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Do I really have to get off enbrel for surgery?
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Do I really have to get off enbrel for surgery?

I have been told to get off Enbrel for needed gallbladder surgery.  My problem is that when I get off Enbrel, every joint in my body swells, turns red, hurts unbearably and locks up.  I become completely bedridden and cannot get dressed or go to the bathroom without help.  My blood tests show that, even with the Enbrel, my c reactives and other immune response numbers are very high.  They tell me that they will give me prednisone to help with the reaction.  If the only reason for getting off the Enbrel is to protect me from infection, doesn't the prednisone do the same thing?  I can't take prednisone without major side effects, including bleeding alot over everything...wouldn't that be bad during surgery? It takes a good 3 months for the Enbrel to start working again if I get off.  Is it really necessary to turn me into a complete invalid for 3 months if the makers of enbrel do not even suggest getting off of it for surgery?...especially since my immune system seems to be in hyperdrive even with the enbrel....  I am sincerely thinking about just keeping my gallbladder even though it is giving me alot of pain.  The pain of the gallbladder is nothing compared to my pain without enbrel.  What are your thoughts?
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469901_tn?1276567223
The risk of infection is the reason they want you to go off of the Enbrel.  I cannot stress enough that you need to discuss your concerns with your doctor and follow his instructions to the letter.  Infections can be very serious and this risks may outweigh the benefits.  Please talk to your doctor.
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536293_tn?1233255989
Just a note to you on your thoughts of not stopping your embrel before surgery.  I had surgery on sept. 19th 2008, never stopped taking the embrel before surgery. I had 13 nodules removed off my left arm.  I have been fighting an infection since oct. 19 2008, in my arm . so i have not been able to take embrel since surgery because of infection, so i am thinking it might be better to go off before surgery, rather then after, because you will likely get an infection, which could take months to get over. My arm is still not healed and it is now january 29th 2009.  With R.A. you already have a low imune system you might not want to make it any worse. Please give it some thought before you decide what is the better of the 2 evils.  good luck, stay safe  Sher
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469901_tn?1276567223
Thank you for sharing your story.  How do you manage now that you are not on Enbrel?  What do you take?
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Avatar_f_tn
OK...I did go ahead and get off the enbrel 10 days before the surgery.  I did the only thing I knew to do...get enough sleep, accept no stress and stay away from chemicals.  Amazingly, nothing hit me until 6 days later and it was not major...only 1 joint and only for 2 days...then another set of joints took over, but once again it was minor.  I have learned however, that I will not get off enbrel again unless forced to do so...I like to move around and do things.  And the pain of the surgery was nothing compared to the arthritis I was having....easiest surgery I ever had...went to walmart that afternoon and then went out to eat!  What a day! Get your gallbladder removed, go shopping and then go out to eat! Wow!
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469901_tn?1276567223
I am so glad you wrote!  Have been wondering how and what you did.  I am thrilled to read everything went so well!  
How soon did you start the enbrel again?  How long did it take to start working again?
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Avatar_f_tn
I got back on it a week after the surgery and it began to help within 2 weeks.  I am still having some joint aches, but they are very minor.  I went to workout at the gym yesterday for the first time since before getting off the enbrel.  Today, I am a little sore, but OK....it's so good to be back.  Also, the gallbladder infection I had for a year and a half is gone and is no longer draining my energy...wow...I have so much energy! I have also lost 10 lbs just because I am not hungry.  I think my gallbladder made me feel hungry all this time...now it's gone and I am no longer hungry all the time.  The world is so much better for me...Praise God!
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469901_tn?1276567223
That is awesome!  Thanks for sharing the recovery info as I am sure it will help others as they go through similar situations.  I am so glad you are feeling better and enjoying life again!
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536293_tn?1233255989
Wow, what great news, glad surgery went well. Happy that you had a speedy recovery. Good to hear you are back on the enbrel and it is working well again for you.  Have a great day, look forward to hearing more great news from all you people on this site.             tc, Sher
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