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Waiting for a Gall Bladder Operation..How long??

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Posted (edited)

I've had a total nightmare.  I passed a gallstone on 26 September.  How do I know ? Because my urine turned brown as dark as tea and my stools were clay coloured - TMI but nevertheless proves the common bile duct was blocked for a short period.  I foolishly did not attend hospital (the GP afterwards told me this is what morphine was for....!) because it was the middle of the night and I did not want to wake the household up.

 

GP surgery (nightmare receptionist assuming the mantle of importance of her employers) was no help when I asked for advice and the hostile power crazed receptionist did not fit me in for an emergency appointment so the first appt was 4 days later when the GP said stay on a low fat diet and made the usual referrals.  At no point was I told not to head off out of the area or to stay near to hospitals OR, more importantly that if I had passed a gallstone then it was highly likely that I'd finish up with an infected gallbladder.  Two weeks later I went away on a short break within the UK, 150 miles away and finished up in the local Hicksville hospital which at least served to remind me of the joy of being near to both NGH and the Hallamshire.  I was on IV antibiotics and opiates for several days.

 

I have attended every single appointment I have been given. But STILL everything drags on and today it's now the 7th January 2020 and I am still in stasis waiting waiting waiting and  no idea when the wretched thing is going to be taken out. 

 

I was ultrasounded on 14 Oct in Hicksville which showed a damaged and infected gallbladder packed with stones and a common bile duct that had stretched to well beyond the 6mm it should be, and then I attended NGH for them to ultrasound me on 8 November when  they discovered the common bile duct had stretched even further and was over twice the width it should be.

 

Needless to say I look and feel terrible most of the time and Christmas has been a joy (not).

 

My first consultation in Sheffield was on 20 November.  Now I'm not stupid.  I know they will not operate if the wretched thing is infected but now, I've had an MRI scan (this took place on 7 Dec) which needed to be done to see if there were any stones in the bile duct.  What I cannot get my head round is that it's now a month later and there might be stones in the duct now that were not there before.  I've got another outpatients appointment on 29 January and I've already been told the wretched thing has to be removed (yippee) AND I have no other health problems which mean I cannot be operated upon so my question to the NHS is why the sweet Jesus is it taking so flipping long ???

 

It's now 14 weeks since passing the stone and I am still no further forward in getting a date for the operation and it drags on.

 

The worst thing is that I also need my knee replacing and the ortho consultant will not touch me for 4 months after the gallbladder operation because he has to be positive there is no infection whatsoever in my body before he does the operation on the knee so my life is on hold and to say I am VERY pi**ed off does not even come close - I've not even got a date for the pre operative assessment.

 

I'm beyond fed up.

 

Once I have had the wretched thing removed I will post again so that anyone querying how long it takes from initial consultation to final removal will be able to plan their lives - when I have asked the question of how long will it be I have been answered without clarity.  Trust me I will be asking some very direct questions on the 29 January when I attend hospital.  They should have managed my expectations more proactively.  If I'd know there was going to be a 3 or 4 month wait I would have accepted it but the not knowing is driving me crackers.

Edited by PATHFINDER
grammar mistake

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Hi Pathfinder,If you have had an infected Gall Bladder then your wait will be longer than if you had not,i know this as my husband and I was on holiday in Corfu the end of June last year and we hadn't been there 24 hours when he was rolling about in agony and to cut a long story short he was taken into a private clinic in Corfu town to be put on IV antibiotics and that's where he stayed for the rest of our holiday only to be let out 3 hours before we flew home,i was at the other side of the Island alone and had to travel there and back every day at a cost of 80 euros each way in a taxi.We did not know he had gallstones and for 3 days we didn't know what the problem was,then when they did find out they wanted to operate there and then but thankfully our insurance wouldn't allow it as they said the infection had to be delt with 1st,so we came home and he eventually got the operation to remove the gall bladder at the beginning of December,the consultant said his body needed to recover from the infection before they would operate so im guessing this is why you are not getting your op just yet.We not only had that holiday ruined but it was our 25th wedding anniversary in Sept when we were going to CYprus for 2 weeks and we were advised not to go (the insurance would have been through the roof anway ).At the end of the day hubby is now fit and well and has returned t work and im thankful that he had the op here and not over in Corfu.

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As has been stated above, the infection from an acute episode has to be treated and the body has to recover before elective surgery can be considered. If surgery happens too quickly the patient is at risk of sepsis which is a very serious and sometimes fatal condition.

The surgeons are right to wait - albeit inconvenient for the patient. They will not be able to give a definite date for surgery as every patient is different and safety for the patient has to be the main consideration.

Edited by Daven

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First of all, Deelightful4, my sincerest sympathy for the nightmare you described.  It must have been utterly ghastly.  I consider myself lucky that I passed my gallstone three days after I'd returned from Greece.  I'm very glad your husband is fit and well now.  However extra thanks for your timescale description which makes me feel almost suicidal. (see below for the pain I am in and not only from the gallbladder).  But at least it gives me an idea of how many holidays and courses I have to cancel 😟

 

Daven - thank you also for your reply - I am aware that the gallbladder is an exceptionally "dirty' organ (these are a medic's words, not mine) but my course of antibiotics finished almost three months ago and I've had endless blood tests and even an MRI scan since.  I always ask if there are any concerns or irregularities in my blood tests results and the answer currently is No, everything is fine.  Surely if I was still full of infection (the bloods would show this) then they would have prescribed more antibiotics, and in any case, I felt utterly diabolical when the gallbladder was infected such that I slept all the time so I am sure it's cleared up by now, since I am active (not withstanding my wretched knees see below).  The reason patience is not (at present) my strong suit is because both knees are incredibly painful and need replacing but, of course, not only will they not touch them before the gallbladder, but also not for a long time after the gallbladder operation because of the risk of deep bone infection (obviously, despite the pain I fully understand this).  My biggest beef is the lack of management of my expectations.  If someone had said (as you imply by saying it is difficult to tell how long) "Once your course of antibiotics is completed then we have to wait (hypothetically) three months to ensure no further infection occurs "  or if someone had given me ANY INKLING WHATSOEVER of the amount of time I'd have to wait then that would have helped me to deal with the daily agony of knee pain (to say nothing of how generally unwell the gallbladder makes one feel).  This started on 26 September 2019 - it's almost four months (and almost 3 months since antibiotics finished) on from this now and I still have no idea how long it will be till the wretched thing is going to be removed.

 

I am grateful to both of you for taking the time to reply.

 

In fact, just to be clear, if someone had said (as was the case with poor Deelightful4's husband) that it will be 5 full months before they would touch me then at least I would have been able to plan my life and not be looking day after day for a hospital letter with an appointment.

 

But as before I am grateful to both of you for taking the time to reply.

 

Thinking about it - all things must pass !! I need to relax and just let the NHS take it's course. 

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I believe its a maximum of 18 weeks I had a halrar hemmofhoid surgery saw the surgeon in April had a sigmoidoscopy then  a follow docs appointment then told it was surgery had it 4 weeks later. 

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Oh we had a nightmare when we got back from Corfu as we were told my husband would be able to have the operation done straight away therefore allowing us to go to Cyprus for our anniversary,but as the days went along we heard nothing and we were ringing up most days to see if he could get a cancellation but eventually we were told that no way would he be allowed to have the operation so soon and therefore we had to cancel the Cyprus holiday,his consultants secretary was the most helpful lady and she sorted it all out for us and explained that we should never have been told in first place that he would get the operation so soon as it was just too risky,but we had a holiday to cancel and luckily she got us a letter to say he wasn't fit to fly and therefore we only lost a small percentage of the holiday.

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I had my gallbladder removed 4 weeks ago at NGH.

At the initial consultation with the surgeon i was told that I would have my operation within 6 weeks. When 6 weeks were over without any communication from the hospital I phoned them up. Two days later they sent me the date. 

 

The procedure went well, the staff were excellent and i returned home that same evening.

 

I wanted it done at Hallamshire but was told that they don't do this procedure there.

 

I have had no problems since the procedure and can't praise the hospital staff enough. Everyone was so good, caring and made me feel comfortable throughout. Thank God for the NHS.

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Chimi I am glad yours was straightforward - as Deelightful 4 points out - when the gallbladder is infected then the rules are completely different, hence my long wait and Dee's husband's long wait too.

Dee you certainly did have a rough time of it - especially having to cancel the special holiday in Cyprus.  Your posts have helped me to understand about the infection issue so thanks for this.

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Pathfinder im glad Ive been able to help albeit in a small way,its always good to talk with someone who as actually been through it,i hope you wont be waiting to much longer,i will say the 1st date we got was cancelled due to an emergency but he got another date I think it was the following month.

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