Gallbladder removal op-One week later!

  1. Hi all,
    As some of you may know, I had my gallblader removed last Tuesday following excruciating 'attacks' caused by multiple gallstones. I had read up on the operation before the surgery via the internet and had scared myself half to death with all the horror stories of the operation going wrong and people suffering constant pain afterwards. I hope my account here gives confidence to others here who know the awful pain of gallstones but are maybe like me and too scared to consider the op.

    I went in last Tuesday morning at 8:00am and was pleased to be told that I was first on the list for the operation. It was also a relief given that just a few hours earlier I had a really painful gallstone attck that had lasted for four hours. After having the attack I suddenly forgot the fear of the op and didn't care if the surgeon wanted to rip my gallbladder out with his bare hands, I just wanted it OUT! :p

    I was seen by a nurse and the anaesthetist who explained what was going to be happening and stuff. I kept asking if it was going to hurt but was assured that I would feel nothing. I was told that the op would take between 45 minutes to an hour and that it is very, very rare that complications develop. I kept on asking things like what if the surgeon misses some of the stones or accidentally damages my liver or something? Again, I was re-assured that it was very highly unlikely that that would happen! I felt really nervous going to the operating theatre as it felt like going to Frankensteins laboratory! Anyways, they had one person keep talking to me whilst someone on the other side of me gave me the needle for the anaesthetic. I didn't feel it at all. My only memory prior to coming round from the op is somebody telling me they would look after my pink minnie mouse slipers for me! :shame:

    I came round from the op feeling naturally very groggy and tired. I didn't feel any pain at all and a nurse was beside me telling me that everything had gone well and that they had removed my gallbladder via keyhole surgery, which I was really pleased with as I had feared they may have to do it the old fashioned way of cutting right across the abdomen. :yucky: I just wanted to sleep and had no idea of the time or anything. I must have drifted back to sleep for a few hours before I woke up and realised that I had 2 drips in my hand and a drain coming out of the side of my stomach. I also had an oxygen tube through my nose and callipers around my legs that kept inflating to keep the circulation going, I think.

    By the evening I was more alert and chatting to my boyfriend when he came to visit me. I was still very sleepy but was just glad that I didn't have any pain. I managed todrink some water and eat 2 ham rolls which the nurses were really pleased with. I also read some magazines for a while although trying to sit up in bed took a long time and felt uncomfortable.

    Through the night I needed to go to the toilet and called for a nurse to help me as I oculd not get out of bed on my own, also, I was scared of moving too much with the drain attached to me. The night nurse was very un-sympathetic and tried to yank me out of the bed by my arm! :wtf: It was only when I yelped with pain that she stopped. I managed to slowly walk across to the toilet by myself which is just as well as the nurse didn't offer to help me! It was very uncomfortable bending down but again, it was not painful, just like a tired/achy kind of feeling. I had some paracetamol and more water before going back to bed and I slept well once I had gotten over the trauma of trying to get myself comfortable in bed again.

    Early in the morning the nurse came to inspect my dressings (I have 3 dressings: one under my chest, 2 at the side and I also later found that I have stitches inside my belly button!) and said that the drips could be taken out of my hand and that she would remove the drain later on. I was surprised that the drips did not hurt being removed, in fact I barely felt them. I was told that I would be able to go home later in the day too, which I was happy about. I started trying to move myself around the ward. I could only manage slow baby steps at first but I perservered and feel that it helped me.

    Later on in the morning, the doctor came to see me and said that he was happy with how my dressings were and how the drain had worked. He confirmed I could go home and that I would have some painkillers to take with me and should stay off work for the next week or so.

    O.K, this is where the pain comes into it......The nurse asked me to lie down while she removed the tube from my side. She said it would only hurt for a second, like a scratch. MY GOD! I have NEVER felt pain like it! I felt like she had rammed her hand right inside where my gallbladder used to be and I screamed in utter pain. I couldn;t move for 10 minutes because it had hurt that much. Even now I as I type this I am wincing at the memory. Now I've hared that with you I MUST add that I was told I was just unlucky with how the tube was inserted. The nurse assured me that it doesn't normally cause pain like that, so please don't be scared ladies!

    After another couple of hours and having something to eat and drink, I was on my way home. Still a bit 'tender' but able to walk by myself.

    The few days after were fine. I only took the painkillers for two days after the op and then I didn't need them. I have a bit of discomfort and found it uncomfortable trying to sleep for a day or so, but nothing major. I have been walking and eating fine and have had no horrid side effects like diarrhea or pain in the shoulder. I am taking it easy though and have to be careful when bending over as it still feels tender but thats natural given I've just had surgery! It's a week on now and I'm doing well. My only gripe is that the after care from the hospital has not been that great. A nurse was supposed to visit me at home to change my dressings, but it hasn't happened and so I have had to do them myself.

    I would highly recommend that anyone who has gallstones and has been advised to have the op to go for it. I was dreading the op and was so worried about being in pain afterwards but I needn't have worried as it was fine and please remeber that I have a VERY low pain threshold! I know it's early days for me yet but I am just so pleased that I overcome my fear of having the operation and went for it. I just hope now that it stops the attacks. I was given a little tub with my gallstones in it and I can't believe that something so tiny can cause so much pain!

    Thank you to everyone who gave support and advice to me prior to the op when I posted about this topic. xx
     
  2. Hi Chloe*Starlet! So glad you are back and recovering well :smile: I can't belive that night nurse yanking your arm! Sounds like you had to be tuff and take care of yourself a bit during all this but you are making on well.

    I have not had gallstone pain .. crosses fingers .. and am glad you have it out and done with. I had a kidney stone once that was really tiny and was surprised how much that could hurt, but it cleared itself.

    I'm very glad you are well enough to tell all of the story of your time in the surgery. Great they were able to do the keyhole and not the big proceedure you were worrying about. All the best with your recovery, and quick healing for you!
     
  3. I'm so glad that you got that trouble-making gallbladder out! For my operation, there was no drain in my side, as you described. What a shock that must have been when it was removed. My biggest post-op problem was that I had a cold and was coughing, which hurt. I had to hold a pillow tight to my stomach when I coughed. but the pain afterwards certainly is a tiny fraction of the gall bladder attacks. I wasn't given my gallstones--they said one was over an inch long; kind of glad I didn't see it.

    I'm wishing you a complete and speedy recovery. I'm certain your account of the op will help others who wonder what it's like.:flowers:
     
  4. I'm glad you're doing better. Sounds like you are recovering just fine! Just try to keep active, splint yourself when you cough, and take your pain medicine! Being comfortable is key to recovery. Stick to a low fat gallbladder diet for a while until everything settles. Keep us posted on how you're doing. I'm also sorry the nursing staff treated you so poorly. As a nurse it breaks my heart to hear these things.
     
  5. Get well soon Chloe! My cousin had that done and she hasn't had any problems.
     
  6. Best of luck to you. I had mine out in '05 and I felt good after 1 week of recovery.
     
  7. So glad to hear you are on the road to recovery! I had my GB removed also, two years ago, best thing I ever did.
     
  8. Glad you are feeling better. That cranky nurse will have her own hell to go thru one day!
     
  9. So glad to hear that it all went well and you are recovering quickly. My dad is having this surgery next Thursday, so it's good to know what to expect.
     
  10. So glad that it went well!!! I got a bit queasy reading the tube pulling out part, which I am sure did hurt, but it is over and done now and you can just move on pain free!!! :yahoo:
     
  11. I had this surgery 9 years ago, and I had the drain too (and the horrible pain when it was removed!) I have had no problems. I am glad things went well for you!
     
  12. So glad that all went well! Years ago I was told that I had multiple gall stones but have never had any problems or pain. Suppose one day i will & glad to know that op isn't too bad.
    I had drains after 2 x Csections but dont remember any pain when removed.
     
  13. I felt queasy too reading that part and was thankful that I was in bed lying down when I read it. I hope your recovery continues smoothly and that you feel much better soon! :heart:
     
  14. I had my gallbladder removed eight years ago. It was emergency surgery as the gallstones were inflamed and causing me excruciating pain. Knock wood the surgery went well and I was home the next day. With the doctor's permission I even started walking on the treadmill. You know how they want you up and around after surgery.

    My doctor asked if I wanted a video or picture of the operation. I opted for a picture, but now kinda think a video would have been cooler.
    :smile:

    Thanks for sharing your story, Chloe*Starlet.
     
  15. Sorry for the gory info on the tube thing but I felt that I needed to give a proper account of things!

    Wordbox-I wish your Dad luck with his op. He will feel so much better when it's all over and done with and no more excruciating pain. Please let us know how he gets on and tell him I wish him a trouble-free speedy recovery! xx

    ecmd7-My gallbladder was badly inflamed just before last Christmas too. The hospital wanted to take the gallbladder out immedietely but couldn't because of the inflamation. The pain I was in because of the attacks was just too awful to describe and on top of it all it gave me a nasty infection on my liver!

    Thank you everyone for reading my account of the op. I just hope it helps someone as I know before my op I was panicking and constantly searching the net for peoples experiences of it. I only found one! xx