Has anyone had their spleen and gallbladder removed during debaulking surgery?

My mother was diagnosed with stage 4 OC in Dec 11, had initial surgery, then 3 cycles of carbo/taxol chemo which was efficient in reducing CA125, then another extensive surgery (supra-radical) end of March when uterus/lymph nodes/spleen/gall bladder/pieces of colon were removed.

She now has an ileostomy.

Has anyone experienced this and how did you manage after surgery? My mother is still in great pain, 12 days after the surgery. She is still at the hospital.

13 Replies

  • Hi!

    I have absolutely no experience of this, sorry. However, there are some wonderful helpline nurses who have all sorts of experience of ovca and all related subjects. If you ring the Ovacome helpline and leave a message there, the nurses will get back to you, I'm sure. It's 08453710554. I hope you can find some answers there. Good luck to you and your Mum. I know what it's like because my Mum is in hospital, in a lot of pain, at the moment. It's good to try and find something that will help them isn't it?

    Love Wendy xx

  • Thank you so much Wendy for your answer - I can empathize that it really is not easy for you with your Mum at hospital.

    I have rung the ovacome helpline and they kindly said that they would call me back.

    I have also learnt today that during my mum's surgery they had to move some of the ribs a bit to aaccess the organs so she thinks that's where the pain comes from. My mum is at a hospital in France and I have asked her to ask to see the doctor specialized in dealing with pain. At the moment I don't think the pain is managed appropriately.

    Here's hoping that our mothers' situations improve.

    Take care


  • Hello,

    Similar to your Mum, my Mum had an ilieostomy on the 13th March after a complete bowel obstruction, she was in hospital until the 24th March and has made good progress since, except she now has a blood clot in her leg, not necessarilly through the surgery we have been told. She is seeing her oncologist today to discuss treatment options going forward. Mum is still on paracetamol every evening for the pain mainly in her leg. Her scar has healed really well and she is eating more each day. For her age of 71 (72 on the 30th April) she has made exceptional progress. It is sooo hard for the relatives to see a loved one going though so much. My husband has Leaukeamia and is also due to start treatment again in the next month or so, so looks like I am going to be torn between Mum and my Husband for hospital visits/treatment.

    Wish your Mum all the best



  • Hello Susan,

    Thank you for your message. I have been following your posts and I am glad that your mother is making good progress.

    What is amazing is that our mothers share the same birthday !! My mother will be 74 on April 30th!

    In addition to the ileostomy, my mom had other organs removed (uterus/ lymph nodes/ gallbladder and spleen) and that might be why she has very bad pains - especially in her back.

    All the best to your Mum, your husband and your Mum.

    Take care

    Cecile -

  • Cecile

    Did she have an epidural for the operation? If so that could be the problem with the pain, just a thought. Hope all goes well for her.



  • Hi Sue,

    No epidural - she did eventually use a morphine pump for a few days after surgery which helped but now she is off it. She was also told that she cannot take painkillers with morphine as it would stop her from urinating properly.

    Thanks for your kind thoughts.


  • Hi

    I had my spleen removed when I had debaulking in November 2009. I take penicillin twice a day.

    I hope your mum feels better soon.

    Best wishes.


  • Thank you Anne for the information. My mum was also told that she will need to take antibiotic during at least 6 months.

    How long did it take for you to recover from your surgery in Nov 2009?

  • Hi

    Its difficult to say really as I had the operation after four chemos and then had two chemos afterwards. I think definitely for six weeks after the operation it is best to take it easy even if your mum thinks she is feeling ok - I remember lifting something not particularly heavy and I ended up in a lot of pain. I had been in good health before diagnosis which helped. Regarding the removal of the spleen I have not had any problems though I am still taking penicillin two and a half years on and no one has said anything about coming off it.

    Best wishes to you and your mum.


  • Thank you Anne. Do you remember how many weeks elapsed between the surgery and the two chemos? My mum is also due to resume another three cycles of chemo.

  • Hi

    I restarted my chemo approximately one month after the surgery. I think it can vary though. I was out of hospital after a week and did not have any issues such as the pain your mother is experiencing. I hope your mother starts to feel better soon and regains her strength.

    Best wishes


  • hi, firstly i hope your mum is making good progress & that the pain is easing, my mother is to under go similar surgery on may 8th, removal of ovaries, debulking of omentum, spleen removal & poss part of bowel she has been warned of poss colostomy, this is following six sessions of carbo to which she has responded well to,not really sure of what to expect so good to hear all of your updates, best wishes to both you & your mum, hope she continues to improve, love queeniebee

  • Queeniebee,

    My recommendation to you and your mum is to be prepared for a slow recovery and to ensure that the pain is managed properly. This means that your mother would need to express her level of pain clearly (where the pain is and what it feels like : eg is is like nerve pain like an electric current or does it feel as if she had a belt being fastened too tight/ or somebody sitting on top of her). Pain management is an art and whatever you mother takes for pain needs to be monitored/adjusted as necessary which should be done by the doctors/specialist nurse. There is no need for extreme pain, it can only make the recovery even slower.

    My mum also had her diaphragm scraped and opened to remove some small tumors so that might have implied more pain.

    Unfortunately for my mum (who is at the hospital in France), I don't think the pain has been managed at all. I insisted that she sees the pain doctor who hopefully will help monitor the situation from now on.

    Having said that, pain varies from person to person and your mother might not experience it in the same way.

    Best wishes to your mum and you.


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