Just for your perusal, here are my experiences with gallbladder troubles, first thread here, from just under a year ago when I woke up with searing hot pain (towards the end of the thread, I’d thought I’d passed the damn thing! I read that post and went “HUH?” Then it all came flooding back to me, my doctor telling me he believed it had passed, how thrilled I was, then going to see my surgeon and him dropping the news on me: “You didn’t pass it [you loon!], it’s too big.” Now I remember why I switched doctors last year…)
And from just a few months ago, when I had laproscopic surgery to have it removed. It really wasn’t that bad. It’s been about three months now or so since I had the surgery, and all I have left are three little scars. They look like cat scratches, really. There’s another one in my bellybutton, but it’s not red, and just looks like another crease.
Glad to hear your pain is minor, however, that doesn’t necessarily mean you get a “get out of surgery free” card. It might, and a second opinion never hurts. However, if you’re 33 and it’s starting… well. My surgeon told me (this is in my case only, your YMMV, and all that good stuff) that my gallbladder would continue to produce that bad bile, and would just keep forming more stones. More stones are bad news. Small stones get caught in ducts. Large stones cause large pain. Pancreatis, jaundice, all knds of bad, bad things can ensue. It’s really best to get that bugger removed if that’s the case.
It’s funny you mentioned heartburn worse than the minor pain… you know that having stones can cause severe heartburn? Since having mine removed, I’ve had very, very little heartburn. Also, for some reason or another, I am no longer lactose intolerant. Bonus.
Many people warned me about the diarrhea and flatulence after the surgery, however, I will chime in and say in at least one case - mine - I had no diarrhea at all, and though I had some minor flatulence, it happened a couple of days later, and lasted only about an hour. And it wasn’t loud. It was, however, quite relieving.
The surgery itself really isn’t a big deal - they knock you out pretty darn good. I didn’t dream, and I don’t remember anything. Apparently I sing as I’m going under. Then I woke up; and the nurses will ask you if you have pain, just be honest with them and tell them. They give you some goooood stuff. I was sent home that same day, after a nurse stayed with me, made sure I ate, drank (saltines and apple juice, and I still remember feeling like it was the food of the gods at that moment), used the bathroom, and walked across the room (gently!). I dressed myself, was wheeled out, and my husband took me home. Recovery took about a week, even though I was up and about after a couple of days. The first day was mostly deep, deep sleep. You do have to allow your strength to come back, and you’ll be winded for a while. No pushing it. It wasn’t too painful, though they did give me some heavy duty meds to take if I needed them, and for the first few days I took them faithfully, it wasn’t terrible at all. I felt bruised. Like I’d been beat up. Oh, and I could eat pretty much whatever I wanted by the end of the week (I ate slowly and very little the first few days, as instructed, however, I wasn’t terribly hungry anyway, and the rest of the week was self-imposed restrictions - I’d gone so long avoiding fatty foods that the thought of it, while tempting, was still a little scary at first. Once bitten twice shy, and all: when fatty foods used to cause me to have searing, white hot pain, you can understand my reluctance to just begin eating it again, even though I was allowed!) Anyway, today I have no diet restrictions, and I eat whatever I like with no problems at all.
If I had to get that surgery again, I’d do it. I wouldn’t volunteer for it, it’s not fun, but I’d do it again if I had to.