Gallbladder operation – a success for Jean

Jean Graham, 65, from Tamerton, Plymouth, is a retired PR and marketing professional who has worked for the South Western Ambulance NHS Foundation Trust and Exeter City Council.

26th September 2016

It was while attending a training course with a pastry-laden buffet that Jean first noticed a problem.Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre - Success Stories - Jean Graham

“It was 2010 and I had eaten from the buffet at the course when I suffered the most horrendous indigestion. It was very painful and most upsetting.”

Jean took herself to see her GP who put her on the list for a gall bladder investigation. She had an endoscopy and ultrasound which showed up multiple gallstones.

Her GP recommended that she have surgery to remove her gall bladder and she went on the list for the operation. In the summer of 2011 she was near the top of the list, and with just one more week to go she received news that would change her plans – she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“As my gall bladder wasn’t playing up at the time we decided to postpone that operation and concentrate on the treatment for the cancer, which went on into 2012,” said Jean.

By the following year Jean felt well enough to revisit treatment for her gall bladder. She underwent another round of tests and was referred for surgery at Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre.

She said: “Several of my friends had gone to Peninsula for knee or hip operations and had come back saying they were very happy with the treatment and service, so I felt confident that I would be looked after well.”

Jean was initially due to have her gallbladder removed using keyhole surgery, but her gall bladder had burst which meant a bigger operation.

“Even though I wasn’t expecting to have this sort of operation, the staff were really helpful and offered support and care day and night. The service was really good and the staff were knowledgeable and competent. Even though it was busy they coped with everything very well.”

When Jean returned home she received a phone call from the Ward Manager to see how she was getting on, and she was given clear instructions about what to do next, including monitoring from her GP.

“I would definitely recommend Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre,” said Jean. “If anyone was nervous about going there I would say don’t be – you will be well looked after.”

Gallbladder removal is one of a range of treatments available at Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre. If your GP agrees that you need treatment you can ask them to refer you to the hospital for treatment – it is part of your choice as an NHS patient.