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DraftyAiresMum 06-14-2013 11:34 PM

Gallbladder surgery
A little back story first:

September of last year, I gained a lot of weight in a short amount of time with no real explanation. I went from 165lbs and a size 12/14 (depending on the clothing) at the beginning of September to 230lbs and a size 20 by my birthday at the end of October. I moved departments at work at the beginning of January (I work at a car dealership and started out as a salesperson...I now wash cars in the wash bay) and by Valentine's Day, I was 250lbs and a size 22 (even though my activity level increased dramatically).

Ok, so back in April, I decided that I was tired of how I was feeling and being as heavy as I am, so I made an appointment with my doctor. I needed my Well Woman checkup anyway, and since my doctor is a women's health doctor, I went ahead and made my appointment with her. She originally thought that the problem was either my hormones were out of whack or my thyroid was wonky. She ordered a battery of tests, including a full liver panel and a pelvic ultrasound. My thyroid and hormones came back normal, but my liver enzymes were a little high, so she ordered an abdominal ultrasound.

The results of my abdominal ultrasound showed that I have gallstones. I have two that are 2cm and 2.4cm, then several that are smaller. The problem is that they are partly blocking the common bile duct (especially when I lay down on my back) and, being that my gallbladder is unusually small to begin with, my doctor wants it to come out soon rather than later.

So, now I'm on a slightly restricted diet (I have identified quite a few foods that I love that I can't eat, like most dairy) and I have a consult appointment with my surgeon this Wednesday. It really isn't all that bad, or it wouldn't be if it wasn't coupled with borderline diabetes (also revealed by the battery of tests my doctor ordered) and a slightly fatty liver (which, after my surgery, I have to go see a gastroenterologist). So I'm on Metformin (500mg once a day) for the borderline diabetes.

Anyway, now that I've laid out what's going on...

Has anyone here had gallbladder surgery recently and had rather large stones removed? How was it done? I know it's usually done laparoscopically, but beyond that, I'm clueless. How long were you laid up? What questions should I ask my surgeon? Any tips or advice?

I'm not overly concerned about the surgery (I had arthroscopic knee surgery back in 2007 and arthroscopic shoulder/rotator cuff surgery last March), but I've never had "major" surgery (meaning on anything other than an extremity). I'm more concerned/curious about the recovery and also how they're going to get those rather large stones out the relatively small incisions they make.

Any help or advice is greatly appreciated!
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tinyliny 06-15-2013 12:36 AM

Well, 2cm is less than an inch, so I guess they 'll get them out , even through a smaller incision.

I don't have any advice at all. I just saw your post and remembered how frustrating it had been for you with the mysterious weight gain. I do hope that after this you come out feeling young and fit again. Keep us updated, ok?

DraftyAiresMum 06-15-2013 12:52 AM

Tiny, my doctor seems to think that the weight gain was due, in part if not in whole, to the borderline diabetes. However, because of the gallstones, I've lost about 10lbs in the last three weeks. Not drastic, but considering how steady I've held since the beginning of the year, it's a start. I've had people at work who hadn't seen me for a couple of weeks (the one that comes to mind was on vacation) commenting on the weight I've lost. :-)
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Golden Horse 06-15-2013 01:02 AM

Never had gall bladder surgery, so can't help with that, but I'm glad that you have an answer to what caused the weight gain, I hope the diet and the surgery has you fighting fit again before to long.

tinyliny 06-15-2013 01:07 AM

I lost 16 lbs and no one noticed~!

DraftyAiresMum 06-15-2013 01:10 AM

No one believes I'm the size/weight I am to begin with, Tiny. Even my mom thought I was exaggerating until I showed her the tag in my jeans. Part of my exasperation is that all the weight I've lost (or so it feels like) has been in my legs and face. It's like I've lost a pant size in my waist, but three pant sizes in my legs.
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tinyliny 06-15-2013 01:14 AM

most important is to get that sugar/insulin ratio in balance, since it has so many diverse health issues.

Don't they sometimes use ultrasound to break up gall stones and hope the person passes them naturally (painfully, tho). or am I confusing that with kidney stones?

DraftyAiresMum 06-15-2013 01:30 AM

That's kidney stones. Lol.

I'm actually pretty good about taking my Metformin in the mornings and I've been working at eating less sugar (big deal for me...I don't eat a ton of sugar, but I do like my ice cream every once in a while and kool aide or some such [I don't drink soda]).
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Cacowgirl 06-15-2013 09:59 AM

My DH had his gall bladder out a little over a year ago-it was an emergency surgery due to infection, not stones. Lots of pain before they got the morhphine in him,he was in the hospital for a few days afterwards w/a drain. He healed fine & w/no dietary restrictions. Take care of those sugar levels & hope the weight continues downwards. Hope you like your W/E trip-I live about 4 miles east of your turn-off to the mountains.

DraftyAiresMum 06-15-2013 01:13 PM

We should stop by and say "Hey!", Cacowgirl! Lol

I'm doing really good with trying to eat healthier and not as much sugar. Also cutting way down on fatty foods.
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