**This blog post (Gallbladder Removal – Ending The Agony) contains images of my post baby, post gallbladder-ectomy (a new term I’m trying out) belly – YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!**
You should know that I am in no way a medical processional – so if you’ve found my blog looking for answers about what might happen when you have your gallbladder removed from someone who has recently had theirs removed YOU HAVE COME TO THE RIGHT PLACE!
However, if you are looking for sound medical advice you should always consult your doctor.
I am now three weeks post op – rewind to three weeks and three days ago I was sat up in bed desperately googling anything to do with gallbladder surgery and what would happen from someone who wasn’t a medical centre website. I found nothing.
I wanted answers to my questions such as: Would it hurt? What would my scarring me like? What do I need to take to the hospital with me? What are the chances of things going wrong? You can read more about my pre-op anxiety here. At that moment in time I vowed to myself that once I was feeling better I would write all about what I went through.
After I was diagnosed as having gallstones, I was relieved that there was treatment available but frustrated that the treatment wasn’t immediate. I’d have to continue living with gallstones until my surgery could be arranged on the NHS but at least the end of the tunnel was in sight. Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy is the term used for the operation that I had – gallbladder removal using key hole surgery.
The day before I went into hospital I went to work as normal… And immediately regretted it.
After grabbing my usual morning coffee I sat at my desk, fired up my computer… and could no longer think about anything else other than the fact that in twenty four hours time I’d be sat in a hospital waiting room waiting for someone that I didn’t know to cut me open and remove one of my organs.
Other than a tonsillectomy when I was five years old – and all I remember about this was having a sore throat, my dad buying my a mini chalk board and discovering a dislike for Lucozade – I have never had any type of surgery.
After a few brief but panicky text messages to my mum, my husband and a few close friends I was back on track. I was having this procedure to improve my quality of life. I spent a lot of time deep breathing and thinking about my Welsh happy place (pictured).
But what exactly was I anxious about?
What if they broke my teeth?
What if I woke up half way through?
What if I was asleep but could feel everything?
What if I didn’t wake up at all?
What if I bled to death?
What if key hole didn’t work and they had to cut me open?
What if the whole thing didn’t work and I’d have a leaky valve on my insides forever?
What if they mixed my notes up and performed the wrong the procedure?
Oh GOD – everything about staple stitches scares the bejesus out of me.
Will I be horribly scarred?
What if it doesn’t work?
What happens if I get an infection?
When I had little miss I needed to have a few drips in the sides of my hands to help control my gestational diabetes during labour. This is fine in theory… but in reality it took four attempts due to my skin tissuing. There was lots of blood, it was fairly painful and the whole process was a bit distressing. I was so worried about the same thing happening again.
What if I DIE?
I needn’t have worried – I came out of the whole procedure unscathed and the staff at my local hospital looked after me really well. But for anyone that is feeling anxious about surgery, although I had to wait for a few hours for a bed once the process is under way there is not enough time to be nervous. From getting my gown on to actually having the antithetic there was only about 10 minutes.
The anaesthetist was really kind to me. She understood my nerves. The cannula was in the back of my hand before I could even notice what she was doing and it was completely pain free.
I didn’t wake up, I didn’t feel anything during the surgery and my teeth are still intact. I didn’t bleed any more than is usual but even if I had they had blood on stand by. The whole procedure was performed via key hole without any problems, and the right procedure was performed successfully without any negative lasting effects.
I was glued back together and any stitches were dissolvable so I had no clips and no need to return to the hospital to have anything taken out (great saving on my time and the NHS’s resources). The procedure has been successful and I have four small incisions. They’re healing well and I am confident that in 12 months time they will be barely visible.
AND most improtatly – I didn’t die! I’m really happy with the result and I’m so glad I didn’t let nerves get the better of me.
Have you had any pre-op anxiety?
Thanks for reading: Gallbladder Removal – Pre-Op Anxiety
Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy is the fancy term for ‘having your gallbladder out’. In my case, this was due to the bastardy little stones encased in my gallbladder.
I’ll start from the beginning…
I had been suffering with severe stomach pains (that felt like trapped wind) since the beginning of 2013. During this time I was pregnant so assumed the pain was exactly what it felt like – trapped wind.
After the birth of my daughter the pains happened more often and began to get more and more painful. My diet wasn’t the best admittedly and I did put a fair bit of weight on during 2014 and the first half of 2015. Weight gain doesn’t cause gallstones but it certainly doesn’t help with the symptoms.
After a particularly bad (what I began to call) episode I went to the doctors…
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