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Gallbladder Removal

We speak to M.K, a 32 year old female, about her cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal)........

What symptoms did you have?

Gallbladder pain is on the right hand side

''I had severe stomach pain, mostly under my right ribcage. I was sick every time I ate or drank anything and felt terrible''.


Did you have any tests?

''My GP gave me a quick physical examination, then arranged for me to be admitted to hospital. The surgical staff at the hospital then took some blood and arranged an ultrasound scan''.

What happened in hospital?

Gallbladder anatomy


''I was told that the scan showed I had large gallstones, and I would need my gallbladder removed. Although I had been given strong painkillers, I was still in pain so was happy to have an operation if it would take the pain away. I was not allowed any food or drink, and given fluids through a drip. My operation was the next day''.


What was the operation like?

''It was under general anaesthetic, so I can't remember much really. I remember being taken to theatre and talking to the nurse, and then the next thing I remember is being in the recovery room''.

What happened after the operation?

''The pain was quite bad at first, but I had a button to press which gave me a shot of strong painkiller. Over the next few days the pain got a lot better and I only needed tablets. A drain tube had been left in my side to take away excess fluid, and this was quite uncomfortable, but got better once it was removed - I think this was three days after the surgery''.

How are you now?

''I'm fine. I've not really noticed any problems with not having a gallbladder, but it has made me think about life a bit. I used to have a really bad diet, which might have caused the gallstones and I now eat a lot better as I don't want the heart to be next!''

Did you have any complications?

''The gallbladder had been removed by keyhole surgery, which left five small scars. These have turned into keloid scars, which are lumpy and itchy. This wasn't due to anything the surgeon did, just the way my skin forms scars. I'm now due to see a Plastic surgeon to see if the scars can be improved - I'll let you know how things go!''

Can you give any advice to anyone having this procedure?

''Well, to be honest having the operation wasn't really a choice, it was needed or my life could have been in danger. I guess the best advice is to ask for painkillers whenever you need them''.
Learn more about gallstones and gallbladder removal in our Procedure Info pages
This page is for information only, and does not replace a Specialist. Your experience may not be the same as above and the surgery, tests or other management may not be as described as above. If you are concerned about any health issues, you should contact your general practitioner or specialist for healthcare advice. Please also read our disclaimer.



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