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Palpitations after gallbladder removal

I recently (a week ago) had surgery to remove my gallbladder. I didn't have traditional pains when my gallbladder was acting up. Upper abdomen/lower chest pressure that radiated to my back and nausea/vomiting after eating but when the dr ordered an ultrasound they found gallstones. During surgery my BP rose and remained high for hours after the surgery was finished. I have noticed, at times, my blood pressure is higher than normal because I can feel it. I also have palpitations when laying down at night. It scares me a lot because I witnessed someone having a heart attack last year. I can be laying in bed and feel my heart beat in my neck (without my fingers on my neck) and my can see my upper abdomen/lower chest area moving in sync with my heart beat.  
9 Responses
Avatar universal
I sure hope you were referred to a cardiologist after the removal of your gallbladder? If not, please make an appt with one, if your insurance covers it. If not, I'd go to the ER and not even worry about the bill, but that's just me. It's better to be safe than sorry. This could lead to something huge, and if you don't get the arrhythmia under control with the proper meds, it could lead to a stroke due to blood clot, etc.

I have heart problems and I've been on heart meds for it ever since I was 26 yrs old. The only time I had an irregular heart beat at rest is when I was anxious, or I went into atrial fibrillation (my heart problem). This is definitely not normal, and on top of it, you feel your BP rising? Oh, boy, I'd be at the ER already.

Best of luck to you! ((hugs)))
1182699 tn?1297574784
I'm sorry you're still not feeling well.  I had my gallbladder removed in July of 2008.  I didn't have stones, just a bad gallbladder.  I had the nausea and dizziness but never any pain.  Ironically, I sometimes feel like I'm having an attack after I eat certain foods, and I have no gallbladder..phantom pain?? Who knows...anyway...please try not to get anxious about your symptoms, it will only make your BP rise.  I have suffered from tachy and PAC's for the last 16 years.  After my surgery, when they got me back to my room, my husband said they kept taking my vitals and doing nursing things and I heard them same her pulse is 118...I freaked smooth out...although my heart has rose to 130 for several days and been monitored at 160+ during my sleep, for some reason it made me very anxious.  They called the surgeon who called in a cardio consult (my cardio is in a different town) and they had actually done 5 EKG's in recovery...All showed I was throwing PAC's and even the one they did in the room when I was freaking out showed PAC's.  I do think you need to call the surgeon who performed the lap chole, and let him know what's been going on.  You didn't say if you had ever experienced these symptoms before?  I am sure they will refer you to your PCP who can check your BP, HR,etc. and also perform an EKG if needed.  They then will refer you to a cardiologist if they deem necessary. Anesthesia is a funny med and can really mess with our bodies.  Positional palpitations are not uncommon either.  Many people feel them while at rest and when they are lying down. I feel my pulse all over my body and can actually move things I am touching if I'm totally still.  I can also see my pulse in my carotid (neck artery) when I look in the mirror. I am hoping Jerry, itdood, or issomethingwrong pipe in here to give you a little more information. I'm just giving you some of what I know from my own personal experiences. Please keep us posted on how you're doing and try to stay calm.  Best to you!
1137980 tn?1281285446
What you are experiencing in my opinion is all perfectly normal.  I too had mine out a couple of years ago and talk about timing my older sister had hers out last Saturday nite after having a major gall attack with stones.  You have to remember that your body is now adjusting to being without a very specific organ that it has had in your body for years.  All of a sudden its not there....the interior of your body is now space wise very different which means that there will be alot of shifting and moving of organs, etc. to fill in that space.  Absolutely none of the symtoms that you have described are those of a heart attack so relax and let that go with what you witnessed however i know how hard that is to do when witnessing what you did.  I among other things am an ACLS Instructor and the best recommendation i can give you is to think about taking a CPR class so that the next time if there ever is one that witness something like that you can be an active part of the solution.  It really does work for most people and is only about 4 hours out of your nite or weekend.  I think you simply just have to give it a little time for your body to adapt to your surgery and it would be very very normal for your b/p to go up during the surgery and afterwards as well if you are experiencing some anxiety like i think you may be.  Good luck to you my friend and seriously think about taking that class so you have a full understand on what a heart attack looks like and the symtoms......relax i think you sound normal and fine here......
Avatar universal
The only time I've ever had any kind of discomfort in my upper abdomen/lower chest was in the month before I went to the ER. They did an EKG which came back normal but the ER doctor actually told me that an EKG is only good for the 15 seconds it is on you so during that 15 second period nothing was wrong. They didn't order one before surgery because of the one I had the previous week. What worries me is that after surgery it reached 187/108. That is extremely high. They put meds in my IV to bring it down but it only worked for a brief period of time. They called my surgeon who said not to let me leave unless I stabilized and he would come in the next morning to see me. They didn't let me leave the hospital until it came down. I was discharged once it reached 136/90, hours later. (I arrived at 6 am, surgery at 8 am, and discharged at 10 pm) It is worse after meals with the pressure still much like before the surgery but no nausea. I have noticed I tend to have "white coat syndrome" meaning my BP rises just by being at the doctor's office because I do get anxious.  I am only 25 but my friend who had his heart attack was only 27. I do have lots of stress in my life but I've never felt this before and when something feels wrong I worry. I no long have insurance due to turning 24 and being kicked off my mom's and not being able to afford it now. So I don't want to freak out and have all the tests done for no reason.
Avatar universal
I am no longer certified but I do know CPR, he never collapsed. He was driven to the hospital after I finally convinced the managers (we were at work) to give him aspirin. Like I said o my response to Rilesnic, my bp at max was 187/108 and took hours to come down. Feeling the pulse in my neck isn't normal for me and it worries me. I can't afford all the tests right now, as I don't have insurance. I have a post op check up tomorrow and will ask my questions to the doctor then but thank you for your input. It does help ease my mind.
Avatar universal
For people who have palpitations after your gallbladder removal:
#1, I am not a doctor; I am just someone who had these issues for years.  I saw cardiologists, had panic attacks was diagnosed with anxiety disorder treated with Xanax.  
#2 How I would feel: I would almost pass out, my heart would race or skip beats.  I thought I would die when I was grocery shopping, driving etc.   After I would eat, I would really feel bad, almost passing out.  My best friend told me that I should try a digestive enzyme because it might be my gallbladder.  Plus I read in the Wall Street Journal that our gut was VERY much in charge of our entire body.
#3 So I went to Walgreens (because it was right next to Starbucks ) to see if I could find a digestive enzyme.  The first thing I saw was gas pills that were a food enzyme supplement.  The main ingredient was Alpha-Galactosidase enzyme 600GALU.  Yeah, don’t try to pronounce it.  I took one of these pills prior to every meal and it made a HUGE difference!!! My palpitations are completely gone.  No longer feeling sick.
#4  Once again, I am not a doctor, only someone who has been through this.  I made a promise to God, that if it cured me I would post it everywhere.  Ask your doctor about that enzyme prior to using.   As you can see, I don’t work for any company trying to sell something because you can get that enzyme in a plethora of different medications or vitamins.  I truly just chose the cheapest generic version I found and it works wonderful!!!!!!
#5 Your not crazy!!!!  Your not having panic attacks!!!! (most likely)  Your not weak!!!!!!  You just need help in your gut!  
I hope this helps you!!
I had my gallbladder taken out 8 weeks ago. Since day 3 post op- I have had Tachycardia. My heart rate went up to 180, and they rushed me to get a HIDA scan to see if there was a bike leak. No bile leak.. so after a day of cardiac monitoring they said that it’s “anxiety” and sent me on my way. I don’t believe that because I’ve had anxiety since I was 15 and a panic attack is totally different. So, 10 days later, same thing, heart rate went up to 150, then 10 days later 145, than almost a month free of rapid heart rate it came back with a vengeance for 3 days at 145, 150, then 160.. the ER now has gotten to the point to where they rush me off. They even told me to seek psychiatric help. I was so mad I was crying.. I had pain in my whole right side, more on the flank and I thought I had a bowel obstruction. I spent 4 days in the hospital and nothing. One thing that scares me.. is that i woke up, jumped out of bed with a reaching heart. I’m scared this is going to kill me! Im scheduled for a colonoscopy/endoscopy tomorrow but after all this I’m even mortified to get that done under mild sedation. I’m doing to check out this enzyme.. but if you had heart rates or if anyone has had heart rates like this after gallbladder removal please comment with your experience. Thank you-
meganvalenz ,
You're symptoms sound exactly like mine. This has been happening for 14 months since I've had my gallbladder removed. I've been to a GP, cardiologist, GI, OBGYN, chiropractor, and acupuncturist trying to figure out the problem. I've even been in the ER for having a heartbeat of +220 for an hour straight. Every doc keeps telling me it's stress but I know that's not the issue. I eventually ended up at a electrocardiologist's office and having a cardiac ablation to stop the tachycardia. Things have improved slightly but it's still happening. They've put me on beta blockers that didn't work and I've eliminated all sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and I don't smoke. The electrocardiologist told me I may have to have the surgery 1 or 2 more times with the risk of possibly ending up with a pace maker. I wanted to know if you've ever found out what was causing your heart issue after surgery? Any time I tell any of the doctors that it all started after having my gallbladder removed they all have a similar reaction of, "Hu. That's strange," and then never address that the surgery and palpitation may be connected. They want me to wear a heart monitor again but I'm just exhausted and resigned to living like this for the rest of my life.
1182699 tn?1297574784
Thanks for that info!! I'm very spiritual (and a cradle Catholic), and although I don't outwardly express my beliefs so much, I will testify when I know I've been pointed in the right direction. I'm so glad you're feeling better and I completely agree with you now (I always thought I had panic and anxiety, but I no longer do) that these are not panic symptoms. I know my vagal nerve is a mess and I wish I could replace the darn thing. I got nauseous today while eating lunch, hot flashes, feeling like I would black out, muscle tenses, chest discomfort, burps..oh my the burps...school nurse took vitals, listened to heart...steady as she wrote. It passed, came home, ate dinner, here we go again, exact same symptoms...eating a roast beef sandwich and visiting with co-workers does not cause panic. I'm convinced it's the stomach...I guess back to the gastro I go! Thanks again for posting!
1182699 tn?1297574784
I forgot to mention, when I was in nursing school (long ago), we learned that the gut is responsible for most if not all of our illnesses. Even sinus and nasal allergies begin with the gut. I forget about that at times, but as bad as I feel, I should remember it!
Avatar universal
Vagal Nerve
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