Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Aftermath of a gallbladder removal surgery

As I mentioned here, I removed my gallbladder at Mt Alvernia around a week ago.

So very sad.

One less asset.

Reminds of the song, "Let it go" in the animated movie, "Frozen"

"Let it gooooooo.................Let it aint working anymoreeeeeee

Let it gooooooo...............Let it gooooooo................close my eyes and off it goessssssssss

And here I stand, with one thing less............

Let it gooooooo...............Let it gooooooo................The fats always bother me anywayyyyyy"

Sometimes in life is like this, if something ain't working anymore, and is in fact causing you pain, then it's better to let it go. If a relationship is bothering you the same way, oh yes, cut it off. I meant, break it off.

How it came about?
Oh started as a series of abdominal pains and diarrhoea almost every single time after a meal. It's not super painful but it's REAL irritating. The diarrhoea can come as fast as 5minutes after a meal. I'm a faster eater as compared to hubby who eats damn slowly and I tell you sometimes when we're having dinner, I "shit" out already and he's still at his dessert. *faints* Thank god we're an old couple, else it's really super not romantic at 1st date.

And I'm not even eating super oily or spicy for that matter. Humph! Then once in a blue moon, intense and severe abdominal cramps will attack me. It's damn "exclusive". It only happens after 11pm where all the clinics are closed so I always have to go A&E. $%^&*(&^%$%^&*(  and be a drama queen.

How painful was it? Let's just say it's usually about 8 to 9 on a scale of 10. Tears will start to fall down my face and I looked like a pathetic whiner. Painkiller jabs always saves my day/night. It's not my 1st visit to the hospital already for such drama and all along(ok for the past 2 years) I knew that I had stones and polyps in my gallbladder.

My family GP said, "Nahz, thousands of people are walking around with stones in their gallbladder. It's nothing to worry until you have an infection."

Apparently, I had lor.

FYI, I'll describe the pain to be slightly off right from center, under your right breast. And it's more painful when being pressed. But the real funny thing is, an ultrasound scan will show that your gallbladder has stones or polyps but no scans/tests, not even a scope, can tell that your gallbladder has infection. It's always a GUESS. My last admission at Gleneagles, my specialist also had this guess, but he didnt sound confident after pressing my stomach, and so I just discharged after the pain subsided. But this time round, another specialist said he was quite sure(though he still dont dare to be 100% sure...I guess no specialist will). Moreover, constant pain and diarrhoea after meals is indicative of a nonfunctional gallbladder. And so I did the surgery to remove the gallbladder.

Of course I did asked all the essential questions, like,

Is it really necessary?
Yes, especially when the infection is causing pain. The removal of gallbladder is encouraged because it's probably not working anyway when it has gallstones inside AND it will remove the risk of pancreatitis as well as the risk of my polyps turning bigger and thus turning cancerous.

Cant I just remove the gallstones and the polyps ONLY? 
But the possibility of recurrence of gallstones is very high, it will most probably come back. So it's better to remove the gallbladder altogether. =(

HOW will it be done?
Via Keyhole surgery. Relatively a small surgery and downtime is not long.

WHAT will happen after that?
Basically...think of gallbladder as a storage sac. It's used to store bile which is produced by the liver while it drips, in order to break down fats more effectively for digestion. Guys, you can think of it as RAM of a computer. So when you dont have a storage sac, your body cant digest fats so efficiently especially after a heavy meal. And you might experience slight stomach pains or diarrhoea. In have to eat healthier and less oily.

Sigh.................*head drooped down..........*

*And then head suddenly lifted up*


My specialist's reply, " fats cant get digested, they'll be passed out from the body. When things cant be digested, it means it cant be absorbed by the body. So it's more like it's more difficult for you to get fatter." Then he smiled.

OH!!! WOW! That's wonderful news!

Oops....sorry for being such a bimbo...but I'm just making the best out of my situation!
It's no use crying over a lost gallbladder, whatttttttttt

But girls, please please dont go pestering any surgeon to remove your gallbladder OK just because you want to be slimmer. Zzz.

I just had my 4th diarrhoea tonight and it's not fun at all. =(

Why? I just had a swiss roll only. FML.

And I didnt lose any weight to date lor...despite my torturous 1st few nights at Mt A with the intense pains. Humph!

They did an autopsy of my gallbladder, which baffled me. I mean, it's removed from my body already, why would they bother? Hubby said maybe they just wanna check whether it has any cancer cells and worried that it spreads etc. Sounds logical. In any case, I received these HD hardcopy pictures from my surgeon and it's like...........WOW........gross! My gallbladder was swollen and indeed had inflammation or infection whatever and when they're being cut out, they looked like an ABALONE! Hahahaha!!

Okie, my wonderful family GP advised me, since I had removed my gallbladder, I need to eat less oily stuff...Okay noted....and also...I can take ENZYPLEX to aid in indigestion. I then realized it's actually the same green capsule which the hospital gave me during my stay. FYI, you dont have to bother to ask doc to prescribe you from the hospital because I think it's cheaper to get it from Watson. (I only saw 1 brand in both Watson/Guardian/Unity). And medical(H&S) insurance dont cover such supplements because they are not medically necessary. (Trust me, I'm in Insurance). These are cheap, like less than S$50 for 200 capsules(because they having 1 for 1 promo). I probably have to take them forever.

Bless you if it's cancer, the supplements are much more expensive, like maybe S$100 per capsule. Drop onto the floor also must eat. =P So getting some major illness or early stage illness policy ON TOP of hospitalization and surgery insurance shield plans dont harm at all~

I'm still recovering from the tummy is oh-so-colourful now. Bruised. Sigh.....I prayed to god that it wont look like this forever else I will be super sad. I love my F21 bralettes, midriffs and bikinis. 

It has been maybe a week after my op. I just removed my stitches yesterday. But I still experienced pain when I vacuumed my floor just now. Vacuum! Not even mop. Sigh...........I just cant do any housework or sports or dance for now. I'm feeling so irritated.

Let it go from Frozen(movie) (Gallbladder edition)

"Let it gooooooo.................Let it aint working anymoreeeeeee

Let it gooooooo...............Let it gooooooo................close my eyes and off it goessssssssss

And here I stand, with one thing less............

Let it gooooooo...............Let it gooooooo................The fats always bother me anywayyyyyy"

Blessing you a healthier and robust 2014! Hope you've gained something out of this entry.


  1. Hi. Hope you coping well after your surgery. I will be going through same surgery too next week but I am very nervous. I am also worried I gain more weight after the surgery.
    So is it true that it has been harder to put on weight as what your surgeon said? What was ypur experience- any weight issues? I read so many horror stories on internet abt people putting on tons of weight and unable to shed off after this surgery.

    1. Hi Kare
      So sorry to hear that. Dont worry too much though, I assume yours is a key hole surgery too? If so, there wont be too much pain and the wound heals rather quickly. =)

      Sad to say, the "harder to put on weight" say by my surgeon is totally not true! =P But I didnt gain much nor lose anything, it's pretty much the same.

      We should try to avoid oily food though. And BY RIGHT, that should make us lose a little of weight. But erm, I haven been able to totally kick the lemmings for fried say I'm pretty much the same.

      All the best to our health!

  2. Hey there~ i will be going for the same surgery too. Just curious is there any similar pain since your gallbladder is out? Did quite a lot of research and it seem quite a bunch of people having post surgery symptoms.

    Hope you are coping well~

    1. Hi
      I'm so sorry, I just saw your comment.
      The intense pain had stopped after the surgery, thank god.
      I dont know if these are post surgery symptoms but I was having some minor stomach pains and diarrhoea after (almost) every meal thereafter. It got worse recently(that is after near 2 years), my specialist suggested a colonoscopy and scope, and then realized I had infection in my stomach. He treated it with a course of antibiotics and I no longer have the pains and diarrhoea after every meal.

      Hope you are coping well too! May god bless you.

    2. Hi Koari
      Good to know that you're better without the stomach pains and diarrhoea, and having better meal times.

      Did you find it tough to lose weight or gain weight after your surgery?
      My surgery was 2 months ago and I am worried I will have hard time losing weight as time goes by as i am already not small in size.

    3. Hiya
      I dont find any difference lei. Quite the same

  3. Hihi, I'm going for my surgery in 2 weeks time and I'm already freaking out now and keep asking myself should I cancel it etc etc!! : ( Like you, i had intense pain once and then on off discomfort. The pain had not come back for 6 months already so I'm wondering if it's a must for surgery. My doc said it's necessary but don't need to do now. I'm just thinking just get it over and done with since I need to do it someday, why not do it while I'm still young and fit. I feel a bit sad I'll have 1 organ less but i agree with your post... just let it go and cut it off.. haha. Have you tried alternative treatment such as apple cider and olive oil flush diet?

    1. Oh dear, just back from holiday and I just saw your message only.
      You done your surgery already? Frankly speaking, if your pain did not come back for 6months then your gallbladder should not be the problem and I would strongly advise AGAINST removing it. Because after you removed, you wont have a storage place to concentrate your bile which is needed to digest food. That means, in future, it will be tougher to digest oily foods or huge amount of food at 1 go. Which is of coz bad for you.
      Have you did a scope and colonoscopy? Your on and off pain may be because of inflammation in your stomach which can be cured by specific antibiotics. Or it may be polyps in the intestines etc.

      I did the surgery that time was because of the consistent torturous pain. If your pain is on and off and tolerable, I'm saying, removing the gallbladder may not solve the problem. Though of coz I'm not a doctor, just my personal opinion.

      Wishing you well!

    2. I did an endoscopy and colonoscopy but doc found nothing. Only found a large gallstone during ultrasound scan. I decided not to cancel the surgery and already had it done in Gleneagles last week! Was freaking out before the op but my surgeon was very nice and assuring. He spoke to me just before i was pushed in. They returned my stone in a container and gavr me photos of my gallbladder. I had a 2cm stone and my gallbladder looks disgusting haha.. i think it's diseased. Now recovering from the surgery and everything is good. I'm looking forward to pain free days in future :):)

    3. Actually gallstones are very common, lots of people walk around with stones in their gall bladder too. It's not until there is gallstone infection/inflammation then it causes pain. Even then, you can remove the gallstones instead of the whole gallbladder. But thing is, gallstones have a tendency to grow back. And once the gallbladder has too many gallstones, it rendered the gallbladder pretty useless, thus some docs advise the removal of gall bladder. But as I said, it is actually not very good to you as you wont have concentrated bile in future to aid you in digestion.

      Nowadays lots of doctors proposed surgery to earn money when it's not needed at all. I'm not saying your doctor is. But because I've seen quite a number of cases as I'm in the insurance line and I do claims for surgeries etc.

      Hope you have pain free days too!

    4. I totally agree.. some doctors just wanted us to go thru surgery as they can earn money. I hope mine is not that kind. Prior to surgery, i sought 2nd and 3rd opinions and all said i need to remove as I'm showing symptoms. My doctor said it's better for me to remove before it becomes an emergency and now that I'm young and fit (I'm 25 yrs) i can take the GA better than if i remove it 20 or 30 years later. The stones may grow bigger over the years and i will still have to do it at 1 point in my life. Yes, and he also said if i remove just the stones, they will come back. In a way, the gallbladder is no longer functioning so there is no point keeping it. I'm just puzzled why we are getting gallbladder problems so young. My doctor said his patients are mostly above 50s! Anyway... cheers to good health!

    5. Haha do you drink alcohol alot or do you seldom drink water? :)

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Good info