Pregnancy & Birth Clubs <
02/05/2014 at 11:51
After 8 weeks of horrendous pain I finally persuaded my GP to send me for a scan of my gallbladder and hey presto, I have gallstones! :( I am waiting to be referred (presumably to a specialist) but wondered if any ladies had experience of gallstones, and how it was treated? I am getting fairly regular attacks (well - weekly, which to me feels regular enough!) and they are very debilitating, although the scan showed that my bile duct wasn't blocked and the gall bladder itself isn't inflamed, so I'm not sure whether they will suggest surgery or not.
I'd prefer they did in a way as I can't look after T when I'm suffering and frankly, it blumin' hurts! On the flipside, I had such a struggle to get BF established and would be concerned that surgery meant a week off from feeding T, and that it would be difficult to care for him while I'm recovering. And also, even if it's keyhole surgery, it's still surgery! :/
I haven't actually seen a consultant yet so they may tell me I have no say either way, but would be grateful if anyone has any experiences, if they could share as I'm feeling a bit lost with it. Thanks very much!
02/05/2014 at 15:00
Hi Rose, I was diagnosed with gallstone when I was around 5 months pregnant after also persuading my doctor to send me for a scan. The pain during attacks was horrendous, I had a 1.5 year old at the time too although fortunately in a way most of my attacks tended to happen in the middle of the night.
I had my appointment with the surgeon to discuss removal when I was about 6-7 months and it was agreed that I'd have them and my gall bladder removed about 3 months after delivery to allow BFing to be established (as it happened this didn't work out for us, so in the end that wasn't an issue). I had the op just before lunchtime and could have left that evening but I had been sick a couple of times and decided to stay overnight just in case. I had a few days of discomfort but I was more or less back to normal after about a week, although I did have to try and avoid heavy lifting for a few weeks - not easy with anew baby and toddler!
If I can help with any more queries please let me know.
02/05/2014 at 15:33
02/05/2014 at 16:40
Thank you both, it's really helpful to hear from people who've gone through similar!
I do have a few questions if that's okay!
Debbydoo did you 'just' (I put that in apostrophes because it's not 'just' in my book, it hurts!) suffer from the biliary colic attacks or other stuff like blocked bile ducts? I'm just wondering if they will recommend surgery for me as I don't have the other stuff that can come alongside gallstones, but what I do have is very painful nonetheless!
Trifle,I hope this isn't too personal a question but why was it after the surgery you couldn't bf anymore?
Have either of you had any side effects of the surgery? Are you glad you had it done?
02/05/2014 at 16:53
I'm not sure if I had blocked bile ducts?! My attacks mostly consisted of pain starting in my chest and going round to my back, I'd often be sick with it and could only really wait for the pain to pass, they often lasted for quite a few hours.
I'm so glad that I had the surgery. The attacks were the most painful things I've ever experienced, including having 2 children! I had read a lot of things on various medical pages and forums beforehand about side effects but luckily I haven't experienced any.
02/05/2014 at 18:12
Sounds similar to me, thanks Debbydoo. I guess I'll wait and see what the consultant says…!
03/05/2014 at 01:13
03/05/2014 at 01:14
03/05/2014 at 15:31
Thanks Trifle, that is reassuring - had another attack last night (albeit a minor one but still painful) and made my mind up there and then that if I get offered the surgery I'm having it!
03/05/2014 at 17:29
03/05/2014 at 20:10
Oh good idea thanks! I read somewhere I should avoid high-cholesterol meals. Although I'm pretty ignorant on diet stuff so need to work out what those actually are… I'm guessing it's all the yummy unhealthy food!!
03/05/2014 at 20:26
Keeping a food diary is a good idea. For me it seemed to be red meat that was a trigger. I think other common ones can be dairy products and bread but everyone's different.
Although I was probably guilty of generally having a bad diet so that couldn't have helped !
03/05/2014 at 20:31
Hi! I've had gallstones and had the op as well. The op is ok, I was a bit sore for a few days after but not too bad. I would really recommend trying to eat a low fat diet as it's fat and the digestion of fat that usually causes problems. Saying that i did have an attach after eating a salad once. The quality of life with gallstones was pretty rubbish I found as I didn't know when an attack was going to happen, after the op it's so much better. I did get twinges for a while after but nothing too bad. Happy to answer any questions !
03/05/2014 at 20:43
03/05/2014 at 21:12
I think I need to get clued up on non-fatty yummy foods! I will definitely be more careful, it's worth it to avoid that horrible pain. Funnily enough two of the particularly bad attacks have been after big meals (the first- lamb, creamy potatoes and pudding, the second- lamb (again! is that fatty?) roast and rich chocolate puds. Obviously won't be eating like that again….Having said that, did you find you can eat relatively normal now? I think I'll cry if I have to eat a low fat diet forever haha!
It sounds like you are all glad to have that nasty little gall bladder out! Why do we even have it anyway if it's a non-essential organ, pah!
04/05/2014 at 10:42
There are things you can do to cut down on fattiness that become habit, like if we're cooking meat, once it's browned off we drain the fat juices.
Little things like that mean that generally I can eat as I please now, with the exception of clotted creams like the stuff in profiteroles, for some reason they just don't agree with me!
See how you get on with adjusting diet and how that affects symptoms but if they do offer you the op I would think very seriously about it. You don't want flare ups in years to come and the recovery will be easier with a baby than with a toddler running round!
04/05/2014 at 22:23
Thanks Malteasers, we're pretty good when we're cooking at home- I think where we can improve is the naughty treats- McDonalds and the like. Guess those will have to go!
I thought of more Qs (sorry!) How often were you getting attacks, and do you know/were you told, if it's likely to reoccur with subsequent pregnancies, as I understand it can be that which triggers it.
06/05/2014 at 10:31
Rose, I feel your pain, and sympathise completely.
I found out I have gall stones when I was around 32 weeks pregnant, after a couple of weeks in hospital with horrendous pains at the top of my bump. Eventually after turning yellow, they scanned my gall bladder and I had loads of gall stones.
The rest of my pregnancy was spent eating lettuce and drinking water as literally every thing set it off. I was in hospital for the majority of the remainder of my pregnancy and could have been induced at any point. My bloods were so off the scale, I have never been in so much pain in my life. I couldn't have much in the way of pain relief due to being pregnant and was told that removal would only be possible 4 months after birth to allow all organs to move back to their rightful places first.
I was induced at 37 weeks and spent the majority of the the first three weeks of babys life I hospital. One because he has a hole in his heart and two because of gall stone attacks. At points I was being wheeled between wards.
When O was 3 weeks old I had a blocked bile duct again, bloods off the scale and they did an emergency removal. Whilst it cured the pain of the attacks, recovery was almost impossible with a newborn and a two year old. I didn't get to rest like I needed to and so now I suffer with the pain of adhesions now and again.
My advice to you would be to really get some help post op, the better you recover the more successful the op is. You also still should follow a good low fat diet after. As the gallbladder isn't there to break down the fat, if you eat a fatty diet this can give you a really upset tummy which equally isn't nice.
The pain relief is like a light switch though and you will not regret having the op.
Its not just fat that used to set mine off. Sometime things that were acidic also got it going too like onion, cherry tomatoes, strawberries, citrus, fizzy drinks, alcohol. It was a living nightmare.
Good luck to you hun hope you are feeling better soon xxx
06/05/2014 at 12:35
Gosh Munchkin that sounds horrendous!! You poor thing, it sounds like you had a really horrible time of it. It's cruel, I think, that things like this seem to rear the head just before or after childbirth- as if we don't have enough to get on with! I have to say I am not getting attacks every day- more like weekly - and so I am not even sure whether I will meet the 'criteria' for an op… I will update when I've seen the consultant, hopefully won't be too long!
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