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AFTER THE SURGERY - STILL SICK!
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AFTER THE SURGERY - STILL SICK!

Hi,

I have a few questions and comments to add.

I had gallbladder surgery on the 24th January (I'm in bed with my laptop on a tray)! I was very nauseated after the surgery, and they gave me meds for that. I was kept overnight because I had a temperature and a pain in the left calf. By the second day, everything had cleared up. I only ate jello and toast at the hospital.

Two days ago, I noticed a burning sensation in the stomach that radiates all the way to the throat! I called my doctor and he prescribed ACIPHEX. I have not been able to sleep because of this sensation, and have to be propped up all night (the higher, the better). Although I am not eating much (little rice, sweet potato, plain toast), these things do not digest!! The rice took hours, and the indigestion and belching reminded me of the problems I had before the surgery.

How normal is all of this? Neither my surgeon nor my MD can tell me what is normal or not, and they keep saying it's different for everyone, however MOST people are better after surgery. It's sort of hinting that "you should be FINE, and why aren't you" kind of thing.

Any comments, or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Also, a couple of people who had the surgery before told me that it took them a good month to feel better.

Regards to all.

Lillibet
Is anyone else having this problem?
Tags: Pain
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18 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
you know funny thing i had my gallbladder out on 7/25/02 and the next day after mine was removed i had a burning radiating pain in my right shoulder its been six still happening and all kinds of other things. what i think you need to do is go see another doctor other then the one who did surgery on you and see what he finds out.cause you never know since ive had so many problems ive found lap.gallbladder removeal can be a dangious opertion and its easy for them to make mistakes.i further investagate it.
                                         good luck
                                               C.A.C
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Avatar_n_tn
The removal of the gallbladder can cause certain food intolerances, particularly to dairy and fatty foods.  That's the drawback of having your gallbladder removed... it changes the way your digestive tract works.
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Avatar_n_tn
give it a little more time. I know you want to feel better and eat everything now..but your system is going thru a BIG adjustment..not only are you healing from having a part cut out..but your system is now functioning without all it's parts. It's been 5 weeks since my daughter had her's out (she'll be 20 in May)..feels really good now...but those first couple weeks were kinda rough..
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Avatar_n_tn
I am seeing the surgeon on Monday, and my pcp said he wants to see me in a week if nothing improves.

I haven't tried real food (dairy or fatty), since just plain rice gave me such hell.

The liquid diet is working better but I am weak. I have to sleep propped up in a semi-sitting position because I get a sick feeling in my stomach, with the hot sensation running up to my throat and that wakes me.

I think that doctors ought to tell patients that things can go wrong, and that there is healing to take place. All the surgeon said was that I would be able to eat normal foods right away (b.s.!!), and that I should be up and about in a few days (more B.S.). They don't have a clue really.

I just hope that I won't have too many problems. I already have Ulcerative Colitis and right now constipation is a huge problem.

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Avatar_n_tn
WOW!  I wonder about doctors.  I think they're better at guessing a diagnosis than they are at actually knowing anything about it.  The past year was a true learning experience about how horrible some doctors are.  I hope you feel better soon!!
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Avatar_n_tn
Here is my update on the surgery.

My husband made me some soup yesterday with carrots, sweet potatoes, celery and seasoned it with a little salt, thats all! Then he blended it in the blender. It worked fine.

Since I did well with that, he thought I should have a little "solids" for breakfast, and made me a small helping of oat bran. Strangely enough, I started to experience some indigestion. There was no fat added to the oat bran (I only use fat free soy milk).

I drank some Cranberry juice afterwards, and the burning was more intense (heartburn).  For lunch my husband (he's a great cook), made me more soup with carrots, sweet potatoes, small amount of onions, parsley, celery and he added some whole wheat pasta, then blended the thing like baby food. It tasted great (haven't been eating solids for days now, so this was a feast). However, once more I am in pain on the right side, and heartburn. The pain radiates to the back like before the surgery.
So now I'm wondering what's up with this pain and b.s.!!!

Any ideas out there? I am seeing the surgeon tomorrow to check on the stitches. He performed a lap.
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Avatar_n_tn
Gardenmaniac.
I just had my gall bladder removed last Monday night. I am around the same age as your daughter, a little older, 23.
I was just wondering, did she get any stomach upset/digesting probs after the surgery? I am told its only 'temporary', I don't want this to last forever..I pretty much stay clear of real fatty foods as is, but I once a week or so I need them :) THANKS for any help

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Avatar_n_tn
Oh, By the way, I also feel a light kind of nausea a lot..I am sure that is very common though especially first week after.
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Avatar_n_tn
she ate a peanut butter cup 4 days after surgery & had a pretty violent intestinal reaction to it. then she decided to take it a bit easier. she had some nausea after surgery, mostly her problem was not being able to breathe deep..that really bothered her.

she kind of stuck with eating what didn't bother her before surgery, for a couple of weeks & then took it slow introducing other foods back into her diet. You just can't go from eating zero fat for months to eating whatever, even if you didn't just have part of your digestive system removed.

She went back to college 10 days after surgery, ate her first hamburger in months before she left....every time I would talk to her I almost hated to ask how she was feeling..because you can tell from reading this board, that you don't always "get fixed"..her surgeon only gave her 60% chance that she would feel better...a lower sucess rate with no stones in your GB than if you do have them. (she didn't) & some days back at school, she didn't feel well...(but still not as bad as before) The surgeon told her at her 2 week check up that she should be able to eat whatever she wanted to at that point..but most everyone on this board has said no....don't rush it...

Did you have stones in your gallbladder? I am also interested to know if you ever went through an extended "crash dieting" phase.

she is feeling good now. It has been almost 6 weeks. The scars are pretty tiny and healing well. She kind of eats whatever she wants to..but alot of greasy stuff just doesn't appeal to her anyway after not having it for so long. Listen to what your body tells you....good luck!!
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Avatar_n_tn
They did the hidascan, and ERCP a few days before they removed the gallbladder, my original hospital admitting was due to Pancreatitis..which they say was caused by the Gallbladder being inflamed, My GI doctor said it had stones, and the guy who did the ERCP said its mostly "sludge" which can be much worse than stones, because it actually contains tons of mini-stones..So it pretty much had to come out..maybe she had that?

I also have some minor pain/soreness/cramp like pain when I breathe deep..it seems almsot at the area of the gallbladder, maybe thats still sore..I thought it was just me, Glad to hear I am not crazy :) Right not it is exactly 1 week since the surgery and the pain is down A LOT, I only take 1 pain killer a day, mostly some soreness and minor aches..especially in the shoulderblade area but thats probably normal, also considering I spent 15days doing nothing in the hospital might contribute to that..I go to my GI doctor for my followup with him...I have mild colitis as well, so he wants to see how I am doing..great doctor so far.

Glad to hear your daughter is feeling better and back in school. I will have missed close to 4weeks or so of class, so I am not sure if I will make this semester, maybe just my internship job, we'll see, I have to talk to the doctor today, and give it atleast 2weeks post-surgery to see how I feel..I am mostly thinking about the digestion without the gallbladder part rather than the surgery pain for my decision..Even though these surgeons make it seem like they did NOTHING to you, maybe they should have their's removed so they can see it is not a walk in the park :).
THANKS
Mike

oh PS- I am into bodybuilding, so I usually eat pretty good part of the year, but during the winter months I eat TERRIBLE, tons of sugar, tons of fast food, and I honestly never had ONE pain until a fewdays before the hospital, my pain was VERY severe..And that they say was due to the Pancreatitis..CAUSED by the gallbladder..and also my original Ultrasound showed NOTHING..which I'de like to see!



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Avatar_n_tn
I am getting very tired of this now. I went to see the surgeon for my 10 day check up and he removed the stitches etc. I told him that I still have horrible indigestion, pain, some nausea and a lot of burning. I had never had this before surgery!! He referred me to my gastrointer. and I have an appointment tomorrow morning. My Gastro. was 100% sure that my problem was the gallbladder.

I still cannot eat any solids at all. I am drinking something called Spirutine (it's like slim fast I guess) and I blend it up with fat free soy milk. I can tolerate that. I discovered Tapioca (fat free), and ate that yesterday. However, I had some about an hour before bed and had the most awful night. I took a Tagamet to see if that would help, but the burning increased!

What the heck is going on??

Path. report said:  mild chronic cholecystitis.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am so sorry that you are feeling worse than before surgery. I wish I could tell you what is wrong...the whole process is so emotionally exhausting & I am sure you are sick of being sick!

Not sure of the best way to speed things up either..the old saying "the squeaky wheel gets the grease:..well..how much can you squeak before they've had enough & stop helping & just do whatever to make sure you never come back...

My sister-in-law had her gallbladder out 5 weeks before my daughter at the same exact hopsital, by a different surgeon, but from the same office. All day Christmas all we heard about was how terrible the pain was, how terrible the hospital was & how terrible the staff was. (my daughter's surgery was 2 days later) My sister-in-law is a real whiner...(not very tactful either) so.....I'd tell you to really bug them till they give you some answers, but...you don't want them to "turn you off" either...I would suggest a journal of how you are feeling & what you have eaten, so when you do go in, you have some evidence to work with.

Best of luck to you..keep us informed..

P.S. The hospital & staff were great to us...go figure...
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nope..no report of any "sludge"...the GI doc had done a EGD & then taken a bile sample for analysis to look for crystals..that came back negative.

Pain in the shoulder is normal..it's the result of the CO2 gas they use to "pump up" your abdomen so they can work on you. the only way to get rid of the gas is to breathe it out...burping or other means :)......doesn't cut it....

You aren't doing yourself any favors with that extreme of a diet change, from work-out season to not...you're probably going to have to watch the fat levels for a while...

The reason I asked about your diet was that I had read one doctors theory that crash dieting & extended fasting can damage your GB. If you don't eat, your gallbladder isn't asked to contract & expell the bile it is storing. The longer it sits there, the stronger & more corrosive it gets. It can start to damage itself. My daughter went through a serious diet phase in high school & we wonder if she added to her digestive problems way back then.

& I am sure you are correct in that we don't really know what they do to you when you are in surgery...i'm sure you are getting stretched & yanked in all sorts of ways...no wonder you are sore!!
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for the response. Well, I actually loved my nurses, even the admitting people were great. I am a very strong, stubborn person and this is getting me so down it's incredible.

I decided today to add little bits of solids at frequent intervals to see how or if that would change things. It's about the same discomfort, the pain and burning so I figure I might as well try something.  I had a little sweet potato first, then later on a little tapioca, and then some cream of wheat for dinner. The pain and burning begins about 20 minutes after eating something, but it also starts up if the stomach is empty or if I didn't have anything to drink... beats the hell out of me.

Will let you know what the gastro. says. I like him, and he does listen. But he was the one who was 100% sure that it was the g/b so you can imagine I am in the mood to slap his face silly!!!


I hope your daughter continues to do well.
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Avatar_n_tn
Lastest news:

I saw the gastro. today, and he was very patient and actually listened to everything I had to say. He spent about 30 minutes with my husband and I :).

First of all, he ordered some blood work, and is checking my liver function, pancreas, and also checking me for Celiac disease. At least he believes something else is or was wrong before the surgery - it just didn't show up then.

He also put me on 10mg of Reglan to help with the stomach problem. I am hoping that at least I would be able to tolerate some bland food for a couple of weeks until the system adjusts.

Thanks for reading.

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Avatar_n_tn
I just got my bloodwork back from yesterday. The doctor says I still have signs of Pancreatitis, which was caused by the gallbladdder, so atleast I know that a lot of my pain/discomfort is due to the Pancreas trying to get back to normal...Since I can eat, and hold down food, THere is nothing I can do but wait and let it heal. Unless my pain gets worse, I just wait, and go back in 4weeks to see. I pulled out of this semester, which is a pain in the *** dealing with the college, but it seemed right, I will have to wait until the Fall semester to finish up and get my degree.

And the drastic diet change is definitly not good on the system. You are right. And also, like you said about your daughter, certain very greasy/fatty things don't appeal to me right now, and probably won't in the future now that I went through all this :) So atleast thats one good thing out of this mess!

PS- How is your daughter doing now? Its about 2months atleast since surgery right? Going back to college 10days after is very impressive! Although if I didn't have the Pancreatitis issue, maybe I could have pulled it off :( oh well :) THANKS

MDN
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It will be 6 weeks on Friday since her surgery. ( 2 days after Christmas...yeah..not the best holiday season  ) Actually, going back to school wasn't the issue as much as she was supposed to go to a theatre competition for a week during that first week of school & decided she just wasn't up to it..so she was feeling kind of bummed that she was missing an opportunity that she might not have again and that she wasn't feeling better. Looking back..I guess she really was doing well just to be back at it. Compared to the previous semester when she had 18 credits, worked part time and was in 3 productions and was sick the whole time, I don't think it seemed like a big deal to go back after surgery. She is pretty relieved to be able to focus on school & friends instead of pain, what you can't eat & WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH ME! It sure does consume your life...

Hope you were able to work out a medical withdrawal from school...you have to jump through alot of hoops, but you should be able to get out of this semester with no penalties & start back in the fall...what is your major?

What do they do for pancreatitis? does it just clear up on it's own? or do they give you some kind of antibiotic or something? do you have to eat restricted? what was you HIDA scan % when you had it done? I was VERY concerned for my daughter because she had to wait 3 1/2 weeks after her HIDA scan for surgery and her ejection fraction was 8%..I was worried it would totally stop working & she would get very ill...but..thank God, she didn't...
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I am a Criminal Justice major..I should have been done in May, but I will go back in Sept and graduate in December.
The Pancreatitis I had was caused by the Gallbladder, And I was just called by the doctor to be informed its still a little inflamed, hence the mild pain I still get at times (I knew I wasn't crazy :) ).. There really is no medicine for it, just rest and time... Normally you cannot eat and are forced onto liquid diet if that, and get food from IV in hospital for 5days or so..but since I can eat food and hold it down fine..and have minor pain, my GI says that we will just wait and see..because the surgeon had said the Pancreas enzymes even though the gallbladder is gone..could be up for atleast 3weeks..So hopefully he is right, and my body is healing..It makes sense in a way, even though the gallbladder, the cause, was removed..I guess it can't just snap back into 100%..so unless the pain gets worse...I see him again in 3-4weeks..I can always call if it gets bad..THANKS!

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