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Need advice... Go back to work?

jason.2835
Posts: 337
Joined: Nov 2014

Hey, all,

So the doctor was pretty weird regarding my return to work.  Generally, with gallbladder surgery, they only tell you to take half a week to a week off of recovery.  However, my surgery was open and I have a 7.5 inch incision across my right upper abdomen.

Now, I DO feel better.  The last couple days I've been able to get around a lot more and I haven't been on painkillers at all this week.  However, the pain is obviously still there and the incision site is a little irritating when I have shirts rubbing against it for a long time.  

The doctor only gave me the restriction of not lifting anything over 15 lbs for a few more weeks.  As far as work, he is leaving it up to me.  So I guess I'm wondering if you guys think I'm crazy to go back on Monday after 23 days removed from an open surgery?  I work at a restaurant so it's fast paced and such, but I'm also the boss so I can temper my pace.

Any thoughts are appreciated.  Thanks!

- Jay 

 

Allochka's picture
Allochka
Posts: 869
Joined: Nov 2014

Wow, hard to say. My boyfriend ( he is 35, just like you) started working exactly one month after his open surgery, and felt that he could have started even a bit earlier. But he has a desk job, no running around. So compared to him 23 days sound pretty normal. But everyone heals differently. If you are the boss, you can try and then have a longer break, if you feel that it is too soon. 

 Btw, he has some very small polyps in gallbladder. They are not dangerous if they don't grow bigger, so smth else to monitor. We are thinking about possible gallbladder removal after his Hep C is treated. In this case I'll definitely ask for your advise on life without gallbladder :-) 

 

jason.2835
Posts: 337
Joined: Nov 2014

Allochka,

In my case, my gallbladder was so bad that the doctor thought it wasn't really aiding in my digestion for some time, perhaps up to a year.  I had one big gallstone that wasn't in the bile duct but was blocking the neck of the gallbladder.  As it blocked it, it just killed the tissues of the bladder itself.  There was even some gangrene in the pathology report if you can believe it.  Fun, fun, fun.

Over 90% of people who get GB removal get the laparoscopic version.  I was one of the few lucky 10%.  It's not actually a big deal.  As far as digestion, I haven't noticed any remarkable difference in my life, but it is still early.  I had a couple slices of pizza one time (just to see what would happen), but generally I've been taking it pretty easy and simply.  You will read some horror stories online from people who have had their GB removed... but the truth is that a vast majority of people return to normal diets.

Hope that helps...

-Jay 

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 3217
Joined: Jan 2010

Jay,

Your the boss. When you ready try it part time for the first week or two. Then decide.

 

Icemantoo

Footstomper's picture
Footstomper
Posts: 1238
Joined: Dec 2014

On your relationship with your staff and how supportive they are. Might be best to return on an informal basis and maybe set yourself some loose targets for achieving work based goals.

Better working than wasting, thats for sure

Positive_Mental_Attitude's picture
Positive_Mental...
Posts: 454
Joined: Jul 2014

It really depends on you.  Exactly 1 week after my partial open nephrectomy, I was asked to attend an important meeting for a client.  The drive was painful, and the meeting was bearable.  I think I waited a full three weeks before going back into the office.  But I have a desk job, which led to some discomfort sitting upright all day, as I felf more comfortable in a reclined position. 

Jojo61's picture
Jojo61
Posts: 1310
Joined: Oct 2013

You are the best judge...but to go to soon could cause more damage and delay your healing. You will have to consider carefully....but if possible I would stay home a little longer.

 

Jan4you's picture
Jan4you
Posts: 1320
Joined: Oct 2013

Jay, I would be careful. But since you are the boss, you know the work load.

I woudn't go back full force, but pace yourself, a few hours.. or so.

I also would suggest getting that lumbar, velcro wrap you find in drug stores to wrap around your abdomen.

I have used it for 2 surgeries and it really supports those sore, healing muscles and nerves.

I also stick a block of dry ice inside to reduce any swelling or pain.

Just a thought. It was a god-send for me.

 

Good luck.. but DONT RUSH THIS!!

Gentle hug, Jan

Allochka's picture
Allochka
Posts: 869
Joined: Nov 2014

Thanks a lot for advise, Jason! It does sound that the removal was really necessary. I have a friend with stones, she refuses to remove the gallbladder, I'll tell her now to think again... glad to hear that no difference for you.

Good luck with healing and going back to work!

jason.2835
Posts: 337
Joined: Nov 2014

Allochka,

My doctor told me that once stones get involved, the gallbladder nearly becomes useless.  So your friend is probably not getting much digestive benefit from it, especially if there are a lot of stones.  Some people are fine and never have symptoms, other times.... BAM!  Like in my case.  If a stone migrates into the bile duct, it becomes even more of an emergency situation that mine.  I can understand not wanting to get surgery, though.  As FoxHD said on another thread, though... "You are still gonna heal."

- Jay

foroughsh's picture
foroughsh
Posts: 775
Joined: Oct 2014

I'm very happy you're feeling better. I wouldn't push myself to do things which could bring more pain and longer recovery time. So if you feel comfortable at work then it's fine but please be careful and don't push yourself.

 

Forough

butterfly wings
Posts: 28
Joined: Mar 2015

Hey.

I had my gallbladder removed with my kidney.  Before they found the kidney cancer my gp had said that the recovery from gallbladder surgery was 4 weeks and she would certify me for work for 4 weeks.  I thought it seemedon but don't forget your outsides may appear ok but it takes longer for our insides to heal.

 

I'm eating as normal now.  I went out with friends last night....had chicken wings and a couple of bottles of beer....felt fine.  Didn't drink enough water and my restless legs were killing me...but  gallbladder was fine

aamdsi
Posts: 284
Joined: Apr 2014

who can say for sure.  Guess IF you needed to go home and rest - could you?

Otherwise, go for it.  Just take it slow (I know, DUH)

On the other hand....if you are able to take extened sick time...it is spring and the days are pretty nice.  Wouldn't it be nice just to relax a tad longer at home?

donna_lee's picture
donna_lee
Posts: 900
Joined: Feb 2009

My brother, a retired Veterinary professor, asked his ortho about this "no driving/don't return to work for 4-6 weeks" phrase that we have all been quoted.  It's not the physicians that want that related to you, it's the auto insurance companies.  Due dilligence to keep you from having a collision or hurting yourself or others, especially if you are still in pain or taking post surgical meds.  No driving = no lawsuits.  Leave it to a liability or collission carrier to look for a way to deny a claim.  And remember, you signed for receipt of the discharge paper that warned yoy not to drive.

Donna

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