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Karen is Back to her Normal Routines after Emergency Gallbladder Surgery

By |2024-05-10T08:43:03-04:00April 11th, 2018|Categories: Health A-Z, Patient Stories|Tags: , , |

gallbladder surgery freehold njKaren Swantek, a self-professed “health nut” and avid exerciser, was running on a treadmill at the gym when she suddenly felt severe pain in the center of her chest.

Thinking it was probably just something she ate, she kept running—but the pain did not subside. Karen then drove herself home, still in excruciating pain. Looking back, she admits that it probably wasn’t the safest idea. On a pain scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the worst, she described her pain as a 12.

Once at home, Karen’s daughters saw that their mother was in pain and quickly called an ambulance.

The paramedics rushed her to CentraState, thinking she was suffering a heart attack. In the Emergency Department, physicians worked to pinpoint the pain and ran several tests—which confirmed she needed emergency surgery to remove her gallbladder.

An Unexpected Surgery
Although Karen was relieved her heart wasn’t the problem, she was anxious about having surgery on such short notice. Seun Sowemimo, MD, a board-certified surgeon on staff at CentraState, calmly and clearly explained all of her options, putting Karen’s fears at ease.

“Dr. Sowemimo was so friendly and took the time to talk with me, which put things into perspective,” she recalls.

Dr. Sowemimo explained to Karen that her gallstones, which are hardened deposits of digestive fluid, were very large. In fact, they were the size of the tips of his thumbs.

“Gallbladder attacks occur when gallstones block the cystic duct and cause upper abdominal pain that is sometimes misconstrued for chest pain,” Dr. Sowemimo says. “Karen’s gallbladder surgery was done laparoscopically, which is minimally invasive and leads to a very quick recovery time.”

On the day after her surgery, Karen was released from the hospital at noon and was already walking her dogs later that afternoon. She was able to return to her job as a certified health coach immediately, and was also able to resume her regular, healthy diet.

“The procedure was easier than some root canals I’ve had,” Karen says.

Based on her experience, Karen often expresses the importance of listening to your body.

“I urge anyone with severe pain to seek immediate care,” she says. “It’s better to be safe than sorry!”

For more information about CentraState’s surgical services, call 866-CENTRA7 (866-236-8727).

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