web analytics
Gallbladder attack, gallbladder surgery, gallstones

Gallbladder Removal Surgery Sent Me into the Witness Protection

by Deborah Cruz

Ever wonder how it feels to have gallbladder removal surgery? Remember the night when macaroni and cheese almost killed me?  Well, this past Wednesday, I went to the surgeon and had gallbladder removal surgery. I thought, hallelujah, I will finally be out of pain. But maybe I was just naïve and had no idea what I was getting myself into.

We arrived at the hospital at 9 a.m. and I was scheduled for surgery at 10:30 a.m. Yes, I told them I needed an early appointment because I get hangry. They happily obliged. In fact, once I arrived, they took me straight back and prepped me for surgery. I was pretty excited to not feel like I was dying.

Not going to lie, I was a little terrified about gallbladder removal surgery.

But a few weird things happened 1) my great aunt who is almost 90 called me the night before practically in tears to tell me she was praying for me. This is the same woman who is just patiently waiting for her own heart to give out. 2) My neighbor, who is in her 60’s and falling apart before our very eyes asked, “Aren’t you nervous?” (Well, I wasn’t until she asked me.) 3) The Silkwood baths that I was demanded to take the night before and the morning of my surgery. I felt uncertain. I got spooked about the gallbladder removal surgery that I was honestly, looking forward to having.

As soon as I got into my gown, my surgeon and anesthesiologist showed up. They were ready early. Everything got fast-tracked. Cool, I thought, maybe I could be home by lunch. No such luck.

We went back to surgery and, for the first time ever, I went unconscious from the IV pain meds before they even got the chance to tell me to count backward from 10. When I woke up in recovery, I was in lots of pain, completely groggy and somehow had lost 3 hours. I was supposed to be home, but instead, I was still on a gurney and feeling completely out of sorts and in extreme pain.

The worst and most unexpected was the trapped air pain. Oh me, oh my! I knew that during gallbladder removal surgery they were going to pump my stomach full of air to make navigating the laparoscope easier but I had no expectation of the pain that would accompany that trapped air. I fell unconscious when I came home, only to be awoken by a searing pain in my shoulder so fierce that it made childbirth feel like a splinter. I was screaming and crying in pain. I frantically begged the Big Guy to call the surgeon, only to find out that it was normal and expected.

I didn’t sign up for that shit.

No one told me about that, so I’m warning you!

Another fun surprise, I found out my gallbladder was not located where it is supposed to be. Your gallbladder is supposed to be tucked up under your liver, mine somehow had migrated to the middle of my chest. Was I born deformed? Had it moved during one of my pregnancies? Was it twisted? All I know is that even the surgeon was grossed out by it. Things didn’t go as planned or expected.

Is gallbladder surgery the only way to get rid of the issue? Typically, but it depends on your situation. If you are willing to completely overhaul your diet ( I did try this way but it wasn’t feasible for me longterm), sometimes you can mitigate the symptoms. However, for mire severe inflammation cases, removal is the best solution. Unfortunately, if the gallbladder problems are too severe, surgeons may need to drain some of the bile to reduce swelling before gallbladder removal surgery can even be performed.  This could mean being saddled for days or weeks with a catheter and a bag that’ll need changing regularly. It’s imperative to ensure that if this happens, you have access to the right equipment, like Coloplast catheters, during the drainage period. Suffering from gallstones is definitely not easy and very painful. My gallbladder attacks were more unbearable than my unmedicated, Pitocin induced labor and delivery.

Today, we are 5 days post op and it’s been a doozy of a weekend. The surgeon put a transdermal scop patch behind my ear to stop the projectile vomiting. That was nice of him since coughing, projectile barfing, sneezing and hiccupping after having your gallbladder removed, it’s a little excruciating. Only, one problem, I had to take it off after 72 hours. That was a good thing too because the damn thing was making me blind. Seriously, on top of being sore like I had done 1 million sit-ups and higher than a kite on pain pills, I couldn’t even read Facebook. My vision was so blurry that I couldn’t read my phone.

I removed the patch and then my nausea came back with a vengeance. I’m not sure if it’s from the anesthesia, the pain pills or just the change in my digestion from the removal of the gallbladder. All I know is that Zofran was powerless against it so I did what any desperately nauseated person would do, I sent the Big Guy to Walgreens for some motion sickness bands.

Thankfully, I’m feeling a little less nauseated and a little more normal. I’m hoping this means that my health is on the upswing and soon, I won’t have to worry about things like nausea and the label on every single piece of food that I put in my mouth.

Gallbladder Removal Surgery Changed my life

There is one other unexpected side effect, as the tape has begun to come apart from the incision on my belly button, I realized that I did not leave the hospital with the same belly button as I went in with. To be honest, I used to have this adorable little belly button and now, it’s hideous. It may be the swelling but as it stands, I may have to take this ugly thing and go into witness protection; at the very least, I certainly need to take my belly button and go into hiding.

It’s swollen, much larger than it was and, at the risk of being too graphic, it looks like a piece of exposed meat in there. I think some glue has come loose. I’m freaking out. All joking aside, I’m calling my surgeon tomorrow and asking him to take a look because I really don’t think this is what my belly button is supposed to look like after gallbladder removal surgery.

Have you had gallbladder removal surgery? If so, how did it change your life and eating habits?

Gallbladder Surgery Sent Me into Witness Protection
Article Name
Gallbladder Surgery Sent Me into Witness Protection
When gallstones attack and you have to have gallbladder removal surgery to stop the pain. The unexpected side effects that you never anticipated.
Publisher Name

You may also like

Leave a Comment

* By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Jackeline 2018/04/24 - 3:57 am

Hi! I just stumbled upon your story of your journey with your gallbladder removal surgery and I’m currently 5 days post op and thankfully haven’t had any pain unless i sneeze or my family makes me laugh and I can’t hold it in anymore, or Ioce a certain way, What I was wondering is how are you now and what’s your diet like now ? How long did it take you to recover ? Can you still eat some junk foods ? I love junk food but then again that’s why Im here with 4 holes in my stomach . lol

Deborah Cruz 2018/04/26 - 10:57 am

I can eat anything I want. I just keep in mind what food did to my body before so I do try to be more conscious of what I put into my body. Pizza is my downfall and I still eat it. It took me a couple weeks to completely recover and all the soreness go away. Good luck. Glad you’re not in pain anymore.

6 Days Post-Op 2019/04/26 - 12:18 am

I was forced out of the hospital after my surgery but before the blinding pain had been completely addressed. They told me to go pee and when I returned to my room, my bed was gone and there was a wheelchair with an attendant waiting. Well, then. The next day, I called the hospital, sobbing, about how I was treated. The nice lady told me they took my screams for mercy as “drug seeking.”

10/10 don’t recommend this surgery. Find a nice therapist and work the problems you have with your gallbladder out. I really feel like communication could be the trick to making the relationship last, peaceably, for many years.

Merranda 2018/05/01 - 12:14 am

How did you all get rid of the air I am 5 days and I still have pain for the trapped air

Deborah Cruz 2018/05/04 - 1:12 am

Oh I am so sorry. It just sort of worked its way out. Actually, it was gone within a day. You may want to consult your doctor. I think it should have passed by now. Feel better.

Candace Nash 2018/11/23 - 6:24 pm

I’m 6 days out and a bit of a mess, but I think I’m getting better. Except I just looked at my palms and maybe it’s from this screwy vision change, but I could swear that I look a little bit yellow. An MRI was done to be sure that all the stones were out of the bile ducts, and whatever other ducts, I got an all clear. But anyway, everything you described as far as the pain is dead on. Unfortunately, though, I was admitted to the hospital for 5 days to recover. There was so much inflammation that my surgeon needed to be extra sure that he closed everything off correctly by sticking a drainage tube in my side. It made my recovery very pain full, and there was no relief, despite being on a pain medication pump. But once they took the tube out, my pain level started to go down by the hour. I’m at a comfy 4 right now! One thing I’m having a problem with is loose bowels. Wasn’t expecting that either. Does it ever stop?

Judy Price 2018/12/12 - 6:53 am

I just had an almost identical situation, Candace Nash! 5 days in, had a drain pump thing put in too but different reason. I’m so sorry to quote the Docs notes from surgery, “The liver bed wouldn’t stop oozing” Thanks doc, that helps me feel better…lol… I haven’t had any bathroom issues though, most of my few, minor issues have been headaches, and very strange vision abnormalities that just seem to squiggle, or blip, or wave in my peripheral. Most of the time it looks like a rodent or bug scurrying on the outside of my vision. I’m almost 3 weeks post op and the vision weirdness is not seeming to subside at all! The vision changes don’t coincide with my headaches, oddly enough. It’s just once every 5-10 or 20 mins it looks like a rat runs by my side, or maybe a bug over on my left. They aren’t well defined, I’m not hallucinating…lol… these anomolies just move so fast they remind me of vermin type animal movements. Yay me! Lol I do have some vision issues, but I just wear minor prescription glasses, nothing like this at all! Has anyone else experienced such strange vision trouble after?

Judy Price 2018/12/12 - 7:05 am

I’m about 3 weeks post op. I just found out its still possible to get those horrific gallbladder attack pains even after its gone! That would be my luck! Here’s to NONE of us havng that pain with no instigating gallbladder around to cause it!

My vision is acting up for me! Strange peripheral vision anomolies that are VERY obvious as I type this, in my periphiral vision. It’s not getting better, but worse, I feel like when you’re really, super sleep deprived, but sleeping doesn’t improve anything.

JACK K. 2019/01/23 - 4:02 pm

Hi there. I’m 12 days past one of the nastiest experiences of my life! My gall bladder decided it had enough of me and 4 hours into my 66th birthday, I was in the ER.
Procedure went well enough (I guess), but for the next 24 hours, it hurt to do everything, even breathing. Turns out there was some “gravel” let in the bile duct, so it was time for a tube down my throat. 4 days in recovery, just had my drain removed this week. Feeling much better, except for…MY EYESIGHT HAS GONE WONKY!!
I can’t seem to focus on anything with either of my prescriptions. Friend mention that anesthesia sometimes messes up eyesight and came across this site.
Who knew??? No-one mentioned this kind of side effect to me. Hope it passes in short order or it’s off the the eye docs.
On the upside, the diet is actually not too hard to follow and plan to incorporate it into my life.
Trying to remember that nothing bad happens that something good can’t result from. Good luck and great health to all.

Deborah Cruz 2019/01/24 - 11:00 am

Jack, did they remove the anti-nausea patch from behind your ear after surgery. They forgot mine on and by 2 days post opp, I couldn’t even read my phone and my television was blurry. They told me to remove it and my eyesight came back. Talk to your doctor. I can say that anesthesia, pain meds and anti-nausea can all cause this. Did you get the crazy trapped gas in your chest? That was the worst. I woke up from a deep sleep with searing pain in my chest. I thought I was dying, turns out it is completely normal…even though it feels fatal.

WIshing you all the best and great health ( and most importantly, restored eyesight). Be well.

Aisha McKibben 2019/02/04 - 2:02 pm

I am currently dealing with gall bladder attacks every couple of months (depending on how well I stick to a healthier diet, of course!). Seems to always rear its ugly head just as I decide to try to go to bed. I can usually feel them coming on with only milder pains – until my head hits the pillow, and then WHAM!!. It turns into about 5-6 hours of pain, trying to get a position that doesn’t cause more discomfort. From the bed, to the floor to the couch, to sitting cross-legged leaning over a pillow. Sometimes I end up sick, sometimes it just gradually fades away. Because I have heard such mixed reviews on the removal, I’ve yet to decide about having it out or not. My question is, after all that you have gone through, would you go through it again to avoid any further attacks or would you have tried to go a different route??

Deborah Cruz 2019/02/04 - 9:37 pm

I would 1000% recommend getting the removal surgery. Just research your surgeon and get one who takes pride in his/her work. I know that its a common surgery but you want someone who takes pride in the way you heal. I was in such horrible pain before the surgery that the gall bladder removal was a God Send. I had 2 trips to the ER and that was enough for me to know that gallbladder removal was what I needed. if you are in a lot of pain, get it out. My doctors told me that once you have an attack, its not whether you will have another one or not it is when.

Tonya B 2021/02/23 - 5:34 pm

Im one day post op and in extreme pain. Hurts to take deep breaths as they want me to and my stomach is doing something weird w every deep breath. Almost like a spasm.. and my chest hurts. Hurts to move cough turn and wipe my own_____. I already had stomach trouble and dr also went down my throat to see inside my belly. Je didnt see me after aurgery only told my friend everything went great. Uhhh. I dont feel great.. chest oain shoulder pain. Pain pain pain.. this sux and im scared of the stuff i read . Oh my.. i put up w the gallbladder issue for a year and now surgery. What was i think n.

Kourtney Cox 2023/04/27 - 1:01 pm

I am going on 24 hours of having mine out and still feel the pulling of my upper stomach with the gas being in me. My blurry vision started this morning when I woke up and I actually still have my patch on so I will probably leave it on for the 72 hours


This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More