View Full Version : gallstone problems related to post surgery???

dolores a
05-21-2010, 04:22 PM
Have not posted with any problems in awhile, as I am coming along pretty well since my surgery. I do have a question though relating to gallstone issues, I've been advised by two gastros to have my gallbladder removed because I have stones. I know Ed had to have this surgery awhile after his fusion, does anyone else have this issue, and does anyone think it could be related to the surgery. I know one of the reasons some people develope stones in the the gallbladder is drastic weight loss in a short period of time. Right after my surgery, I lost about 20 lbs., just wondering if this or the surgery has anything to do with this.

05-21-2010, 06:32 PM
I'm so sorry to hear this Dolores. Ed is the only one that came to mind to me too. I didn't lose that much weight, probably only 10 lbs (and well it all came back :) )

I"m glad things are good with your back.

Karen Ocker
05-21-2010, 07:05 PM
I developed gallstones after surgery. Two causes explained to me were: I was given hyperalimentation feeding between the 2 stages to build me up. When this type of feeding is given then the gallbladder "rests" promoting the formation of stones. The other reason was the opiates needed for pain relief make the gallbladder "sluggish" promoting stone formation. In my case I did not lose a lot of weight.
Once stones cause symptoms they must be addressed. I was told I had "gravel" in the gallbladder and the gastro recommended I have it removed--especially if I were to leave the country for an extended period of time. I just couldn't face it at the time because it was ~ 2 years post op.

I ended up in the emergency room with gallbladder pancreatitis(I am a teetotaler so alcohol was not a factor). It was recommended I have the gallbladder out within 2 weeks to avoid another, more serious attack, resulting in a prolonged ICU stay.

05-21-2010, 09:00 PM
Hi Dolores

I had a ct done when I passed my kidney stone 4/07. When I had the 2nd ct for my gall bladder 04/09, the Radiologist noted that the gall stones where not there on the first ct. That proves that they formed between the 2 dates, with my scoli surgeries in 01/08. I had several that were "golf ball" sized.

I was having attacks. They started at 14 months post. Distension and bloating, usually after midnight, and would last about 5 hours. I would rate it as an 8 level pain. When the frequency of these attacks increased, pain influenced my decision.

My vascular surgeon told me that if you have an attack, chances are you will have another in 6 months.

Are you having any symptoms or attacks? This would be under the liver, right side below the ribs.

Its great to see that you are doing well in your scoli recovery. Next year will be even better!

05-21-2010, 11:14 PM
Ed, do you think the gallstones are related to the surgery? In what way? I don't remember that you had the type of feeding Karen mentioned. Linda, if you're reading this, have you heard of this before? How common is this? Another thing to worry about before my surgery on June 8th!

05-22-2010, 10:16 AM
Sure seems that way. I did have the feeding done just as Karen mentioned due to my staged surgeries. They have faster heal times and quicker recoveries using these "superfoods" in staged surgeries.

With all of us on the forum it seems that its just Karen and I who have had this little issue. I wouldnít worry about it too much, it really was just a minor thing for me.

I've been following Jessica Watsons voyage sailing around the globe. She is the youngest sailor to complete a full circumnavigation of the globe. She will write a book, I'm sure it will be a good read. Sailing around Cape Horn has been a problem for sailors for centuries, it even forced captain Bligh and the "Bounty" to turn around. She will talk about "worry" and how she overcame her fears.....

She is a 16 year old Aussie.

Try not to worry too much, and focus on the main goal, a successful outcome.

dolores a
05-22-2010, 12:42 PM
Hi Debbei, thanks, was glad to see in your posts how well you're doing also. Of the 20 lbs. I lost, I've gained back almost 10 thank god!

Karen, I also have the gravely type of stones you mentioned and was also given this white fluid intraveniously to build me up for quite a while after both my surgeries, probably from all the weight I lost.

Ed, yes I am having symtoms just where you pointed out, though not so bad that I would go to the emergency room with yet. Also had a sonogram which showed that I am not inflamed or anything like that, just like I said, gravely stones. My gastro called last night and advised I have the surgery before infection of severe pain attacks occur.

Sorry Joyfull, did'nt mean to scare you, I don't usually try to attribute all my pains and issues to my surgery as I am 56 yrs, and on a whole besides this problem, I am doing very well at just shy of one year post op. I was just curious being that I had anterior and posterior and the fact that things are moved around inside, probably just a silly thought on my part.

05-23-2010, 09:36 AM

At first, I suspected an incisional hernia. I have a hard muscle spot just left 3 inches left and slightly upward of my belly button. I was told that was scar tissue and everything was ok. My stomach seemed quite uneven after my surgeries, but it eventually evened out. Everything was moved and felt strange. They cut from 1 inch below my sternum on center and went all the way down, with a curve around the left side of my belly button.

I'm sure I had some sort of infection because they gave me Azithromycin, and the next day, the fire was out. When you donít have an infection, and take antibiotics, they do nothing.

Funny how some have many small stones and people like myself have just a few large stones. You can read about this on the renal sites. Its cholesterol based, produced from the liver. I went on a gall bladder diet, which is a very healthy diet, consuming no or little fat, and lost 18 lbs in 2 months. I was amazed how restricting fat intake works on losing weight. You can gain weight with whey protein smoothies, with yogurt, banana, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, almonds, and a touch of soy milk. tastes great. This is a better way to gain weight.

If and when you go in, let us know. You will see that itís a easy procedure. I think they take about 20-30 minutes, and I believe that it is the 2nd most performed surgery in the U.S. I didnít need ANY meds for this.

05-23-2010, 04:19 PM
Ed, Jessica Watson is from my town and we're rather proud of her here. When she returns early next month, there is quite a welcome planned for her.

I have to admit though, I was one of the many who said "please don't go, it's too dangerous, you're too young" but happily she proved us wrong. She has a maturity well beyond her years.

Sailing is very big here. Kids of 5 can attend sailing schools, of which there are many in this little coastal strip.

05-23-2010, 07:44 PM
Ed, do you think the gallstones are related to the surgery? In what way? I don't remember that you had the type of feeding Karen mentioned. Linda, if you're reading this, have you heard of this before? How common is this? Another thing to worry about before my surgery on June 8th!

Yes, I believe what Karen stated is true. I think there have been a few other threads on the topic.


05-24-2010, 09:43 AM
I agree. Circumnavigation is extremely dangerous. There are things that are beyond control.

I give her a lot of credit. It takes knowledge and guts to sail oceans. I too, sailed at a young age, and was exited when I won a race at age 10. My dock position was decided out of a hat, and I had the upwind dock position. So, a little luck there, I had the jump and got the lead early in the first leg. I also weighed 58 lbs. LOL

We have an American girl on her heels, and she is younger. Unfortunately, she had to dock for repairs in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and Cape Town, South Africa. She is headed towards Australia right now, and will pass during your winter which has people worried....ocean swells can reach 50 feet, her name is Abby Sunderland.


For centuries, man has risked his life in the oceans. Every voyage had the unexpected, and the fear we experience with serious surgery is similar. These are things where knowledge and tech have helped us, but we never sail alone.

We are all sailors, with a similar but different voyage.....

05-24-2010, 04:30 PM
Abby Sunderland, good luck and fair weather!