Thread Tools
Old 09-23-2009, 05:24 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Cary, NC
Posts: 5,051
Should I have my gallbladder removed?

Please note, I am not asking for medical advice. A family doctor and a surgeon have both told me that I can have it out or not, it's up to me.

I have gallstones. They are causing some very slight intermittent pain in my upper right abdomen and shoulder blade. I wouldn't have gone to the doc about that - I found out about them because I had the trots for about four weeks running, which prompted them to do an ultrasound. Given that I still get sick if I eat too much fat, it seems the gallstones are the most likely cause.

Pros of surgery: it's a very simple surgery with a quick recovery time. I like the surgeon and have had two separate recommendations to him. Once the gallbladder is gone, there's no chance it will cause further (possibly worse, possibly to the point of emergency) problems. I will probably be able to eat like a normal person instead of strictly budgeting my fat intake and always wondering if regardless I'll get sick. Though my current pain is slight, it would be nice for it to be gone. I've met my deductible and half my out of pocket medical costs for this year, so now would be a prudent time for surgery.

Cons of surgery: there are risks that something could go wrong, though they are small. There's a chance it won't fix my stomach problems. It requires someone to take care of me and the kids for 4-5 days. Expense, pain, annoyance, and fear.

So, is there something I'm missing? Any personal experience to contribute? I'm leaning heavily towards surgery, but I'm a fraidy cat, so I want to make sure I'm considering all angles.
Old 09-23-2009, 06:07 PM
MLS MLS is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 7,841
IANAD. A couple of people I know, including 3 family members, have had gall bladders removed.

First of all, if you ever do have a full-blown g.b. attack you will wish with all your body and soul that you'd had it out before. I have rarely seen a person in as much pain. The only thing comparable I've witnessed is a kidney stone attack. I'd rather give birth. Several times.

Second, if you do have it out, you may well still have to watch what you eat. Many post-g.b. patients have difficulty with some foods, especially fatty ones. Some have no problems whatsoever.

Decades ago the recovery was a real bear. The most recent one (family member) I observed was not that bad, they have much better surgery techniques now. YMMV. Have you had any other major surgeries?

If I were the one involved, I'd go for the surgery.

Last edited by MLS; 09-23-2009 at 06:07 PM.
Old 09-23-2009, 06:23 PM
Guest
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 6,581
I had mine out on Wed, was back at work the following Monday. The keyhole surgery they do now gives you a very fast recovery. I just spent 1 night in the hospital. I don't really see any downside to the surgery if your overall health is good. Those gallbladder attacks get old fast.
Old 09-23-2009, 07:34 PM
I'm nice, dammit!
Charter Member
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Southern Merrylande
Posts: 38,202
I had mine removed in day surgery and the only reason I took a whole week off was because I had enough sick leave to do that. What led to the surgery was a major attack at work - I was sure I was having a heart attack. Recovery was quick and easy, and the only reason I avoid greasy food is that it gives me heartburn, which it did before the surgery.

A few months later, my husband ended up in the hospital for 2 days (including his birthday) because his gallstones led to an infection that had him in agony for a week till the doctor figured out what the problem was.

Neither of us miss the offending organs or the associated gravel...
Old 09-23-2009, 07:36 PM
BANNED
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Chicago,IL
Posts: 14,962
In the mid 90s I had a co-worker that was having the same problem. Then one day she didn't look well and she said, "I am in so much pain, this has to be my gall bladder." The next day she had her gall bladder out and she was like "That hurt so much I wish I had it removed before."

I think the key to your situation is to talk to your doctor and assess the "worst case" possibility. Also you need to know your options if you travel to get it treated if it flairs up.

Only when you get those facts can you weigh the pros and cons
Old 09-23-2009, 08:17 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Cary, NC
Posts: 5,051
Thanks for the input so far.

I have had one surgery before - emergency appendectomy in January. I came through with flying colors and recovery was pretty easy. It also makes me quite sure I don't want to experience emergency surgery (no planning, hours in the ER waiting room, random surgeon, 10 pm surgery time) ever again if I can help it.

This surgery would be the same method as the appendectomy - laparoscopic, less than a week recovery time.

The worst case scenario is that a stone blocks the common bile duct, which requires immediate surgery. It is very painful, so I'd know I needed help. It's not terribly likely. More likely is I'll have a regular gallbladder attack (stone blocks the entrance to the gallbladder temporarily), and the likelihood increases with time, since the stones get bigger and more numerous.

If I'm away from home, and get sick, the options seem to be - if it's not an emergency, wait for it to stop; if it is an emergency, go to nearest ER and whoever's on call takes it out.

Reading about the experience of a true gallbladder attack, I'm thinking more and more I just want to have it out. I have irrational fears about surgery, but I'm also very much a "just in case" kind of person, and I hate to think of being at my family reunion in Disney next year (or insert inconvenient, unhappy time and place) and being struck with blinding pain.
Old 09-23-2009, 08:27 PM
Guest
Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 18,769
I've had mine out too. I don't miss it. The surgery was very minor. Really, the only difference now is a slightly increased tendency toward the squirts, and even that isn't much.
Old 09-23-2009, 08:39 PM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 1999
Posts: 18,119
I didn't realize how sick my gall bladder was making me until it was removed. I have no more heartburn and can eat whatever I want. Do it!
Old 09-23-2009, 09:00 PM
Guest
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 6,581
My only concern was that they would have to do the old type surgery which happens in about 5% of cases - that is a long recovery. When I woke up I asked "Did they cut me wide open?" and the nurse told me no so I was happy.
Old 09-23-2009, 09:14 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Soplicowo
Posts: 2,083
I just had mine out last month. I'd had symptoms previously, but didn't know what they were. Last month I had a severe attack, so I went to the emergency room. My gallbladder by then was just full of stones and had become unusually large. My surgeon says a laparascopic cholecystectomy usually takes her about half and hour. Mine took her 1.5 hours and she had to enlarge the incision near my navel to get the thing out. I had a pretty bad infection going on, so they kept me in the hospital for four days.

By contrast, a friend of mine had hers out on a non-emergency basis. She got to the hospital about 5 am and went home that same evening.

My understanding is that if you already have stones and have had attacks, it's only going to get worse. I can't compare the pain of my last attack to anything else, but it was no fun. Fortunately, I was diagnosed within two hours of arriving at the ER. They gave me a big shot of dilaudid and kept me on morphine until surgery the next afternoon.

One thing I didn't know beforehand: you should have an adult stay with you at least the first night after you get home, as recommended on the Mayo Clinic website. That night I went to sleep in my usual position on my side. Getting up was as painful as the peak of my attack because it demanded more of my abdominal muscles than I expected.

Other than that, recovery was pretty easy. On the way home from the hospital I went shopping for almost an hour. Within 5 or 6 days of surgery I could do almost all normal household or office activities with little discomfort, as long as no bending over or heavy lifting was required.
Old 09-23-2009, 09:21 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Soplicowo
Posts: 2,083
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bijou Drains View Post
My only concern was that they would have to do the old type surgery which happens in about 5% of cases - that is a long recovery. When I woke up I asked "Did they cut me wide open?" and the nurse told me no so I was happy.
Your chances of needing the big open incision are much higher if you wait until you need the surgery on an emergency basis. While I was well recovered in 6 days, when my mom had hers out 30 years ago (pre laparoscopy) it took about 6 weeks.

BTW, I can eat pretty much anything I want, too. Like smeghead I do have a slightly increased tendency for diarrhea after eating a very fatty meal -- but I shouldn't be doing that any way for other reasons. I haven't noticed any other complications.
Old 09-23-2009, 09:24 PM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: The Chasm of Sar
Posts: 973
About 10 years ago I began having gallstone attacks. I suffered for months before I finally spoke to my GP, she sent me for an ultra sound to confirm her diagnosis. Absolutely my gall bladder was full of stones. I did not want to have surgery so I asked her what I could do to avoid the attacks. She advised the only thing I could do was to stop eating fatty foods. She did not have much confidence in my ability to do that and she said I would still have the stones. I reduced my fat intake to only 15 grams a day (and dropped a lot of weight too.) I did some research on-line and found that once a body begins to produce gall stones, even after the gall bladder is removed gall stones will be produced in the liver. I decided to go to an holistic therapist. She gave me a prescription for herbal tea I had filled at a local herbalist. The stuff tasted really awful, but I no longer have gall stones.
Old 09-23-2009, 09:39 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Lethbridge, AB.
Posts: 48,816
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bijou Drains View Post
My only concern was that they would have to do the old type surgery which happens in about 5% of cases - that is a long recovery. When I woke up I asked "Did they cut me wide open?" and the nurse told me no so I was happy.
My husband lost that lottery - he had the full-on gall bladder attack where he wasn't sure if he was dying or wished he was dying (he knew it was gallstones, since he had had them diagnosed already). He went into surgery a couple of days later, and they had to do the big incision because his stone was so big (think large black olive, filling the entire gall bladder). The stones just get bigger the longer you wait - he might have been able to have the laparoscopy if he'd had it out when he was diagnosed. The much larger incision has been much harder to recover from - two weeks in hospital, a month off work, and over a year and he's still not back to 100%. I'd do it now if I were you, Cinnamon.

CT_Damsel, I don't want to rain on your parade, but I have not seen any research that indicates that there is any effective treatment for gallstones other than surgery (and we have looked).
Old 09-23-2009, 10:02 PM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: The Chasm of Sar
Posts: 973
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat Whisperer View Post
<snip>

CT_Damsel, I don't want to rain on your parade, but I have not seen any research that indicates that there is any effective treatment for gallstones other than surgery (and we have looked).
I can only speak from my personal experience. I drank the tea every day for 4 months and ate a low fat diet and had another ultra sound and the stones were gone. Perhaps I healed myself since I desperately did not want to have an operation.
Old 09-24-2009, 12:47 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Somewhere Warm
Posts: 4,776
I would be very interested in anyone confirming this CT_Damsel, I also have gallbladders stones and although I believe I never had symptoms, I am foolishly avoiding a surgery.

Anyways... I will keep tuned to this thread.
Old 09-24-2009, 03:53 AM
Guest
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Belgium
Posts: 537
I had a gallstone attack in my first year of uni; I have never been in so much pain. Literally curled into a ball sobbing until it went away. It came back every time I ate something, no matter what it was. *Shudders at the memory*. The doctors I saw basically told me they might be able to dissolve the stones (using ultrasound? Something like that? I'm half-remembering the French terms used, so it's probably not that...) but that since I was young, the stones would probably come back.

I spoke to a nutrionalist who basically said the diet I would have to follow would be similar whether I had my gallbladder out or not - low-fat, etc. The difference would be that if I had my gallbladder out, I'd feel sick if I didn't stick to it (in fact, that was a small problem for the first few months, then completely fine); if I didn't have my gallbladder out, I'd probably get more pain like before. Easy choice to make, for me!

The surgery wasn't a problem for me - though I found out morphine makes me hallucinate - and I'm left with 4 tiny scars. They didn't even stitch them, just steristripped them, from what I remember. I was up and about again within a couple of days. (I was very bored of watching French telly; I probably should have stayed in bed a couple of days longer than that, since I was just a student and didn't have any actual responsibilities!)
Old 09-24-2009, 05:29 AM
Guest
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 137
About 20-odd years ago, my gallbladder attacks began slowly and benignly. At first I'd suffer a little bit of gas here, a bit of the runs there. After a few months a tad bit of pain. Eventually the pain got to be so bad that one night I felt like I could not breathe and had my then b/f rush me to the hospital. Three days later, it was lap choly (sp?) time. The surgeon kept the stones for me to see - they were about 4 mm in diameter, but there were about 20-30 of them!

I have been a happy camper, digestively, ever since.
Old 09-24-2009, 09:26 AM
Guest
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 6,581
My case was weird because I had all the symptoms but they could not see stones on ultrasound. So I cut way back on eating fat and I was OK. After 3 years my pain came back and they saw the stones and they took my gallbladder out.
Old 09-24-2009, 11:02 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Where the wild roses grow
Posts: 23,642
I used to have loads of gallbladder attacks. One a month, for a while, and then they gradually lessened. Now they're about three years apart.

I never had the surgery because by the time it was diagnosed, they also determined it wasn't an emergency, so it would cost me money (emergencies are free), and at that time I didn't have the money to cover it. By the time I could afford it, I didn't really need it anymore.

I don't know why it's improved so much. The body is a mysterious organism.
Old 09-24-2009, 11:43 AM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: KCMO
Posts: 11,149
Once gallstones are present, there is always a possibility of problems with them (until the gallbladder and any released stones are removed). A common problem is a gallstone attack, which as others have mentioned can be debilitatingly painful. A less common but more worrisome possibility is pancreatitis, which can be life-threatening.

If you happen to have a serious gallstone attack, or get pancreatitis from a migrated stone, you will really regret not having had the gallbladder removed. And it will potentially be much worse if it happens when medical care is not quickly available. I would much more scared of these possibilities than of the gallbladder removal.
Old 09-24-2009, 12:51 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Lower half of CA
Posts: 13,940
Get rid of it.

I had a horrible stone attack in Feb. 2008, tried to hold off on surgery with a low fat diet, but then the stone attacks came back with a vengeance earlier this year. Oh, how I wished I'd gotten the little bastid taken out when the problem first made itself known.

I was miserable for the first few days after surgery, but then improved every day and was able to go back to work in about 7 to 10 days.
__________________
Me: Good lord, it's a regular human centipede.
Superdude: It's a conservative human centipede! ETA: Curse you, vivalostwages!
Me: I consider the curse a great compliment.
Simster: Well, then, I am complimenting you like a mother....
Old 09-24-2009, 01:08 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Cary, NC
Posts: 5,051
OK, I'm going to get it out. It was very good to hear the personal stories to help me mull things over. I think at this point, "better safe than sorry" is the best route.

Off to call the surgeon . . .
Old 09-24-2009, 01:10 PM
Guest
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Tualatin Valley
Posts: 1,595
Dumb question.

Why can't they just take the stones out? Why must the whole thing go?
Old 09-24-2009, 01:29 PM
Guest
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 6,581
For 1 thing the stones will likely come back so there is not really a point in taking just the stones out.
Old 09-24-2009, 01:36 PM
Guest
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Anyone But Obama Country
Posts: 2,349
I had mine yanked in 2006. Went into surgery on Tuesday, went back to work the following Monday. I've known some people that couldn't eat certain things afterwards, but I'm not one of them.

If you've already met your deductible - heck yeah! Do it! Stones in the bile duct are very dangerous - may as well take a few days now to see that it never happens.

BTW: Hi neighbor
Old 09-24-2009, 02:10 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: KCMO
Posts: 11,149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Translucent Daydream View Post
Why can't they just take the stones out? Why must the whole thing go?
They can take the stones out, but it's a more complicated procedure than removing the gallbladder, and it leaves the gallbladder scarred, which can lead to problems. And it doesn't solve the problem, as stones will recur. It's quicker, easier, safer, and more effective to remove the gallbladder.
Old 09-24-2009, 02:12 PM
Guest
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 6,581
My dog has some gunk in her gallbladder so I am treating her with medicine. I guess they might eventually take it out but right now she is doing fine. Of course I control her diet so that helps .
Old 09-24-2009, 03:16 PM
Member
Join Date: May 2009
Location: London
Posts: 1,287
My sister is better off without her gall bladder, but do make sure your surgeon is experienced, appropriately confident and doesn't have the shakes. They started the keyhole surgery on my sister... and sliced straight into her aorta. She just barely survived thanks to another surgeon being nearby, scrubbed and a fucking genius-saint, and huge amounts of blood transfusions. And of course they had to rip her right open there and then, leaving her with a dramatic scar right down the middle of her abdomen from her breastbone to her navel. Then she had to go back and have the gall bladder out after several months of trying to recover with it still in (stitching up the aorta put the gall bladder out of the picture the first time), and they had to do it the old-fashioned way, opening the scar again. It was a bad time; but she does feel a lot better for not having it.

Having told that lovely tale, I occasionally have gall bladder attacks, and I can tell you that if they were more frequent (I haven't had one for a long while now, years, thanks to my diet etc) I would so have it out. There's nothing like the pain.
Old 09-24-2009, 03:53 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Cary, NC
Posts: 5,051
That sounds truly horrific! I'm lucky - this surgeon seems really experienced - he graduated from Columbia and taught surgery at Tufts for 10 years, and two unrelated local docs recommended him. Much better than, "it's 10 pm and your appendix might burst - you get the surgeon on call!"
Old 09-24-2009, 07:35 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Lethbridge, AB.
Posts: 48,816
My husband's surgeon is a very experienced surgeon, and he was in awe of his gallstone. For what that's worth.

I think Jimbo's only lingering after effect is that when he has to have a bowel movement, he has to have one RIGHT NOW. As in, drop everything and run to the can. I think he's fairly regular though, so can plan accordingly (I don't quiz him too much on his bathroom business). Oh yeah, there's the pain and numbness in the incision area that is still lingering too - hopefully that will eventually work itself out.
Old 09-24-2009, 08:00 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Wilds of WV
Posts: 10,652
I had my gall bladder out about 21 years ago after my first (and only) horrific attack. I had already had kidney stones, and remember thinking "this feels like kidney stones, but in the wrong place". It was agonizing!

By the time they could squeeze me into the surgery rotation (four days later), my gall bladder had distended so badly that it had partially adhered to my rib cage, and I ended up having to be cut wide open (about a 9" incision). So I'd strongly recommend doing it now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CT_damsel
I did some research on-line and found that once a body begins to produce gall stones, even after the gall bladder is removed gall stones will be produced in the liver.
I'm really glad you're feeling better, and intend no snark here at all, but as far as the body continuing to produce gall stones, but in the liver, cite? As I said, I had my gall bladder out over 20 years ago, and as far as I know, my liver is just fine (and yes, I've had it checked recently).
Old 09-24-2009, 10:38 PM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: The Chasm of Sar
Posts: 973
Quote:
Originally Posted by norinew View Post
<snip>

I'm really glad you're feeling better, and intend no snark here at all, but as far as the body continuing to produce gall stones, but in the liver, cite? As I said, I had my gall bladder out over 20 years ago, and as far as I know, my liver is just fine (and yes, I've had it checked recently).
The problem with my gall bladder occurred almost 10 years ago; needless to say I no longer have the bookmarks to the sites I checked. However, I just searched now and found this site.
http://privatehealth.co.uk/artic...-term-effects/
This one does not mention them forming (post surgery) in the liver but in the bile ducts.
Herbal therapy worked for me.
Old 09-24-2009, 11:12 PM
C3 C3 is offline
Member
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 4,109
I just had my gall bladder out a couple months ago. I'd been having symptoms for years and ended up having to make a middle-of-the-night run to the ER. I didn't have to have surgery that night, so I was able to schedule it with a doctor I liked. They did a single-incision laparoscopic surgery, so they went in through the belly button but didn't do the little incision under the ribs. I went in on a Thursday at about 6:30 am and was home by 3 pm. I took the pain meds that day and the next and I was up and about, taking the kids to swim practice, by Monday. I've been able to eat a totally normal diet since.

I think you'll be happy you had it done. If, for whatever reason, your preferred surgeon doesn't work out, PM me and I'll give you the name of my doctor. I would definitely recommend him.
Old 09-25-2009, 12:59 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Southwest USA
Posts: 1,304
Besides gallstones and gallstone attacks, untreated gallstones can lead to other problems. These include:

Jaundice. Jaundice develops when a stone passes from the gallbladder through the cystic duct into the bile duct and blocks the bile duct. Patients present with a yellowish discoloration of their skin associated with severe itchiness. An emergency procedure by a gastroenterologist is often required to remove the stones from the bile duct.

Acute pancreatitis. In some patients passage of the stone from the gallbladder into the bile duct is associated with injury to the pancreas. Pancreatitis is one of the most severe complications of gallstones. Of all patients that develop pancreatitis, 85% of the patients get better very quickly however in 15% the attack can be severe and lead to hospitalization that may extend for many days to weeks in an intensive care unit. Pancreatitis develops with severe pain in the abdomen and back that is associated wit nausea, vomiting, and fevers.

Cancer of the gallbladder. In some patients when gallstones are present over many years (usually more than 15 years) there is an increase risk of cancer in the gallbladder.

(From this web site: http://surgery.usc.edu/divisions...ALLSTONES.html)

I believe there is also a correlation between chronic gallbladder problems and Pancreatic cancer...or so my surgeon told me.

I had mine out in an outpatient clinic. I was uncomfortable for a day or so. Within a few days I was back at my normal activities
Old 09-25-2009, 03:59 AM
Guest
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Greenville SC
Posts: 1,588
I had mine out this past August 25th. The same day they came out with the results that Michael Jackson died from an overdose or Propofol. I remember because it was being reported on the TV and the nurse casually said, "Oh, Propofol, that's what they are going to give you in surgery." My poor husband the worry wart, who was already convinced that something terrible was going to happen, had eyes as big as dinner plates.

It was nothing. I have four small incisions. My surgery was scheduled for 10, I was home by 3. The pain was nothing. The best part is that I never have to have those attacks again. I have been in labor for 19 hours and two c-sections. Gallbladder attacks are still the worst pain I have ever felt.

When I get my camera tomorrow, I'll post some pictures of my incisions. That may give you an idea of what you will be dealing with. The most uncomfortable incision right after surgery was the one in my bellybutton, and even now, my mother and my husband have commented on how much smaller it is now. It's like he sewed it shut.
Old 09-25-2009, 07:38 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Wilds of WV
Posts: 10,652
Quote:
Originally Posted by CT_Damsel View Post
The problem with my gall bladder occurred almost 10 years ago; needless to say I no longer have the bookmarks to the sites I checked. However, I just searched now and found this site.
http://privatehealth.co.uk/artic...-term-effects/
This one does not mention them forming (post surgery) in the liver but in the bile ducts.
Herbal therapy worked for me.
From that site (bolding mine):
Quote:
It is possible for gallstones to recur after gall bladder removal and for the intense pain and discomfort to come back. These symptoms may be from stones forming in the bile duct, but are more likely to be stones that were in the ducts and missed at the time of gall bladder removal.
From this quote, it seems to me that the body forming gall stones after the gall bladder is removed is not unheard of, but relatively rare. The reason I had asked in the first place is, I was thinking if this was common, you'd hear more about it. I mean, a lot of people get their gall bladders removed these days, especially since it can be done laparascopically now.

At any rate, I really am glad you're feeling better, and have found a therapy that works for you!
Old 09-25-2009, 08:20 AM
Guest
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 4,958
Sounds like your mind's made up, UC, but I'll throw in my 2 cents anyway to add to the chorus saying you're doing the right thing to get it yanked now.

My attacks came mostly at night, which meant a lot of lost sleep, with pain so bad it would literally make me throw up.

By the time I got around to having it removed last summer, I had a single stone nearly the size of a golf ball. (Fortunately, unlike Cat Whisperer's hubby, I was able to have it done laproscopically.) Recovery was quick and easy, and I've noticed zero change in my body's digestive habits.

Just by chance, I had the surgery on my 45th birthday. Whenever someone said something like, "what a terrible way to spend your birthday," I'd say, on the contrary: getting this thing outta me was the best present I could have hoped for.
Old 09-25-2009, 05:30 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Cary, NC
Posts: 5,051
The doctors do tell me that loose or more frequent stools are a possibility after surgery, and that most people who get that find it gets better over time.

Since my main symptom now is diarrhea with violent, gut-ripping intestinal cramps, sweating, and generally feeling like I'm going to die, I don't think loose stools are a reason to avoid surgery! And ever since I was oh, 12 or so, I've noticed that I can't eat a ton of fat (like fast food for two meals in a row) without getting diarrhea. So it's not like I'll have to radically change my lifestyle. In fact, I wonder if I've been working on stones for a few decades, since I've always had this symptom after eating a lot of fat - it's just that lately it has started happening even when I eat pretty normally.

I really appreciate everyone sharing. It has helped me a lot!
Old 09-25-2009, 07:10 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Lower half of CA
Posts: 13,940
You might find yourself with the opposite situation--the worst constipation of your entire life--for a couple days post-op due to the anesthesia and not being permitted oral fluids for quite some time either (they don't want ice chips or lots of fluid intake to stimulate the gut too much when it's just starting to recover).

I PM'd you, BTW.
Old 09-25-2009, 07:31 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Wilds of WV
Posts: 10,652
Quote:
Originally Posted by vivalostwages View Post
You might find yourself with the opposite situation--the worst constipation of your entire life--for a couple days post-op due to the anesthesia and not being permitted oral fluids for quite some time either (they don't want ice chips or lots of fluid intake to stimulate the gut too much when it's just starting to recover).

I PM'd you, BTW.
IME, post-op constipation (and believe me, when it comes to post-op, I have a lot of experience, having had more than a 15 procedures/surgeries that required general anesthesia), is most often the result of the post-op narcotics. That doesn't mean you should eschew the narcotics (heaven forbid! ), but you should be aware that it's a possibility that you might get constipated, and keep a stool softener (not a laxative, a stool softener) on hand. Here's a recipe for a good home-made one:
1C prune juice
1C all-bran flakes
1C applesauce
Cinnamon and honey to make it more palatable
Mix together and allow it to get "mushy", which should happen pretty quickly. Take 2TBSP at bedtime, and your bowels will love you in the morning.

Also (again, IME), they usually let you have at least ice chips pretty soon post-op, often in the recovery room (it helps if you start bugging them as soon as you can ). The only exception to this has been when I had my weight-loss surgery three years ago, and I wasn't allowed to have anything for 24 hours. Other abdominal surgeries, they've been pretty quick to at least allow me ice chips, once they ascertained I wasn't nauseated.
Old 09-25-2009, 08:22 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Lower half of CA
Posts: 13,940
Wow.....They wouldn't let me drink a darned thing post-op for about 16 hours, I think, except flavored mouth swabs dipped in tap water. Bleah!
Old 09-28-2009, 02:25 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Cary, NC
Posts: 5,051
Hey all - surgery is scheduled for 10/21. I'm kind of psyched now, thinking that I'll be able to take my kid out for ice cream, or indulge at Thanksgiving, without getting really ill. I know there are no guarantees, but it'll probably be better. And I won't have to worry about a stone causing something really bad!
Old 09-28-2009, 02:58 PM
Member
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Face down in the dirt.
Posts: 2,559
Best of luck- I had mine out in March this year and it was the best thing I ever did. I couldn't eat anything for three months before the surgery but I was in Afghanistan and the med unit kept telling me it was a bug. When they finally found someplace to do an ultrasound, they evacuated me the next day to DC for surgery. I felt a million times better right after the surgery (of course the morphine button helped with that, I'm sure) and was ready to eat something right away. They wouldn't let me eat or drink anything for 24 hours prior to the surgery because it was so inflamed so I was starving. Now the only thing I have trouble eating is alfredo sauce - of course my favorite thing in world...

Last edited by Surly Chick; 09-28-2009 at 03:00 PM. Reason: Damn typos!
Old 09-28-2009, 03:32 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Wilds of WV
Posts: 10,652
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unauthorized Cinnamon View Post
Hey all - surgery is scheduled for 10/21. I'm kind of psyched now, thinking that I'll be able to take my kid out for ice cream, or indulge at Thanksgiving, without getting really ill. I know there are no guarantees, but it'll probably be better. And I won't have to worry about a stone causing something really bad!
I'm glad you're proceeding with this! Just the promise of not having to worry about a stone causing a "major" attack is worth it!

Have you ever had surgery that involves general anesthesia before?
Old 09-28-2009, 03:37 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Houston
Posts: 14,079
I had mine out last summer. I had had one HUGE attack the previous summer (or was it two?) even though it wasn't diagnosed then. I had off and on pain since then, and was finally diagnosed. I had one stone that was about 20 mm - around 3/4 inch in diameter! I had to spend the night, but only because I'm diabetic, too - so I was higher risk than some.

Recovery was swift. They did barely chip my tooth with the intubation, though! I had to have it filed down at the dentist.

It's a year later, and I just noticed that my main incision (other than the bellybutton one) is barely pink. It used to be almost purple.

I don't have any (much?) diarrhea, unless I eat something like a ribeye with lots of fat. (That's totally worth it occasionally! )

Good luck!
Old 09-28-2009, 03:51 PM
Guest
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 163
Good on ya! I had mine out in '95 and have 3 small scars. I had eaten the croissant of doom... egg, cheese, bacon and avocado. What a combo! It was delicious, but oh man, it about killed me. I was up all night in agony. I'd had nights similar to that, over the previous year and not known what it was. Like Wheelz, my attacks would have me throwing up :/

Having it out will change your life, I swear! I felt like a million bucks that same evening after removal.

I did have to really watch my fat intake, after that, and still do, because it can give me an upset stomach. But, nothing like when I still had my gall bladder.

You'll be glad you had this one, and done now!
Old 09-28-2009, 05:58 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Soplicowo
Posts: 2,083
Quote:
Originally Posted by Surly Chick View Post
They wouldn't let me eat or drink anything for 24 hours prior to the surgery because it was so inflamed so I was starving.
Isn't this the normal before general anesthesia to have the patient refrain from eating or drinking 24 hours?
Old 09-28-2009, 06:06 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Slithering on the hull
Posts: 25,841
Quote:
Originally Posted by zagloba View Post
Isn't this the normal before general anesthesia to have the patient refrain from eating or drinking 24 hours?
Nope, usually 12 hours or less.
Old 09-28-2009, 07:00 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Wilds of WV
Posts: 10,652
Quote:
Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan View Post
Nope, usually 12 hours or less.
Right. IME, they go to "NPO" (nothing by mouth, but in Latin ) midnight before the surgery; doesn't seem to matter if the surgery is scheduled for 6AM or 3PM, the rule is nothing by mouth from midnight the previous night.
Old 09-28-2009, 07:09 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Lower half of CA
Posts: 13,940
Quote:
Originally Posted by norinew View Post
Right. IME, they go to "NPO" (nothing by mouth, but in Latin ) midnight before the surgery; doesn't seem to matter if the surgery is scheduled for 6AM or 3PM, the rule is nothing by mouth from midnight the previous night.
NPO = nil per os

Latin lesson for the day.
__________________
Me: Good lord, it's a regular human centipede.
Superdude: It's a conservative human centipede! ETA: Curse you, vivalostwages!
Me: I consider the curse a great compliment.
Simster: Well, then, I am complimenting you like a mother....
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:29 AM.

Copyright © 2017
Best Topics: camel dung wedding pranks does rum freeze bruise with knot priesthood vows the ramones suck my girlfriends mother willie n ethel guineas vs pounds blockbuster etymology a zzz az complimentary colors citizenship grade human scrotum purse edible styrofoam powerlisting random shoot your wad impound charges jr programmer salary diamond tipping soda can silencer bees in basement kosher vs dill itchy shins superduper for windows punisher punches bear nascar drifting inverter microwaves airplane gladiator animal shit typical range military aristocracy julie andrews hot will baileys freeze rush limbaugh on sirius xm radio how is spider solitaire scored ti-84 convert to scientific notation portable air conditioner two hose what is rehoming fee polish mug handle inside members mark organic virgin coconut oil how to get rid of flies in apartment why do i smell like urine how to remove sliding closet door from track ford focus head gasket replacement window too big for ac unit cats scared of balloons how to avoid constipation while taking iron what happens if a cow isn't milked ms prissy foghorn leghorn is 30 degrees cold red tooth brushing tablets 2000 ford focus key replacement what is that bump on jean claude van damme's forehead how to activate mechjeb how to pee quickly can gunshot residue be washed off free home security system scams jurassic park robert muldoon will ferrell is not funny how to sell mink coat face off season 3 episode 1 zelda games on snes nelson rockefeller jr born 1964 are airline tickets transferable