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Feel like crap - Need to vent...



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I began having issues with my gallbladder shortly after the birth of my daughter in 2005. In 2009, an ultrasound and HIDA scan revealed I needed it removed and my PCP gave me a referral to general surgery. I let the referral expire after 30 days because I "felt" better and basically chickened out. So, I had my sleeve surgery on 10/26/10, just over a year later. I asked my surgeon to please remove the GB at the same time and he refused, saying there is no proof that I would ever need it taken out and he is not one to perform unnecessary procedures. My understanding of the GB is that once it has stones and is not functioning property if at all, it will NOT get better. Additionally, I asked if I would be taking Actigall like many other post WLS patients and he said "no", that it tastes terrible and the risk of getting stones without it is only 1%.

Fast forward to today. I just arrived home from the hospital having my gallbladder removed, and bile ducts and liver x-rayed. According to him I AM the 1%. I feel like it should have been removed during the VSG surgery last year. On vacation in Germany the end of June I had a TERRIBLE attack. It lasted nearly 10 days. I began feeling better on 7/5 and had blood work done on 7/8. My liver enzymes were crazy high at that time, indicating a common bile duct blockage. A week later my enzymes were normal, so during my 10 days of hell it is likely my liver was in very, very bad shape and had fortunately recovered to some extent before my first bloodwork was done.

I'm quite sore, but the actual surgery went fine today. Unfortunately, I am suffocating because my uvula (dangling piece in back of throat) is swollen to the size of a large grape. The anesthesiologist felt horrible, saying it's from the breathing tube sitting on it the wrong way. I cannot swollow well, cannot breathe normally and cannot talk. Though my surgery site feels as well as can be expected, my throat is killing me! I feel like it is closing in on me. Talk about feeling anxious! It will likely be this way, and maybe even worsen over the next couple days. I've been directed to go to any ER if needed so I can have another round of IV steroids.

My whole point to all of this is......

1. If you have gallbladder problems prior to VSG, INSIST on having it removed at the same time!!!!! I would not be enduring this HELL if he would have listened to me.

2. I would probably insist on taking Actigall even if you didn't have problems prior to surgery. Anytime you can prevent this is, DO IT!

For now, I'm afraid to sleep for fear my throat will close up and I will die. I don't wish this upon anyone!

Lisa

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Poor thing so sorry all of this has happened to you... sending soothing and peaceful thoughts your way ... i'll be saying a little prayer for you tonight...

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Sorry you had to go through this! I think that your doctor should have listened to you and addressed this as needed. I am an ultrasound tech and have scanned more than a few pt's who came in before surgery for "abd pain" aka: to confirm known gallstones so the gallbladder could be addressed at the time of surgery. I will add to 2bskinny's advice and insist on an ultrasound to confirm gallstones. If your doctor is resistant, mention right upper quadrant pain and that should "buy" you an ultrasound. Sorry that you are having such bad throat pain! It sounds like you have been through a lot recently. Wishing you the best!

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So does the pain in your throat have something to do with the gallbladder? Sorry I hope you feel netter soon.

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So sorry about all your pain! HUGS!

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So does the pain in your throat have something to do with the gallbladder? Sorry I hope you feel netter soon.

No. The "pain" in my throat has nothing to do with my gallbladder. It is simply a complication from the surgery. The breathing tube caught my uvula, stretched it and created a monster out of it. I am constantly choking and gagging. Additionally, I can't eat (swallow) or breathe well.

If I didn't have to endure this second surgery, I wouldn't be dealing with this horrible complication.

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Sorry you had to go through this! I think that your doctor should have listened to you and addressed this as needed. I am an ultrasound tech and have scanned more than a few pt's who came in before surgery for "abd pain" aka: to confirm known gallstones so the gallbladder could be addressed at the time of surgery. I will add to 2bskinny's advice and insist on an ultrasound to confirm gallstones. If your doctor is resistant, mention right upper quadrant pain and that should "buy" you an ultrasound. Sorry that you are having such bad throat pain! It sounds like you have been through a lot recently. Wishing you the best!

Yes, please do use me as an example to your patients. It's not that the cholecystectomy surgery is so dangerous, but there is absolutely no need to suffer from the potential horrible complications if it is not necessary! Have the GB removed at the same time as the VSG!

I hope that I have helped someone else NOT go through what it happening to me.

Lisa :)

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Still not doing well today. I was back in the hospital yesterday for more IV steroids to try to reduce the swelling in my throat. I cannot breathe or swallow well and have a choking/gagging sensation constantly. My uvula is huge, very long, and drags down my throat. The breathing tube must have snagged it and stretched it beyond belief. :(

Again, if you can avoid having an extra surgery to have the gall bladder removed, do it. If it isn't healthy to begin with, have the sucker removed during VSG. No, my throat issue is not caused directly by the cholecystectomy, it is simply a risk you take every time you have a breathing tube placed in you. The fewer breathing tubes placed in you, the lower your risk! :)

Thanks for your kind words of compassion and encouragement. I sure hope to feel better soon!

Lisa

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I am sorry you are going through this. (((((HUGS))))

The gallbladder is one of those organs that we can live without but that we do need. I had my gallbladder removed @ 16 and basically went through hell for 2 years after and could barely keep anything down without choking down this chalky stuff, and I honestly believe its the reason I have IBS now (because of the bile). Your doc may have been hoping your gallbladder issues would have worked itself out. Honestly, after what I went through to add that to the sleeve..... well, I am glad it worked out as it did *for me* ;) :hug:

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I have been complaining from time to time about taking the nasty actigall tablets, I have to do it for six months. But I haven't had any GB problems, so I'm happy to try and prevent it.

The throat thing SUCKS. How long do they reckon it takes to get the swelling down?? Nothing worse than feeling like you can't breathe. :blink:

{{{Hugs}}} Hang in there. Hope you feel better soon.

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My surgeon removes the GB without extra charge at the time of the sleeve if indicated. He let me choose whether to take the preventative meds as well. I had had a recent clear GB ultrasound so I opted out for each but was glad for the option. The uvula complication sounds HORRID!

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Lisa;

So sorry to hear about all of your problems, pain and worse of all not being listened to initally. Very sad to hear and know you are suffering. Thanks for warning newbies to ask about gallbladder prevention pills. I took mine and luckily never needed to have my gallbladder out after surgery.

For those of your reading this - something like 33% of WLS patients need their gallbladders out within a year of surgery. Listen to advice provided here and protect yourself. Big hug for you and hope you are now on a road to recovery without further pain or complications.

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I have been complaining from time to time about taking the nasty actigall tablets, I have to do it for six months. But I haven't had any GB problems, so I'm happy to try and prevent it.

The throat thing SUCKS. How long do they reckon it takes to get the swelling down?? Nothing worse than feeling like you can't breathe. :blink:

{{{Hugs}}} Hang in there. Hope you feel better soon.

As nasty as the actigall tablets are (from what I hear), be glad they were prescribed to you. Take them and hopefully keep yourself out of the OR! :)

My anesthesiologist says the swelling should subside within about 3-4 days post-op. Online I'm reading 1-2 weeks. Let's hope my doctor is right! This side effect is for the birds!

Thanks for your well wishes...

Lisa :)

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My surgeon removes the GB without extra charge at the time of the sleeve if indicated. He let me choose whether to take the preventative meds as well. I had had a recent clear GB ultrasound so I opted out for each but was glad for the option. The uvula complication sounds HORRID!

Be glad you had a healthy gall bladder going into surgery! And, yes, the uvula complication is highly unpleasant, to say the least. :)

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Lisa;

So sorry to hear about all of your problems, pain and worse of all not being listened to initally. Very sad to hear and know you are suffering. Thanks for warning newbies to ask about gallbladder prevention pills. I took mine and luckily never needed to have my gallbladder out after surgery.

For those of your reading this - something like 33% of WLS patients need their gallbladders out within a year of surgery. Listen to advice provided here and protect yourself. Big hug for you and hope you are now on a road to recovery without further pain or complications.

Thanks for your thoughtful reply. The pills might have prevented you from needing your gall bladder removed, or might not have. You'll likely never know, but if I was offered the actigall I certainly would have taken it, too! (especially given my history of malfunctioning GB) In any case, I'm very glad that you haven't needed this additional surgery. :)

Maybe this can help other VSG patients insist on learning more about the health of their own gall bladders before WLS. Avoid another surgery if possible is my motto of the day..... :)

Lisa

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