natural diet. We were both told by different dr's in different states that we needed the surgery. He opted for the liver cleanser all natural approach and passed the gallstones (yes they can pass thru and out of the colon), I had the surgery. I was down for about 3 days and went back to work in 6 days. We have never had any problems since. I have an occasional dumping problem, rare but it happens and have learned what not to eat (trust me there isn't much I can't eat). He has no further considerations because once a year he does the cleanser and makes sure that he remains gall stone free.
I hope this helps you to consider which way to go. Both ways result in the pain stopping. I just wasn't convinced it would be forever if I went the natural way. Apparently it worked for my friend.
good luck,
K. @ The Nestingplace

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C.T.

answers from San Antonio on

Dear April:
Gall bladder surgery has greatly advanced from the old method. A laser is used now and is much less painful and the recovery time is much faster. You are actually at the average age for sudden onset gallbladder trouble, especially if you are overweight. Hope this info helps.

C. T. RN

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K.

answers from Killeen on

girl, DO IT!!
i had my gallbladder out 2 weeks ago and it was the best decision i ever made. turns out i have had gallstones for about 10 years but never had an attack bad enough to send me to the hospital (in retrospect, i had what i thought were ulcer symptoms--my surgeon said it was the beginning of the stones about 10 years back). i finally had one of the ultrasound techs at work scan me and she is the one who told me how bad it looked. when it was over the surgeon told me it was one of the worst cases he had ever seen, and i was lucky not to have developed pancreatitis or hepatitis.
SO...get it out now!

i'll tell you, the afterpain has been unpleasant, but the realization that i no longer have to deal with that other pain overshadows the post-op discomfort.

email me privately if you like. good luck & merry christmas!

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C.C.

answers from Wichita Falls on

I had mine out around 10 years ago and the relief was almost immediate! It's a simple lap. surgery and a few days of recovery. When the doc tells you NOT to lift heavy or drive for a few days, seriously pay attention. I had to have my incision "put back together" because I lifted my then 2 yr old a couple of days after surgery. You'll notice a change in sensation when you eat large or starchy meals for awhile, but then it becomes normal to you. There's no reason not to have the surgery done. It's very common, it solves the problem and it's far less painful than even a single bad gall attack. Good luck!

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S.K.

answers from Dallas on

I had mine removed a couple of years ago. Instead of stones, I had gravel which blocked the ducts from my pancreas. After a couple of very painful attacks of pancreatitis we found out it was the gall bladder and took it out. My doctor said it was really no surprise as I fit into the 4 "f's" Female, Fertile, Fat, Forty. Although I only meet a couple of the F's, it is apparently vey common for us women to have stones.
Ok, now that I have babbled enough, Do it! The surgery, if done laproscopicly, is an easy recovery. You will be down about a week and back doing all your normal activities within 3 weeks. Try to have family or friends pick up the slack so you can recover with minimal stress. I think the hardest part of the recovery is letting go and letting someone else take over your job.
Get a second opinion if you can, but the surgery is no big deal or the most part and you will be pain free and ableto move on.
good luck and God Bless

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C.O.

answers from Dallas on

I had my gall bladder removed last year. I didn't have pain, I have high cholesterol and during my routine checks I had one of the enzymes in the liver high that lead to finding gall stones. I was lucky not to have trouble because I went to China for 6 weeks without knowing about this! Getting ill in China! That was an scary thought!

Anyways, that's my story, I had the surgery with no trouble. it took me about a week to be back to normal. The main thing to recover from are the cuts in the somach area, there are three cuts. My doctor told me I didn't have to have the surgery but if I had trouble and surgery was done in an emergency they will do it the old way and had to be in recovery for months!

I think delivering 3 babies is more painful, I have two. You will need help with your children and around the house for at least one week. You won't be able to move much and you can't lift them for a while.

I hope this give you the piece of mind you are looking for,

C..

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B.C.

answers from Beaumont on

I had my gall bladder removed over 3 years ago. The pain from the attacks was worse than anything I've ever experienced in my life!! I was misdiagnosed for over a year before they discovered the real problem. My gall bladder was infected by then. I had to go into the hospital for mega antibiotics for the weekend before the surgery. The surgery was a blessing! I got to go home right after surgery. It was the microscopic kind. Three tiny incisions. Can barely see the scars now. I was tired for a few days while I was recovering but hardly had any pain. I was back at work within a week feeling better than I had in years!!

One side note, be careful when you eat. For a little while after the surgery (about six months) food tends to go right through you. So stay close to a restroom! It eases up after a few months and everything is back to normal soon.

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P.A.

answers from Houston on

I to developed gall bladder problems when I was very young. I was about 29. However, they attributed mine to dieting and Nutrisystem. Anyway, I didn't have stones but my gall bladder had basically stopped functioning. I too was terrified. I had it removed by laproscopy (SP?) It was a fairly simple procedure and it left just 3 little holes which are now 14 years later just small scares. ( I scar easily- you may not have that problem. The procedure I believe is pretty simple- I am sure it will be explained to you in detail. I did not care for my surgeon- it will help if you really like yours and have faith in him. I only spent one night in the hospital. (Truthfully, the worst part was when they removed the drain.) However, I had never given birth at that point so I of course thought it was terrible. Looking back it wasn't that bad. Truthfully, I have O tolerance to pain. ( I am a real WHIMP!)I think that a lot of it has to do with you pain tollerance level. The first day after the surgery is a liitle rough then t he worst part as I remember it was that you are very bloated afterward. There is a lot of air in your abdomen and that was a really weird feeling. I also felt for a few days that my insides were feeling a little out of place. Not painful just felt different. I carried a pillow to press against my tummy for a few days that seemed to help with the air problem and I did wear loose clothing for a few weeks since I can remember that I didn't like tight clothes again for a while. (When I say loose clothing I mean like my Mom's moo moo dresses LOL I didn't like anything around my waist. lol) I know it was a long time ago for me and things I am sure are much easier now. But, honestly I hope that none of this scared you since I really don't remember it as horribly painful---just really uncomfortable for a week or two. NOW I HAD NO CHILDREN THEN! I would make SURE that you have help staying with you with those young children to take care of. You will need bed rest and you will want it. As after any surgery you are extremely tired and weak and it will take a while to get back to functioning normally. I am a mother of a 4 year old and I know that I couldn't do it again without help. Please arrange that gift for yourself. I am sorry to write you a novel, but I wanted to pass the info on to you. Take care!! Best wishes to you!

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D.P.

answers from Corpus Christi on

When I was pregnant with my 1st child, around the 24th week or so, I started getting horrible pain around my upper right abdomen and around my middle back. I went in for an ultrasound, and they said "nothing's going on - the baby is fine," and then I said, "please move your little ultrasound stick thing up my abdomen a little," and she did so, and said "Oh my gosh! You have huge gall stones!!" I was immediately referred to an internal-medicine surgeon, who said that he might have to do immediate surgery - I was so scared!! But, then I asked, if I can stand the pain at all..... can you please wait until the baby is born. So, I spent the remainder of a full-term pregnancy with horrible pain in my upper right abdomen and back. It was AWFUL. Then, the doc did another ultrasound of my gallbladder 6 months after delivery, and the gallstones were gone - seriously. It was like magic. No more pain whatsoever. And I had no prior history with gallstones or gallbladder issues whatsoever. It was the weirdest thing!! So, I never had surgery to remove the gallbladder. NOW, I'm 13 weeks pregnant with #2 and a bit scared that I'm going to go through the gallstone-thing again, but I'm trying to stay positive!! I hope I get through THIS pregnancy without a major gallballder incident!

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A.S.

answers from Denver on

Hi April,
Glad to hear everything went well, I get my GB out this Weds!!! I never had any issues until Christmas time when I too experienced a few attacks and ended up in the ER. My doc told me that gall stones form rapidly during horomone surges...such as pregnancy and that is why so many women experience trouble after having children. Interesting.
My concern is that my doc says I can't lift anything over 20 lbs. for 3 weeks! My little one is 25 lbs. Not sure how I am going to do that.
A.

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D.L.

answers from Daytona Beach on

Hi to April and all...amazingly enough I opened my mail today to see this and guess what??? I am having Gallbladder surgery Wed 2/6/08. I had the first attack early morning after Christmas and thought it was a heart attack. Seven hours of constant pain in the chest with the mysterious pain inbetween the shoulder blades. WOW worse than my labor...it didn't let up...I couldn't breath..very scary. Didn't get to the ER though I just about did when I fell asleep as it let up. My doctor ordered an EKG and ultrasound of the Gallbladder and there you go many stones and inflamation - heart was fine thank God. Surgery was scheduled for first available apt. I have done lots of research on this and feel it is the thing for me to do even though I truly try all things natural but that pain is so scarry I never want to go back to it. I am praying for no more after pain. I too have a very active 4yr old son but he has Autism so recovery will be very emotional for him as well as he picks up on my pain. Another reason to have the surgery. I pray for all of us here as women we need to be strong. I am a Licensed Massage Therapist and use my body muscles for my work and hope it will not delay more than the usual recovery time. Being a single parent more sits on you. Bottom line here ladies STRESS has a major factor with health unfortuantely sometimes it gets the better of us even when we know better. I will take my knowledge and go forward with it. Diet is important and hope for the least side effects as possible. Another bottom line here is we all need to do what is best for our situation. I wish all well and I will be praying for rapid recovery for you as well. Thank you April for you question here it hit the spot. lol D. in Fla.

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A.S.

answers from Philadelphia on

I'm glad to hear your surgery went so well.

I'm having my gallbladder taken out this Friday, 2/8! I'm absolutely nervous... any advice?

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G.L.

answers from Honolulu on

Seems like gallstones is very common in us women. I just joined the group and came across April's question dated back in December and I did too have my gallbladder removed almost 3 years ago. However....

I AM STILL IN PAIN!

After my laparoscopic surgery, pain did not go away and it was exactly as if I still had the gallbladder and the stone in it! The first few months pain was at least 3 times a week. My doc check for blood test and I even had an MRI and nothing else was found. The pain continued though it was less often. I've been living like this ever since 2005!

Also, diarreah is constant! I have to use the bathroom 30 minutes after each meal! It does not matter what I eat. Some said avoid greasy food. But I might have pain even after eating tofu!!!

The weirdest thing is that my pain is like an alarm clock! It always comes at the same time: around 4am, 8am and 11am. Could it be that I usually eat dinner at the same time each day and my body process the food for that long and pain arises if there is something wrong?

I do not know what to do. Should I see a pancreas/liver specialist?

I live in Honolulu, Hawaii and I am a SAHM with a 6 year old girl who gets scared when she sees me in so much pain! and we also have an 18 month boy who keeps us oh so busy!

thanks!

G.

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C.G.

answers from Beaumont on

My sister in law, 41, also healthy, just had 2 have her gallbladder taken out. She suffered with the same pains for several months on and off while they messed around with medications. After no help there, she also did the surgery. It's been about two weeks and she feels so much better.

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L.C.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi April,

I just saw this today, but wanted you to know I had a laproscopic surgery 3 weeks ago and my gall bladder was removed, along with a single big stone - about 2.5 cm. I feel much better overall and just had to wait a week for the gas to leave my stomach and my body to go back to normal. The scars are minimal much to my surprise. I will watch fatty foods and avoid red meat and dairy other than milk in coffee based on my research. The surgeon also told me to watch out with vegetables that cause gas, like broccoli.

Good luck!
L.

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C.L.

answers from Houston on

Hello i had my gallbladder taken out when my daughter was three mos. Old. And yes you do need to get that removed. There is no reason to stay in pain. I know its scary but, ask god to be with you and he will see you though it love, C.

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R.B.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi April,

Few people are talking about alternative treatments here. I also had GB problems with the birth of my baby. I've done everything I can to research how to avoid surgery and so far with diet and supplements I'm doing fine. You can't expect to eat a high fat, meat oriented diet and not have problems. Mine used to be both. I'm now a vegetarian, eat limited amounts of dairy/fat and take choline/inositol, malic acid, curcumin, lechitin etc. everyday. When I do have the rare flare up (i have some pain pills on hand I use very judiciously) I can always trace it to the cheese, butter, ice cream, handful of olives, avocado or other fatty food I indulged in that day.

My Mom had her GB out and suffered with chronic diahhrea (sp) for the rest of her life. 20% of people do. It's an organ that has a function-to process bile and digest fats. I wouldn't be so quick to snatch it out.

I also can highly recommend The Annapurna center for self healing in Port Townsend, WA. We went there prior to our 3rd IVF to clean out our systems with a gall bladder/ liver flush. http://www.theannapurna.com It's an intense 5 day protocol but I never felt healthier or more alive afterward. And I believe it contributed to my actually getting pregnant that time around.

Wishing you great health.
R.

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T.W.

answers from Dayton on

Hello April,

Glad to hear everything went fine. I too, had my gall bladder out. Although they had to take mine out when I was pregnant with my oldest child back in 1985, I was 18 yrs old. So where you probably got three or four lil holes to go in and remove it, I have a good 8 inch scar that held 22 staples. I was in the hospital for 6 weeks (wow I know lol). They didn't get a huge stone out of my bowl duct and had to go back in and get it.
I am happy to say that my daughter and I made it through the surgery just fine! I had lost 35 lbs in all, but gained 31 of it back before she was born. My gall bladder was infected also, and all the toxins were backing up into my system. I went to the ER with gall bladder attacks several times and thats when I found out I was PG and they said they couldn't do anything til the baby arrived.
Well 3 months into the pregnancy, I couldn't even keep water down. My last BIG gall bladder attack lasted 10 hours and I thought I was dying. I went to the Military hospital by us, as my husband was in the Marines. They refused to touch me til the OB doc got there, while I waiting in my room with my head in my mothers lap, bawling like a baby. It was horrible!

They finally admitted me, and did a few tests and a ultrasound on my gall bladder. The guy doing the ultrasound gave me my first pics of my unborn daughter :)
They told me they HAD to take it out, or they would lose me and the baby. I read some of the other comments, and one caught my attention. The one who has basically become a vegetarian to avoid surgery. That her mom has chronic diarrhea after having hers out. WHile I admit bacon will go straight through you, I've not had too many problems.

I think in the end, she will still have to have it removed, she is just delaying it. Might as well get it over with. My mother had hers out when she was 35, and she is fine also. It wasn't the end of the world. I am sure the Apendix does things too, but you can live without it.

Glad all is well with you!!
Take care
T.

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