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Victim Statements

  • At age 48, I had my gall bladder out last July after two attacks, one year apart from one another. I never felt any pain from my gallbladder, just that searing pain across the roof of my stomach and through to my back. Pain I couldn’t wish away or roll over from. The Emergency Room docs found gallstones on the second trip, attributing “Muscular/Skeletal Problems” to the first attack. I went ahead with the surgery several weeks later after hearing about the gallbladder being a “Redundant Organ Incidental To the Liver” nonsense. I never started feeling better. I lost 20 pounds fretting before and after the surgery, and didn’t feel much like eating anyway. I’d go from starving to nauseous in two seconds. I kept a positive attitude and started exercising a bit, going for walks and such, trying to help the healing process along, figuring it’d be over soon. Hah! Then the panic attacks started which I’d never had before. They suck. Along with that came hypoglycemic attacks which we’ve all experienced before, but mine made my muscles hurt for days. Like I had the flu. Plus, they’d happen sometimes an hour after eating. I don’t go ANYWHERE now without an apple or two in my pocket. I gained all the weight I’d lost back PLUS 20 pounds for good measure while eating MUCH BETTER and LESS than I had before the surgery. Even before the surgery, I was addressing my diet, eating more fruit and vegs and cutting out the junk. A little too little too late I suppose for my gallbladder. My energy level has nose dived, the stomach bloating is horrific. Like somethings inside pushing out. I’ve been overweight before but this feels different than that. My stomach and intestines make noise like there’s a “Godzilla” movie playing in my colon. Where I didn’t have gallbladder pain before, I sure have it now. Last year at this time, I was blissfully unaware of my liver, its location and it’s functions. I could teach a class now. Acid reflux. Fog. High blood pressure. Heart racing up then back down. Cramping in my stomach and intestines. Diarrhea. Some days are fair, other days like the last two or three are like I’m being burned alive on the inside. I’ve taken Probiotics (still am), mint, Prilosec which is a joke and even on really bad stretches have dug into my Oxycodone prescription to help with my “Post Surgery Pain”, which now that I think about it is what I’m still having, just to have a day off from the pain. My CT scan results came back normal today, so I don’t have anything life threatening. I have something that’s life compromising. Trouble is, I’m becoming aware that these symptoms mimic symptoms that could be the result of a deadly illness and as I’m pushing 50, I’m starting to wonder to what lengths I’ll have to go to to ensure I don’t have anything life threatening in the future without seeming like a complete paranoiac. A CAT scan every year instead of a routine physical? My GP still doesn’t know what’s going on. I don’t want to go out to eat or do much of anything right now. I’m slowly learning through these kinds of forums that there’s no set formula for diets, meds, exercises and the like that will serve as a cure all for all of these symptoms. While I used to have a “Good Week” once in a while, lulling me into a false sense of “finally that’s behind me”, I now have a good day or two every couple of weeks and am thankful for those, realizing it won’t last and just get what I can done NOW while I’m not on the john or on the couch sleeping it off the best I can. Frankly, I felt better when I smoked and ate poorly tha I do now. Ironic. I’m going to try several of the ideas posted here and steer toward a Holistic approach for symptom control and keep the GP on the peripheral, not dismiss him entirely. I believe I’m going to be living with this for a very long time. I’d better make friends with it and learn how to deal with it any way I can.

    Just found this site. I had my GB removed Dec. 26, 2012 (about4weeks ago) and have had pain since. Numerous follow up doctor visits and calls, bloodwork and even another CAT scan show everything is OK (thank god) but why pain? Feel pressure along my bra line and sometimes it circles to my back and right side. Also, left upper arm and 2 fingers on left hand kinda tingle (already had a cardiac work up and stress test all OK). Also middle of chest hurts. Can’t eat a lot though I try and have lost weight. . Do not eat any fatty foods. Also discomfort where esophagus is. Gastro said acid reflux!!! Sometimes I wonder if GB surgery was right for me even when it was functioning at 9%. Kinda scares me that this could be my life and I feel so sad for my loved ones who have to deal with my quality of life now. No one tells you about this feeling…u only hear that surgery was the best thing I did and i was up and about in a few days!I wish I had a doctor who REALLY cared just like the ones on TV. Some doctors dont even call you back. I am so relieved to have found this site…your posts comfort me but I feel sad for all of us. Waiting to hear from you!

    • This reply was modified 4 years ago by  admin.

    I had my gall bladder removed in March, 2012 as an emergency surgery. The doctors told me that if I didn’t have it done I would die. I had so many gall stones that the Doctors were astonished that I hadn’t had any symptoms before then. I like many others do not and did not eat a high fat diet. I rarely ate fast food or fried foods, and my husband has eaten those things on a regular basis with no problems; so it isn’t all associated with diet. I’m glad that diet changes have helped some of you but to those of whom it hasn’t–I feel your pain. While I don’t have heartburn issues like many of you; I have continuously had the same pain as when I had the “gall bladder attack” to a lesser degree. It has been so horrible that my doctor has put me on a “base 1 diet” (that’s what he called it). Brief description: no dairy, no oils, little to no saturated or transfats, and no grease (ie nothing fried–ever); I know it doesn’t sound like that much change, but it really is when you think about it. I virtually can’t eat meats, fish and chicken/poultry are my basic options; venison is a good alternative to beef for me since it is very low in fat. I also have to add miralax to a drink everyday (for the rest of my life it seems) and eat foods that are high in fiber. I can’t eat cheese, drink milk, or have anything with those in it. I have this sharp abdominal pain in the upper right quadrant of my abdomen accompanied with nausea (sometimes vomiting), bloating, gas, and a recent development of the past 3-4 weeks has been bouts with dizziness and syncope that have only increased in occurance and intensity. These problems have only began occurring since my surgery. So, I know I had to have this surgery because my gall bladder was inflammed and infected due to blockage from the stones, and I had been symptom free, but it still *****. They tied the development of these stones to my pregnancies, by the way. Worse part about it all, now, is I don’t have insurance anymore and can’t go see a doctor about any longer. My doctor had started to run tests right before I got a letter saying that my insurance was getting cancelled. He ran a basic blood test, which came back normal, and an ultrasound showing fluid retention in the pelvic region and slight swelling of the pancreas. He’s a great doctor, I just can’t afford to pay for it in order to be seen. So here’s to hoping that something works out soon for all of us. And in the mean time if I find anything helpful, I will post about it here.

    “I too under went Gall Blader removal March http://lifewithnogallbladder.com/forums/topic/operation-complications/, 2006. My surgeron told me maybe this would help me with my diarreah problem. It was Tuesday and he told me he could do the surgery that week if I wanted. I told him great its spring break and I am due to start my final semester of college on Monday. And the one thing I wanted was to be able to sit through my graduation without the worry of having to run potty again. So Thursday we drove all the way to Austin, Texas from San Antonio. Cause I worked in Austin, so that is where my doctors were. It was a quick easy and pretty painless surgery. Went home and instantly began to feel very sick. Throwing up, couldn’t eat, massive pain. My boyfriend told me that I was being a wooz cause I had never had surgery since my tubal in 1http://lifewithnogallbladder.com/forums/topic/operation-complications/87. Said that I needed to just rest. I knew it wasn’t the case but I decided I would just wait another day. On Saturday I begged him to take me to the ERand he said oh I will call your surgeon and talk to him. Which he did do like 4 times. Every time the surgeon telling him it was all normal. Finally Monday, morning I grabbed him and pleaded PLEASE HELP ME, something is wrong. Finally with anger in his voice he took me to the ER. Where they diagnosed me after 12 hours of test and more test that I had the flu. I was like noooooooooo, I know something is wrong. But I went home anyway. Finally, Tuesday morning I went back to work feeling like a mac truck had run me over. Drove 50 miles to work, then took my lunch went down to the surgerons office with test results from the ER. And begged his nurse to have him see me. Which he did. And instantly I could see concern in his eyes. I was white as a ghost and sick as a dog or 10 dogs. He said where will you be in 15 mins I said back to work what choicce do I have. Fifteen mins later he called and said I think I have cut your liver bile duct and this could be a matter of life and death. I was like OMG. But he said I can’t get you in for testing till tomorrow. Wow life or death I thought. Not knowing anything about this bile flowing into my system, I went back to work for the day. Drove home and the next day came back for an ERCP. Which they spent 12 hours trying to get the scope down me but of course cause of the damage to the duct, they were unable to get the scope down to check it out. So they ran an ultrasound and an MRI. Determined yup probably cut liver bile duct. Can you believe they sent me home and said we will call you in the in a few hours. So 1am and 13-14 hours later and 50 miles to drive we went home. At http://lifewithnogallbladder.com/forums/topic/operation-complications/am the original surgeon called me said don’t go anywhere, I am sending you to the Liver Transplant Hospital in San Antonio. The surgeon from there will be calling you within 15 mins. Which he did. Said do not pass go do not collect $200 get here now. The more walking around you do the more bile leaks into your system. Wow they tell me now after a week of walking around and working and running to ER and the doctor.

    So on my way to the hospital I stopped and brought a dress cause I couldn’t fit into any clothes, stopped by my school cause they were going to drop me if I didn’t sit in my classes the first week. So I had to sit in my class for an hour. Which the teacher said OMG get out of here I will credit you get to the hospital before you die. They said I already looked like death warmed over.

    So we got to the hospital thinking ok I be in for a few days and back to school and back to being me again. Was I ever so wrong. Got there on Thursday @ 1pm was admitted to the Liver transplant unit @ 4pm and http://lifewithnogallbladder.com/forums/topic/operation-complications/pm they were running an ERCP AGAIN. They felt they were experts at this and hopefully they could tell more from this test. Well 7 hours later and digging down my throat again they failed. So on Friday morning this huge team of doctors came in and said well here is the scoop.

    There is a 3 case scenario here going to happen.
    1) No biggie small surgery go home next day
    2) Little worse bigger surgery and go home in a few days
    3) Worse case scenario massive major reconstructive insides and go home in about a month.

    Well Saturday morning came. And in came the team of doctors. And unfortunately they didn’t have good news for me Said that the worse case scenario is what I will be facing. So on Monday a hepaticojejunostomy (Roux-Y) was the method of repair. I was in the hospital for almost a month. $180k plus in bills. And since then I am exhausted. Didn’t get to graduate in the semester I had worked so hard for. But I did graduate the following September instead of June. But since my parents had just come to Texas for my surgery in case I died. They were unable to come for my graduation, which was devasting to me.

    And what really throws salt into my wounds, is that the doctor who performed the originally surgery sent me to collections for $166.20. Can you freaking believe that.

    I lost my job, my insurance, my graduation date, my sense of humor. I am angry and tired all the time. I am not the person I was prior to my surgery. And depression sat in so bad I tried to commit suicide. To find out that depression is a complication of major surgery.

    I have finally found an attorney out Houston, Texas that is more about people than he is money. Cause with the new tort reform act the cap on any malpractice lawsuit is $250k and with $180k in medical bills the other attorneys tell me it isn’t financially feasible for them to take my case.

    So how was your year?

    Susan Heeres In Schertz, Texas”

    “I agree with you 100%! I had my gall bladder removed in 1http://lifewithnogallbladder.com/forums/topic/operation-complications/http://lifewithnogallbladder.com/forums/topic/operation-complications/2, and the Doctor’s never said a thing about side effects. I had diarrea for 13 years afterwards and it still comes and goes. It affected my ability to think and many times i feel very dizzy and it feels like a dry drunk. I to feel extremely tired sometimes exhausted! I believed having my g/b removed was my biggest mistake i ever made! Dr’s want the money and doen’t give a sh*t! All they care about is buying that new car! I had diarrea prior to haing my g/b removed and new very little about nutrition. A change in my diet would have corrected my problem. We have to remember that doctor’s know very little about nutrition, this is a given! They don’t want to know about it either! It keeps them in a flux of ignorance and makes them lots of money. I am still suffering alot! Ever time i eat, i get sick and instantly get alergy reactions. I am always in a stupper or foggy. I know this for a fact, because when i get up in the morning i am usually alright and feel just like i use to before i got the removal. Sometimes i wait as long as i can to eat to dampend the reaction to the food i eat. I now have a fatty liver, could this be another consequence? My sister in-law had her g/b removed and she now has a fatty liver also. It is estimated that about a million people per year get there G/b removed! The medical establishment continues to make the $$$$, and aren’t interested in wellbeing.

    I seems that they have done it to us again! For years i have suffered. Right after the surgery i visited the doctor for the second time and told him how different i felt and just wasn’t the same person. He told me not to return! G/B’s are there for a reason, dispite what doctors say! It should not be removed unless totally necessary! A change in diet will usually correct the diarrea prior to removing it. Stay away from milk and milk products, that will help alot! I am old now and suffered a great deal, since the medical establishment gave me the finger. They are untrustworthy, remember about the labotomies they use to perform! Removing a portion of the brain willl make you less crazy! Sure it will!”

    “In A British court, HOW much money is paid out usually for a gallbladder surgery gone wrong

    I’m currently in Litigation and my attorney is saying at best I would get 5 thousand pounds

    My husband suffered at the hands of a bad surgery

    My husband had a situation where the local hospital did not tell us of any complications during a routine gallbladder surgery. On the discharge form it says No Complications. He was taken to A&E 2 times. First time Triaged 2nd time admitted with bile leaks. Due to it was the weekend we were told Sorry the Ultrasound department is now closed. He had to wait a further 2 days to get treatment. On the monday he was given an ultraound and found he did not have 1 bile leak but 2. I, His wife was told nothing would be done on this day and told to go home for the evening, That evening the hospital took him for futher surgery and did not ring me. My husband, rang me on the next morning and told me himself that he had, had more surgery. That same morning a doctor saw me and explained that he was OK now and would be home in a few days. Which was incorrect. My husband, Nigel had trainage tubes put in his abdomin at the 2nd surgery and was left to heal himself. No problem was fixed yet at that time. The next mornng he was taked to endoscopy and given an ERCP, due to he was so ill they were not able to sedate him well enough and he was tramatized. Being distraught I stood over him and said No more, I then ordered to see anyone of authroity in the hospital and made a real fuss to get him moved to the Hospital in Oxford. Which they did do 4 days later. I did contact the media and tell them about this story and the horror of the treatment I felt my husband had experianced. Then and only then did the Orignal Surgeon come and speak to my husband, Not ever speaking to me. Finally he was moved to another Hospital where he was given many bags of plasma and also another surgery and told he was very ill. He spent 3 days in ICU and then returned to a normal ward. Approx 3 weeks later he was released with tubes outside his body to keep the new tubes that the surgeon at the other hospital had constructed. In December the tubes were removed. In July of 2005 My husband then went threw another surgery to repair a hernia from the orginal surgery.

    This has been horrid experiance. I do have an attorney that I’ve been talking to for the last 2 years. However I am not happy with them. What advice can you give and what is the maximum payout that I can obtain for such a case.

    Any websites anyone can give me in refrence to cases won like this. PLEASE help.. Thank You”

    I had my gallbladder removed almost 2 years ago, The doctors don’t tell you all the problems you will have afterwards. If i have plans to go out i cannot eat or drink anything for atleast a day prior to the day i am going out. And i certainly DO NOT eat or drink while i am out. I get severe pains where my gallbladder was. I was told that is my liver, or phantom gallbladder pains. I have no energy, sometimes every bone in my body hurts. I catch every cold or bug that’s going around. I don’t drink any kind of alcohol I don’t drink anything carbonated and i watch what i eat, but none of that has stopped the diarrhea or the chronic pain. In fact I was in the hospital for 3 days, due to uncontolled high blood pressure. And the doctor suggested I might have crohns disease but his discussion of it ended there. He gave me a script for my blood pressure and zoloft, as he said the pains were a sign of depression. I took the zoloft for a week. It had me shaking and very nervous, like i was waiting for something bad to happen. I didn’t have those feelings before the zoloft, so I stopped taking it. I don’t think depression was the correct diagnosis. I would just like to find someone to give me the answers I need. And i would like to have my life back.

    “I had my gall bladder removed 3/23/07 and I’m have back pain and it goes up to my shoulder. I also have a burning feeling inside on the right. I thought I was going to feel so much better and I’m a little disappointed.
    I get really tired in the afternoon. I’m not sure whether to go back to
    the doctor b/c they sometimes act like it’s all in your head. Hopefully after
    a few more weeks, I’ll be feeling better, but from these other postings, I’m
    not sure. I am on Prevacid for acid reflux.”

    My surgeon had not warned me about drinking avoiding alcohol. Well I drank a week after my surgery, and only had 2 beers before I had an attack. My pain was so bad and alarming that night that I went to the ER. They gave me a shot and put a heated blanket on my upper abdomen. I went to my surgeon the next week for a check up. I told him about my visit to the ER. He explained the cause of it to me a little. It is the sphincter of oddi that reacts to the alcohol. He said that this sphincter will spasm and shoot bile back up my chest and thats why it hurts so bad. He recommended that I not drink for 6 months and that if I have an attack that I use a heating pad. It has now been 2 years since my surgery and I still have these muscle spasms. I do not know what to do about them and they are quite annoying.

    “anybody have an urge sense of a law passing?
    It sounds to me that none of us was informed by our Doctors all the disadvanges of living life without a gall bladder. All we hoped was everything will be same plus no more pain, a perfect life after our gall to be removed.

    we all felt we were betrayed by our Doctors.

    we all understand that the decision is ours, but we will make different decisions if all the consequences are made well known and reviewed before the surgery.

    for those who have options to live life with a gall bladder and with some pain, we should stand up to have a law passed.

    Any thoughts on that?

    Thank!
    I had my gall bladder taken out last week and got home found this site and read every single post, I felt all of our irreversible pain, regret.

    we at least can save some people’s pain dwon the road if we stand up now.”

    This last year, I had horrible pain at the upper stomach and went to the doctor, after many tests, it was determined that my Gall Bladder was not working at it’s best. Six months later, same problem, but with more pain, went to the ER, they determined I did not have Gall stones, gave me strong pain medicane, went home. I just had my Gall Bladder out about 3 months ago, hoping that that was that. Not true. First the Doctor tells me that it is gastritis and to take Prilosec OTC and Gas Ex and that will settle my stomach. Last night I had the same horrible pain in the upper stomach. Took some strong pain pill and just sat it out. Can’t afford another visit to the ER for strong pain medicine. I thought this was supposed to be over and now the same pain. I live in fear each day if that pain will come back. Have another appointment with the doctor. I feel like I’m living in hell.

    I sure wish I knew any of this last year when I had the emergency removal of my gallbladder. My Dr./surgeon provided no information at all except him telling me that my bowel movements might change a little. I feel like an id**t. Thank you for so much information.

    “I had my gall bladder removed 6 weeks ago. Since then I have put on a stone in weight and my hair is thick with grease, even after washing, my skin has mass outbreak of spots and my nails have broken and won’t regrow. The hospital dietician and my GP believe that my body has reacted badly to the operation and are testiing my vitamin and thyroid levels.

    I feel a bit cheated though, I was told before the operation you didnt need your gall bladder and that nothing would be any different. Oh yeah, and pigs fly.”

    “I had my gall bladder removed a month ago at the age of 1http://lifewithnogallbladder.com/forums/topic/operation-complications/. My nurse and other members at the hospital told me to return to a normal diet, however, my consultant advised a very very low fat diet, avoiding red meat and exchange carbonated drinks for lots of water, as not having a gall bladder reduces the digestion of fats! I took this advice strictly and also research other recommended diets online.
    I have lost a 21lbs and feel so much more healthier.
    I realize i’m only a month in, not really long term but this has allowed me to change my lifestyle, having gained weight due to gall stones. A definite turning point!”

    “ascites post op gall bladder removal
    My surgery was on 4/24/12. I dropped to my knees six days later. After being treated like an addict and psych patient at two different hospitals, the third one finally admitted me with an ascites. I was in such bad shape so the gi Dr didn’t even do the hydascan, he just went and put the stent in. I had lost ten pounds after I left the hospital, so angry at the Dr that butchered my insides when he carelessly removed my gall bladder, fighting with short term disability, can’t go back to work in the ambulance where I work till I’m strong enough to list 150lbs and the pain that I’m still having is breaking me down. The drs won’t prescribe pain meds becauaw they do think the pain is in my head and is all psych related. Little do they know. I have a law degree, psych degree and four months away from being a paramedic. I work for the same hospital that treated me like less than a person and failed to diagnose an obvious medical emergency. With all these similar stories I have just read, they are only tools for my case to get justice for all of us!!! Everyone, I will do my best!! This healthcare system and our government needs a goodbutcher job just like we had. By the way, my abdomen started filling up with fluid again. I am 5’http://lifewithnogallbladder.com/forums/topic/operation-complications/”. Only 128lbs and look five months pregnant. Hope to make it through the day, Friday morning is when the gi dr takes the stent out”

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