Post Laparoscopic surgery for gallbladder and umbilical hernia

Posted by tennisgolf @tennisgolf, Thu, Jul 18 2:03am

Just had surgery 3 weeks ago. I am a healthy 70-year old female. I have felt fine throughout; however I have this tiny pain every day, but not all day. What I am imagining is that a staple inside the area is pricking the area. This is only a thought and I cannot quite describe it. When I press around the belly button it does not feel worse, but there is some hardness to the tissue. Could this be stitches healing? It is only in one spot. I called the nurse and she was quite dismissive saying: “you cannot call about every little thing; you are still healing; you should not play golf and a racquet sport (but the surgeon said I could – I have not played these sports yet but I do work out in the gym); I told her the surgeon said I had a little redness irritation around the navel but she said he did not put it in his notes !!” – Well, he is the one who brought it to my attention !? The concern is that this little “pin prick” feeling does not get better – it stays the same. The surgery report says I have Tycron stitches. I guess I should demand to see the surgeon or go for a second opinion or get an X-ray? (I have asked questions throughout, as that is my M.O.).

@tennisgolf Welcome to connect We aren't Dr.,s but help where we can. I use to work in the O.R. and stitches inside will desolve overtime but never did we put staples inside just outside You are still healing it takes awhile as the nurse said. Give it time if it doesn't go away talk to your surgeon about it .

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Thank you. I will see surgeon tomorrow to clarify. Being a total novice, when I saw "staple" in the Pathology Report, I was surprised. But, of course, I do not comprehend the meaning of the description: QUOTE: "………………Received…………..gallbladder…(gives dimensions)………………….intact fluctuant gallbladder which displays a 0.2 cm in length a stapled cystic duct". THAT IS THE THE EXACT WORDING – I GUESS EITHER IMPROPER ENGLISH – OR JUST MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY WHICH I CANNOT DECIPHER. (my imagination wonders if a staple from the stapled cystic duct wound up somwhere else?
Question: if there is a staple somewhere, can you see it with an Xray?

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@tennisgolf

Thank you. I will see surgeon tomorrow to clarify. Being a total novice, when I saw "staple" in the Pathology Report, I was surprised. But, of course, I do not comprehend the meaning of the description: QUOTE: "………………Received…………..gallbladder…(gives dimensions)………………….intact fluctuant gallbladder which displays a 0.2 cm in length a stapled cystic duct". THAT IS THE THE EXACT WORDING – I GUESS EITHER IMPROPER ENGLISH – OR JUST MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY WHICH I CANNOT DECIPHER. (my imagination wonders if a staple from the stapled cystic duct wound up somwhere else?
Question: if there is a staple somewhere, can you see it with an Xray?

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@tennisgolf Yes you can see on xray if there is a staple its just like anything in the body like I have wires in from heart surgery as my chest was opened . Pacemakers can be see its just a glob but lets you know something is there . Wonder why they staples the duct instead of using a stich that desolved like our surgeon in the O.R. did . Maybe that's the new thing? Talk to your surgeon

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I read some info online (but I am a total novice about medical so this is really out of my league). Sounds to me like they use staples in some cases as they are "more secure". But I also had stitches (Tycron stitches and Tycron sutures – which I assume are the same thing? and Vicryl and Monocryl stitches in different areas. I did read there is some controversy about using staples. But, thank you very much for your reply. (And I hope I am all wrong about feeling something like a staple pricking me inside. Maybe it is just stitches – but it is only one tiny area and never gets better.).

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@tennisgolf

I read some info online (but I am a total novice about medical so this is really out of my league). Sounds to me like they use staples in some cases as they are "more secure". But I also had stitches (Tycron stitches and Tycron sutures – which I assume are the same thing? and Vicryl and Monocryl stitches in different areas. I did read there is some controversy about using staples. But, thank you very much for your reply. (And I hope I am all wrong about feeling something like a staple pricking me inside. Maybe it is just stitches – but it is only one tiny area and never gets better.).

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@tennisgolf I hope it isn't a staple . Maybe just a stitch that is caught in tissue of something. Give it a little while longer then see. Let me know what you find out . We care here at connect

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@tennisgolf – I had the same procedure some years ago. First I’m impressed you have energy to work out in gym! As I understand the pathology report is that the cystic duct ( leads to common bile duct) was stapled when it was removed with gallbladder, preventing it from leaking all over the place. I doubt there is another staple where the remnant joins the common bile duct- probably sutures. However, the surgeon will see you! Feel better. The nurse was totally out of line.

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@astaingegerdm

@tennisgolf – I had the same procedure some years ago. First I’m impressed you have energy to work out in gym! As I understand the pathology report is that the cystic duct ( leads to common bile duct) was stapled when it was removed with gallbladder, preventing it from leaking all over the place. I doubt there is another staple where the remnant joins the common bile duct- probably sutures. However, the surgeon will see you! Feel better. The nurse was totally out of line.

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@tennisgolf @astaingegerdm I agree, that nurse was totally out of line. I had one nurse tell me to stop my "little habit of googling" when I asked a question once. I felt that was totally out of line also. I avoid her whenever possible.
JK

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Hi @tennisgolf,

I am always disappointed to hear about nurses or other health care providers be rude to patients! It’s absurd to ask a patient, who is sick themselves, to try and think of the nurse's work load – and they shouldn’t have to.
I’m tagging @johnetteg @rosemarya @ambergoulet @claytamos @smantzel @kcoates @ckeys, for their insights about the pain you are experiencing. They’ve written extensively about the complications after gallbladder surgery.

@tennisgolf, you are not alone in experiencing the frustration of being “dismissed.” If there is one thing I've learned from the members on Connect, it is that you should never give up until you find the right person who can help you in the best possible way.
It is absolutely okay to call your surgeon – you should have been given contact information when you were discharged. If you’re concerned about something, you want to know so that it can be treated.

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I was fortunate that the staff at my doctor's office has been great. Post gallbladder removal I only experienced pain and discomfort for about 6 months. After that I was pretty much back to normal. I had other problems later that weren't related to the gallbladder removal. If you're having problems with a nurse I would tell your doctor about what is going on. If that doesn't resolve the situation I'd go to a different doctor. Nothing worse than a nurse or doctor making you feel worse.

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@tennisgolf I know that I have two staples remaining from my gallbladder surgery because radiologists comment on it whenever I have a CT scan for my lymphoma. I believe this is a common way to seal off the ducts. I’m a little confused as to where your pain is. Staples would be up in the area of where the gallbladder was, but the laparoscopic sutures would be in your belly button. Personally I have had reactions to some types of stitches that causes an increase in scar tissue. I’ve also had stitches that were supposed to dissolve not dissolve. Both of these for from other surgeries. While the nurse was completely out of line to speak to you like that, she might be right in that it’s just going to take a little more time to heal. However if the doctor noted some redness you do want to make sure you don’t have an infection brewing. I would say that if you have concerns and the nurse is not adequately addressing them, call and make an appointment with the doctor (it seems like there are communication problems anyway so best to get information from doc). At the same time you can tell him you needed to see him because the nurse was very dismissive. In all likelihood it’s just some healing and scar tissue that you’re feeling, but there’s no reason to be sitting and worrying about it if you can simply see the doctor and have it resolved. Sounds like you are otherwise doing quite well, congratulations

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@tennisgolf, I have had surgery for a liver and a kidney transplant. And when I was reading one of my chest x-ray reports, I read that there were surgical clips in the image. Yikes! I asked about it, and my doctor or physiciann's assistant, showed me the x-ray image and pointed out 2 nonmetal clips. They are harmless and are commonly used. Whew! I had no pain or discomfort in the chest area, so it was a complete surprise.
As for the pinlike pain sensations, I did have those in my lower left abdomen where my new kidney is located. And I was frightened. When I talked to the NP at my 4 month check-up, I learned that it was due to healing and scar tissue/and connecting tissues forming (adhesions?). I was instructed to continue my exercise, but to increase the level/intensity gradually and not to overdo it.
I hope that you got in to see your doctor. Let us know what you found out.

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@tennisgolf

Thank you. I will see surgeon tomorrow to clarify. Being a total novice, when I saw "staple" in the Pathology Report, I was surprised. But, of course, I do not comprehend the meaning of the description: QUOTE: "………………Received…………..gallbladder…(gives dimensions)………………….intact fluctuant gallbladder which displays a 0.2 cm in length a stapled cystic duct". THAT IS THE THE EXACT WORDING – I GUESS EITHER IMPROPER ENGLISH – OR JUST MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY WHICH I CANNOT DECIPHER. (my imagination wonders if a staple from the stapled cystic duct wound up somwhere else?
Question: if there is a staple somewhere, can you see it with an Xray?

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Hello @tennisgolf

I have had 3 surgeries of the upper digestive tract and whenever I have an MRI they also see a metal clip as well. It has not presented any problems for me but it is something to be aware of, especially if you have an MRI of that area. (The last surgery where a clip would have been used was in 2005.)

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Thanks to YOU ALL for your comments!! Helpful and comforting. I did finally see my surgeon for the second post op on 7/19/19. Surgery was 6/26. I talked to him about staples and he said he uses clips. As I mentioned prior, I said to him the Pathology report mentioned staples in the duct – they may have been used to close off the (bile? or cystic?) duct when they removed gallbladder so bile did not spill – someone suggested something like that – I am not at home, so do not have my notes.) I tried to point to where I felt this little area of pain. But he said "You are doing fine."
He did not really press anywhere or seemed concerned about what I felt. I think he is wrong when he says "It is OK to play golf and my racquet sport." But I thought, well why not – surgeon said several times to go for it. Well, it did not work. I felt the pain get a little worse. I am interested in info on stitches/scar tissue/adhesions. Perhaps that is the culprit. Wonder why he never mentioned that? However, the feeling never changes. It is the same every day. I would say I can duplicate it by doing a "mild situp from a prone position on the floor". It is sore. This is not gut-wrenching pain. On the other hand, it does not feel good(!) I personally believe I tend toward a high pain threshhold (?) – so I have to factor that in. I am going to a hospital library tomorrow and work with them on researching "complications" post surgery. I do realize others have more pressing issues than I. But I try to maximize whatever I do – my goal is to be as good and healthy as one can be. You know, I just thought of something. I have had 2 prior major abdominal surgeries – 35 and 29 years ago. One was oopherectomy/hysterectomy after which I insisted on doing ERT for about 10 years. Maybe that is WHY I had gallstones because I read that Estrogen can cause them. I had read that scar tissue from priors can be an issue with GB surgery. He never addressed this. Maybe that is the problem – I just do not know. Regards to all and best of health to you.

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@Tennisandgolf Follow your instincts ~ if it hurts more, back off. But don't stop moving as that will speed healing and reduce adhesion issues. Just go slowly…maybe just practice putting or hit a few balls at a driving range. Then build up to 9 holes, etc. It has been less than four weeks and even though it's small incisions, it's still a major surgery and you need to give it time to heal. I was 30 when I had mine and I think I took longer than you have! Glad there is no sign of infection!

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