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Thread: Gallstones: what the heck?

  1. #1
    Master Joe.K's Avatar
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    Gallstones: what the heck?

    After reading the brilliant thread on hip Replacement and at the risk of turning the G&D into a kind of Dadís net I thought Iíd ask if anyone had any experience of something Iíve just been diagnosed with by my ultrasoundist -if thatís a word- blinking flipping gallstones!
    About a month ago I started feeling really tender around my tummy and right side, I thought it was an onset of shingles as did my Doctor Who prescribed acyclovir but the tenderness and (stabbing) pain just got worse..so sent off for an ultrasound and hey presto gallstones :0( has anyone had any experience of what happens next is it surgery, drugs or will they just go with time, lifestyle changes, prayer etc
    Cheers
    Joe





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  2. #2
    Master
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    Yep, been there, done that. Extrememly painful attacks which escaalte if one of the stones gets stuck in the bile duct. They are hard accretions of bile salts & as far as I'm aware the only long term solution is to have your gall ballder removed. It's usually done as keyhole surgery in which case you'll be up & about in a day or so but if they have to open you up you'll be laid up for at least a couple of weeks.

    My surgeon gave me mine back in a pot:


  3. #3
    Grand Master TheFlyingBanana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pointy View Post
    Yep, been there, done that. Extrememly painful attacks which escaalte if one of the stones gets stuck in the bile duct. They are hard accretions of bile salts & as far as I'm aware the only long term solution is to have your gall ballder removed. It's usually done as keyhole surgery in which case you'll be up & about in a day or so but if they have to open you up you'll be laid up for at least a couple of weeks.

    My surgeon gave me mine back in a pot:


    Bloody hell! You could do a small path with that lot!

    I've had kidney stones twice - reckoned by many in the medical profession to be pretty much the worst pain a human can experience. I expect gallstones is similar.

    Not nice. I really don't recommend it.
    So clever my foot fell off.

  4. #4

    Gallstones

    Hi Joe
    If it gets bad they remove it with keyhole surgery my sister had it done a couple of months ago the danger is it can become septic and lead to Sepsis so keep a watch on it I would imagine the pain is comparable to Kidney stones Ive had a few of them the pain is incredible and morphine is used to take the pain away.
    Take care
    Squashy1

  5. #5
    Master
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    I suffered with gallstones.

    Eventually. in 2015, I went in for the op, to have it removed.

    Apparently it wasnt removed, but stitched up? Surgeon said she hadnt seen one like mine before? ! It was all ripped, so apparently it was stitched back up, she did say, even if they come back. (gallstones that is!) they take decades to form, so I should be fine (I was 55 at the time).

    They tried to do it via keyhole, had to end up doing open surgery though (so a nice big scar on my round belly!), they couldnt do it with keyhole though, as I had my prostate gland removed couple of years earlier, because of prostate cancer, apparently there was scar tissue with the last op. so thats why they couldnt do it with keyhole.

    They removed 4 golf ball sized gallstones apparently.

    After the op. the surgeon came to me and told me about it all, she did say "you must have been in considerable pain"...I was still feeling groggy etc after the op. think I was on tramadol, which knocks me out!..so unfortunately, my (in my defence the drugs I was on and being just after the op.!) my response was "considerable pain doc.? I was in f*****g agony!...lol luckily she saw the funny side and said, "yes I think it must have been how you described sir!"

    Since having it out though, Its been brilliant since...no pain whatsoever.

    I think I was in hospital for about 3 or 4 days, With keyhole I gather its in and out the same day.
    Last edited by valleywatch; 6th May 2021 at 10:54. Reason: spelling!

  6. #6
    Journeyman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pointy View Post
    Yep, been there, done that. Extrememly painful attacks which escaalte if one of the stones gets stuck in the bile duct. They are hard accretions of bile salts & as far as I'm aware the only long term solution is to have your gall ballder removed. It's usually done as keyhole surgery in which case you'll be up & about in a day or so but if they have to open you up you'll be laid up for at least a couple of weeks.

    My surgeon gave me mine back in a pot:

    As someone with a very squirmish disposition, that picture is actually traumatic. Worse than when I YouTube'd a root canal in advance of having one done.

  7. #7
    Master RogDen's Avatar
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    I had them a few years ago in mid 90ís, some of the worse pain Iíve ever had, usually about 3am or after eating anything creamy. Ended up taking the whole Gall bladder out by keyhole after 12 months of treatment for stomach ulcer.


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  8. #8
    I had my gallbladder removed via keyhole (laparoscopic cholecystectomy) 3 years ago, in and out the hospital on the same day and all went well.

    Oh, the pain the stones were causing was beyond excruciating! Oramorph wouldn't touch it, if I'd had a loaded gun I swear I'd have been tempted to put myself out of my misery! For me it was like having something grip and try to crush my lower ribs whilst an elephant stood on my back, I could breathe OK though they were the kind of sensations that made me feel like it wasn't possible. I think I had 6 flare-ups over an 18 month period prior to the operation, on each occasion I went to A&E (on advice of 111 and the A&E dept themselves) and had blood tests to check for irregularities a blocked bile duct can cause.

    I hope you get it sorted soon OP, having my operation was probably the best thing that's ever happened to me, at least that's what it felt like at the time!

  9. #9
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    I had a gallstone problem a few months before I joined this forum in 2015. It began with excruciating chest and abdominal pain which made me think I was having a heart attack and my time had come.

    I took myself to the local GP here in Malta who told me my heart was as strong as a horse but that I had high blood pressure. He gave me some pills for this which I later found out were banned in most of Europe because they can cause liver damage.

    After 3 weeks of taking these pills I was convinced I was dying. I flew to London to be met by Mrs Draft who took me straight to hospital, where it was found that my bile duct was blocked with a huge gallstone. The tablets courtesy of the Maltese doctor had indeed caused some liver damage, my gall bladder had become badly infected, and my life was in danger.

    Thanks to some good hospital care and being generally in good health and robust, I made a full recovery but I was hospitalised for nearly three weeks and spent a further 2-3 months recuperating and unable to work. One of the interesting things I learned was that a compromised liver function impairs cognitive ability. Another was that excess bilirubin causes unbelievable skin irritation and itching, to the point that I didnít sleep properly for weeks.

    My advice to anyone with gallstone problems would be to get it seen to ASAP. And to avoid my local doctor.

  10. #10
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    The worst pain i have ever experienced

    I was laying on the floor in the foetal position, sweat was pouring off me and I was in agony, I called 111 and after 10 mins the lady on the phone suggested I take 2 paracetamolÖÖ2 F@&%$• ParacetamolÖif the french doors had been open I would have flung myself off the balcony

    Mine had become poisoned and turned to mush

    Get the operation done ASAP, best thing I ever did


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  11. #11
    Master smalleyboy1's Avatar
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    Five years ago, I got horrific pain in my upper abdomen. I was curled up in the foetal position and the only comfort I had was that I wasnít having a heart attack. Ambulance called, hospital doctor suspected gallstones and referred me for an appointment with a specialist but told it would be 9-12 months on NHS.

    Used my private medical cover to get an appointment within a week and after several scans, no stones were found. Specialist concluded the pain had been a stone passing into my bile duct and I had passed it.

    I believe many people have gallstones without any problems. The issue is when they start to move, the pain becomes unbearable.

  12. #12
    Master Joe.K's Avatar
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    Eeeeek!
    Thanks so much for your responses, the pain and tenderness have ratcheted down a notch or two today (Probably scared away after reading some of your experiences)Ö

    Iím going to try the gallbladder and liver flush route for starters and whatever happens going to try to stop being such a piggy, lifestyle changes here we
    come: hurrah :0(



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  13. #13
    Grand Master JasonM's Avatar
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    Just to put your mind at ease a little, Iíve been in Theatres so many times watching Lap Chole procedures with one of the medical devices I used to sell, I recon I could do one in a pinch 😁 Very routine these days, Iíve seen one done in about half an hour before. ( and a couple of 2 hour ones though) .
    Cheers..
    Jase

  14. #14
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    My 17 year old son has just had his gallbladder removed due to gallstones. He spent nearly 3 weeks in hospital as the gallstones caused severe acute pancreatitis resulting in some damage to his pancreas. Heís still very fragile but hopefully gradually on the mend and should make a full recovery with the caveat that heíll never be able to go out for a session on the lash or there may be more damage to the pancreas. Obviously weíre relieved to that heís on the mend and also grateful that it didnít happen at peak lockdown, because without the fantastic care that the NHS provided, the outcome could have been much worse.

  15. #15
    Master Ticker's Avatar
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    Yes, had mine whipped out a few years back. The attacks were horrendous.

    The op was pretty simple, but was tender after keyhole for a good week and a half afterwards.

  16. #16
    Craftsman
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    I can only echo the comments above, had a week in hospital before lockdown with an inflamed gallbladder and had it removed in between lockdowns.

    Operated on via keyhole and in and out during the day. Had one flare up since which the doctors put down to a left over gallstone.

    Must go in pairs, also broke my hip a few years back.

  17. #17
    Master
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    Yes I had this and the surgeon also gave me mine in a pot but I threw them on the fire.

    Mine hurt like holy hell on an evening to the extent where I was pacing the house changing position to try to lessen it. Following day I was ok so being a typical bloke I would forget about it and then repeat the exercise every now and then.

    I booked for the keyhole but I had left it too late so it got really inflamed, I had jaundice and they rushed me in for it and had to cut a bigger hole to get it out. So my advice is to get it done as soon as you can before that happens.

    Itís been ok ever since . Like someone said itís when a stone passes down the bile duct it hurts like hell and then the pain goes away when it pops out into your stomach.

  18. #18
    Master Yorkshiremadmick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valleywatch View Post
    I suffered with gallstones.

    Eventually. in 2015, I went in for the op, to have it removed.

    Apparently it wasnt removed, but stitched up? Surgeon said she hadnt seen one like mine before? ! It was all ripped, so apparently it was stitched back up, she did say, even if they come back. (gallstones that is!) they take decades to form, so I should be fine (I was 55 at the time).

    They tried to do it via keyhole, had to end up doing open surgery though (so a nice big scar on my round belly!), they couldnt do it with keyhole though, as I had my prostate gland removed couple of years earlier, because of prostate cancer, apparently there was scar tissue with the last op. so thats why they couldnt do it with keyhole.

    They removed 4 golf ball sized gallstones apparently.

    After the op. the surgeon came to me and told me about it all, she did say "you must have been in considerable pain"...I was still feeling groggy etc after the op. think I was on tramadol, which knocks me out!..so unfortunately, my (in my defence the drugs I was on and being just after the op.!) my response was "considerable pain doc.? I was in f*****g agony!...lol luckily she saw the funny side and said, "yes I think it must have been how you described sir!"

    Since having it out though, Its been brilliant since...no pain whatsoever.

    I think I was in hospital for about 3 or 4 days, With keyhole I gather its in and out the same day.
    Iím on 4 Tramadol a day with my hip, Iím still driving and drinking. Had 6 months of codeine and that was dire.
    But stones have got to be the worst. I empathise with those having and dealing with them.


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  19. #19
    Master
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    Almost a year to the day when I doubled up in pain over 4 nights, it felt like someone was squeezing my stomach.
    The pain only happened in the evening/night time which was perplexing.
    I went to A&E by myself at 5am, a couple of hours of waiting around before I got a scan.
    The doctor confirmed I had gallstones but the bigger issue was the growth/polyps on my gallbladder, the doctor said they will schedule an operation for removal but still awaiting a date. I take it there are more important operations the rest of the public need before mine.
    Got given morphine for instant pain relief and a weeks worth of co-dydramol to take home, in the last 12 months I've had 3 minor flair ups which I use over the counter medicine (co-codamol).

  20. #20
    Master
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    Gallstones, been there. Rushed to hospital with suspected heart attack. The pain, oh god the pain! Mine were small so I could feel the excruciating pain move from my chest down the bile duct.

    Keyhole surgery, awful shoulder pain for 4 days due to the inflation of torso with co2 (think it was co2), equivalent to mild 'bends'. Wound became infected due to spill of infected bile during removal.

    One attack halfway up the A9. Out of car hanging off the roof bars thinking I was dying!!

  21. #21
    Master
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    One other option that I donít think itís been mentioned so far is an endoscopy.
    After about a year and two individual A&E overnight stays the hospital finally diagnose my father with gallstones he was very very poorly by the time they worked out what was going on and had stopped eating they diagnosed that gallstone was lodged in the bile duct of the gallbladder
    He had it removed via an endoscopy Procedure, this is a small tube with some kind of grabbing device on the end that is inserted down your throat whilst youíre heavily sedated.
    They also inserted a stent to hold the bile duct open because it was so swollen it was trying to shut itself.
    He is much better now but heís going back in to have another stone removed that they couldnít reach because of the closed swollen bile duct.

  22. #22
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yorkshiremadmick View Post
    Iím on 4 Tramadol a day with my hip, Iím still driving and drinking. Had 6 months of codeine and that was dire.
    But stones have got to be the worst. I empathise with those having and dealing with them.


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    You aren't wrong! The pain was terrible! It always seemed to "hit me" , in the early hours of the morning, and would last hours....Some have mentioned, being in a foetal position was "some tiny" relief...For me I used to end up on all fours like a bloody dog! That eased the pain maybe 0.0000001% ! It was something though!

    The first time I had the "pain"..i honestly thought I was about to die! Horrible pain, I've seen online the pain being mentioned as "similar" to giving birth! Thank god I'm not a female is all I can say!

    In truth, I "only" had the "pains" about 8 - 10 times over maybe 3 years....The op. was one of the best things Ive ever had! As regards to not having that pain again!

  23. #23
    Master Christian's Avatar
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    Gallstones/Kidney Stones sounds horrendous...is there a lifestyle factor for these or is it just bad luck? I'm assuming reading that a 17-year old gets them then there is a certain amount of randomness for getting them?

  24. #24
    Grand Master TheFlyingBanana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian View Post
    Gallstones/Kidney Stones sounds horrendous...is there a lifestyle factor for these or is it just bad luck? I'm assuming reading that a 17-year old gets them then there is a certain amount of randomness for getting them?

    As it was explained to me, it's mostly just luck. There are certain foods (broccoli among them) that may have some minor link, but some people are just more prone to them than others. Apparently if you have a kidney stone once, you have a 50% chance of another within ten years. There is some limited evidence that drinking strong dilute lemon juice may help prevent or slow the formation over time.

    A friend of mine who has had two children, and kidney stones tells me without hesitation that the kidney stones were far worse than childbirth...
    So clever my foot fell off.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Christian View Post
    Gallstones/Kidney Stones sounds horrendous...is there a lifestyle factor for these or is it just bad luck? I'm assuming reading that a 17-year old gets them then there is a certain amount of randomness for getting them?
    I believe that it's women in their 30s to 40s who are most likely to suffer from them (IIRC), after that it's just bad luck. I was advised to avoid heavily fatty and oily foods after I was diagnosed as this means that the gallbladder is less active (it stores and secretes bile that breaks down said fats/oils) though I'm not so sure that eating such food is responsible for creating the stones in the first place.

    Edit to add I'm referring to gallstones, not kidney stones.

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