gall bladder surgery, anyone?

After a year of increasingly frequent attacks of pain just below my breastbone and several tests, I am scheduled for gall bladder surgery tomorrow. The most telling test was my HIDA scan. Apparently, it is a measure of gall bladder functioning. A normal gb ejection fraction is 35 or higher. Mine was zero. Yikes.

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone here has undergone laproscopic gall bladder surgery. What was your experience? I guess my most pressing questions are how much pain you had and how soon you were able to return to normal activities (remembering that I am a newlywed :wink: ). I was disappointed to find out that I have to have general anesthesia, but I might be able to avoid staying in the hospital overnight, as my surgeon says she lets patients she trusts to take care of themselves go home. Did you have to stay overnight? If not, did things go okay at home?

It was an easy operation for me. I did stay overnight but only because my doctor repaired a small hernia while he was doing the surgery.

I had little or no pain and didn’t even take any pain medication. I had it done on a Friday and was back at work on Monday. Honestly, I was almost back to normal within 24 hours. Get up and move around just as soon as you can.

I had mine done the day before Thanksgiving, 1998. I went into the hospital just before breakfast and was out by lunchtime.

What phamton said about getting up and moving around as much as possible. Use a pillow when you get out of bed to help support your abdominal muscles. Be careful (you still have incisions) when moving around, though.


I had it about 1.5 years ago. It went really well; I have had no problems since (some people have digestive problems, etc.).

Pain–not that bad, really. I went home the same day. The only real problem was that whenever I lay down flat, I felt that I couldn’t breathe. This is not an unusual side effect, and usually lasts a day or so. (The nurse’s suggestion was ‘just sleep in your recliner.’ Well, thanks so much, we didn’t own a recliner. We managed to borrow one, though, and that worked fine.)

I was up and around just fine in a couple of days. I can’t remember how long it was before …ahem…Normal Activities resumed, sorry. :stuck_out_tongue:

I had mine done on a Friday afternoon, and went back to work (waiting tables,) Monday morning at 6 a.m. I wasn’t able to lift anything over 20 pounds for something like 2 weeks, according to my surgeon, but I was pretty much back to normal that Monday.

The pain wasn’t horrible, but it was worse than I expected. I dunno why I thought I was going to get four holes poked into my stomach and feel nothing. :wink:

Good luck!

I wish I could have had the laparoscope. They told me my GB was too far gone and was liable to disintegrate at any time. So I had to get the regular old incision and was left with a 2-inch scar. My wife, when it was her turn, got the laparoscope and her scar is tiny, nearly invisible.

When I was 31, I started getting drastic abdominal pains. I thought it was stomach ache. In my experience, the quickest way to bring relief to stomach ache is to defecate. I tried that method and to my dismay found that it didn’t help. It was no ordinary stomach ache, but I had no idea what it could be. I got several attacks over a period of weeks, but never knew what it was. The only thing that helped ease the pain was to drum a steady rhythm on my drum. Shamanistic self-medication?

One morning I was about to go to work. Suddenly the pains attacked far worse than ever. It was alarming. When I felt my extremities turning cold and numb, I called the ambulance. I asked the ambulance guy what could be happening to me. He said: “Sounds like an aneurysm.”

An aneurysm?! :eek: That meant I was a goner.

Although completely mistaken, the thought was valuable for one thing. I seriously believed I was looking into the face of death. I felt no fear or horror, only a sweet inner peace and surrender. I felt perfectly happy to enter the afterlife right then and there. I will never forget that moment. It was a rare gift. I hope to relive it consciously when it’s my time to die for real.

When I got to the hospital, the doc told me it was just my GB. Oh, big deal. What an anticlimax! He advised that the laparoscopic surgery was preferable, but I had to wait until my condition stabilized, because my GB was too messed up or something right then. I spent a week in the hospital and when I felt better, I was discharged. The same evening, the attacks returned. I drove back. The doc was waiting to me at the ER. When the staff was too slow in getting me a wheelchair to get me to my room, he hollered at them that I needed immediate care, got me a wheelchair, and rushed me to my room himself. I really liked that doc. He was a good, caring human being.

For about 24 hours after surgery I was in so much pain I was heavily sedated. But I preferred consciousness, so when I came to I refused further sedation and chose to deal with the pain. At first I couldn’t even get up, it hurt so bad. But I kept practicing and in a couple days was able to walk up and down the hall and went home. A week later I was just about fully recovered.

My wife had a baby late in 1992 and a couple months later her GB went bad. She caught it in time and so had laparoscopic surgery. Coincidentally, Benazir Bhutto, who was the prime minister of Pakistan at that time, also had a baby and had her GB out about the same time as my wife. Something about pregnancy increases the production of gallstones.

When I found out that Andy Warhol died following gallstone surgery, it gave me a slightly eerie feeling. But I’m glad I survived, and not too much the worse for wear.

I had it done in '99 - day surgery. I’ve got 4 scars, and honestly, 2 are hard to find. As genie mentioned, lying flat was painful. We do have a recliner, and I slept on it for 3 nights. My surgery was on a Thursday and I could easily have gone back to work on Monday, but I had lots of sick leave available and nothing pressing going on at work, so I took the whole week off. By the time I went back to work, you’d never have guessed anything had happened.

A few months later, my husband had his removed. Unfortunately, he’d ignored his syptoms for long enough for the gallbladder to become infected and he had to stay in the hospital overnight… on his birthday… His recovery took longer than mine - strange, because he’s usually a faster healer than I am. We’re both just fine now, but our Perfect Child[sup]TM[/sup] is worried… :eek:

I went in for laporoscopic surgery and ended up with a jagged 16 inch scar across my abodomen. My gall bladder disease only lasted a few months, but it was severe (attacks were weekly, lasted 2 - 5 hours). I should have gone to the ER during the first attack. The moral of the story: don’t play around with radiating upper abdominal pain.

I also had laporoscopic surgery, three small holes for me, and a couple of nights in hospital (I got extra hospital time, as this was after Pancreatitis). Best thing ever for me (well allmost :slight_smile: ).

The pains I was getting from the stones went, and the risk to my Pancreas caused by the stones was removed.

Do get the gall bladder fixed, I was undiagnosed until an errant gall stone caused Pancreatitis. No Pancreatitis is Fucking Horrible don’t risk getting it.
Cheers, Bippy