(Closed) Surgery and Pregnancy

posted 6 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 16
Member
53 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I’ve had mine removed (not while pregnant) and I’m also a nurse who works with a lot of pregnant people – gallstones in pregnancy are very normal and the surgery really shouldn’t affect your baby. That being said, if the pain is in your lower abdomen (I define lower abdomen as at/below your bellybutton), that’s not your gallbladder. Gallbladder pain is usually right around the bottom of your ribcage, occasionally extending up through your shoulders. Below the bellybutton makes me think appendix/ovaries instead!

Post # 17
Member
347 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

For appendicitis, there’s a simple test: lay down on the floor and raise your legs up one at a time, then together. If it’s appendicitis, this will be very painful, and if you can do it fine, it’s not the appendix.

I had my gall bladder out as an emergency when I was 23 (and not pregnant), and it was not fun — I thought I just had food poisoning, but if we had waited any longer, the organ had already started to die… it would have been worse. It was laporoscopic surgery, and I was able to go to the bathroom myself almost immediately afterwards. I can’t speak to the effect of surgery on the fetus/pregnancy, but I can tell you that if the pain is bad and the gall bladder is ceasing to function, you won’t be able to continue that way for the rest of your pregnancy…

One thing few people tell you: your gall bladder stores bile to help process fats. Once it’s gone, your body can’t do it anymore as well, and you pretty much have to be on a low-fat, no fried foods, no fast food or bad junk food for forever. Basically, it forces you into a healthier lifestyle, because once you eat something, and instantly feel bad for it, you learn to stop eating that food really quickly. You will learn to cook a lot more and review menus at restaurants before you agree to eat there. It makes your life a bit more complicated, but it’s worth it to avoid being on more medications.

Post # 18
Member
756 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

If they do find out it’s your gallbladder and it’s as bad as you say then I would do the surgery if I were you. It will be better on your baby to have the surgery and you get well than for the stress I would think. Gallbladder removal is probably one of the most simple surgeries out there, so don’t worry too much! 

Post # 19
Member
131 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2009

For months when I was pregnant, I would get excruciating pains under my rib and in my back on the right side. The pain was debilitating to the point that I would want to pass out but could not lay down or get in a position to even let my body calm itself. At 24 weeks, I went to the hospital and had an u/s of my gallbladder and I had sludge, as well as multiple stones. They wanted to do surgery at that point and I just couldn’t. I too was terrified of losing my baby. My OB came in and told me the pain could be managed with pain meds and a low fat diet. I basically lived off of Tylenol and grilled chicken but towards the end of my pregnancy no matter what I did, I was having daily attacks. I was prescribed Percocet but would only take half at night.

After my son was born my doctor thought the attacks would go away since my hormones would level out. Wrong. The attacks were as bad as ever and leaving my husband to tend to a screaming newborn while I was in agony was the worst thing imaginable. I ended up having my gallbladder out after my son was two months old; in Feb. The recovery was rough but mostly because I couldn’t carry my baby around. My mom and my husband ran the show for awhile but here I am more than a month later and I feel wonderful. No more attacks and no more meds. And contrary to what some say, I can still eat what I want and haven’t had a problem yet. 

I know now this is a tough decision for you and my decision was no surgery but you need to weigh your options. You’re in the very beginning still and 9 more months of attacks will be rough. Good luck in your decision.

Post # 22
Member
131 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2009

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Bazinga:  I completely understand. One of the things my OB did tell me is it is safest to have surgery during pregnancy during the 2nd trimester. Have a chat with your OB and go from there. As you well know, the pain is indescribable for people who have never felt it. I hope it goes well! I’ve been there so I’m here if you ever need to chat!

Post # 23
Member
6 posts
Newbee

So sorry Bazinga, that sounds horrific.  I started having similar pains when my daughter was one, so I can’t imagine how much worse it would be to deal with pregnancy at the same time.   It sounds like you have a great doctor, so hopefully that makes it easier to trust their recommendations and advice (and to not feel bad about taking care of yourself!).  And yes, as with any procedure, complications are posssible, but your doctor should be able to explain any possible risks to you and the baby.  For what it’s worth, when I finally had my gall bladder removed 6 months after my problems started, I felt MUCH better.  And I got lucky–I didn’t really have to change my diet at all afterwards.  (Neither did my mom or another friend who had the same surgery.)   So, assuming the doctor recommends the surgery, it is definitely possible that your pain and eating problems will clear up entirely (or mostly) pretty quickly, which will probably benefit both you and the baby.  Good luck with whatever you decide!

 

Post # 25
Member
2654 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

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Bazinga:  I’m so sorry you are still going through this. When I read your symptoms it reminded me of my Grandad and a friend of mine. I can’t remember the name of it but both had issues with the balance in their tummy. It was like a precursor to an ulcer. My Grandad sorted his by taking bicarbonate of soda! My friend suffered for months and it got to a point where she’d puke after drinking water. She had a scope put into her tummy and that’s how they discovered it. It was sorted through medication. The only thing thats different is the fact that yours came on so quickly but who knows what pregnancy hormones are doing to you. Best of luck xxx

Post # 26
Member
1117 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

When my mom was 4.5 months pregnant with me she had to have an emergency appendectomy. The doctors warned her over and over again that she could lose me, but here I am now! Completely healthy. I know that it affected her a lot mentally (the surgery was on April 1 and to this day she refuses to participate in April Fools because of it) but it was the only way to keep either of us alive. 

Post # 27
Member
2814 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

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Bazinga:  Have they checked your kidneys? I’m kind of hypersensitive to hydronephrosis in pregnancy, but it wouldn’t hurt to suggest they look there.  I had a lot of really bad pain with mine, and it can reach up towards the back of the ribs, into the groin and abdomen in terms of pain.

Post # 29
Member
3729 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: City, State

Have you tried going off gluten? As a test, try not eating it for a week and instead stick to lean meats, veggies, tortilla chips, beans, and rice. I had similiar symptoms and it was a severe gluten intollerance. 3 days later I felt like i would live, 2 weeks later I actually felt good. It doesn’t hurt to try it. 

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Bazinga:  

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