Man who was told gallbladder could "burst" after tucking into takeaway has emergency surgery in Leeds

A man who was told his gallbladder could "burst" after eating a takeaway had to undergo emergency surgery in Leeds.

By Daniel Sheridan
Tuesday, 21st December 2021, 4:45 pm

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Steve Wood, 42, a customer services manager from Wakefield, enjoyed a typical takeaway meal including pizza and a chocolate dessert.

However, a few hours later Steve started getting chronic pains and thought he had indigestion.

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Steve Wood cc Spire

He returned home but within hours was "suffering from the worst pain he had experienced in his life".

Steve’s wife Georgia called emergency services and he was taken into Pinderfields Hospital, Wakefield, where he was diagnosed with an inflamed gallbladder and gallstones which were causing a blockage in his bile duct.

The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ located under the liver that stores bile, a fluid that helps the body break down fat in food.

Fatty foods such as deep-fried or spicy foods can all trigger a gallbladder attack and cause inflammation as they cause the gallbladder to work harder to produce bile which breaks down the fats.

As Georgia had private health insurance, Steve decided to do some online research which led him to Professor Giles Toogood – consultant hepatobiliary surgeon at Spire Leeds Hospital, one of the leading surgeons in his field who has been listed in the Daily Mail’s Good Doctors Guide in recent years.

“By midnight I was in severe pain in my upper right abdomen and I ended up on the floor in agony. It was a big shock! I didn’t know what was happening! I thought I might be having a heart attack!” said Steve, a married father of two.

“It was such a shock when I heard the diagnosis. I had suffered a little indigestion in the past but nothing like this,”

“I was told that my gallbladder was so inflamed it could have burst.

“Prof. Toogood set my mind at ease straight away. He explained everything to me, going through it step by step so I knew exactly what to expect.

"The care and treatment at Spire was a very positive experience and I followed Prof. Toogood’s advice carefully to ensure a good recovery."

Steve attended a consultation with Professor Toogood in August 2021, who confirmed the diagnosis, and he underwent a gallbladder removal procedure at Spire soon after.

Surgery took around one hour and he was allowed to go home later the same day.

Steve made a good recovery, returning to work just two weeks later.

Professor Toogood said, “Mr Wood presented with typical gallbladder pain which is abdominal pain that is particularly worse when eating. It is pretty serious in that it often produces the worst pain an individual has experienced.

“An ultrasound scan confirmed gallstones and my diagnosis was that he was getting biliary colic. This is a common condition, more common in women. Eighty percent of the patients I see with this condition are women. We discussed laparoscopic (keyhole) removal of his gallbladder to stop him getting those symptoms again.

“The operation went very well with no complications. He went home the same day and was back to normal activity after a few days. Most people are back to work at around a couple of weeks. In the future Mr Wood is unlikely to get any further problems in relation to this.”

Steve has now lost weight and feels fitter and more positive about the future.

He added: "Having the surgery has also given me peace of mind that I will not go through this intense experience again.

"I had first-class care at Spire, and it was worth every penny.”

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