Carole White, from Pudsey, Leeds, had gallbladder removal surgery in July 2012 under the care of consultant general surgeon Mr Jeremy Hayden.

With a Caribbean cruise booked to mark her 20th wedding anniversary, and a family holiday to Ibiza scheduled to celebrate her birthday, Leeds business owner Carole White had plenty to look forward to.

However, the Leeds mum of four was struck down with debilitating gallbladder problems and placed on a NHS waiting list for a scan. The recurrent pain threatened to ruin key family celebrations, so she decided to take control of the situation.

“I was looking forward to these family events and didn’t want them ruined because I was feeling ill. I was facing several months on a waiting list and decided to use my savings to have my gallbladder removal surgery straight away,” said Carole, 53, who owns White Lift Services in Leeds.

Carole had started suffering from episodes of severe stomach pain earlier in the year. “I had two really bad attacks where I ended up in hospital. Once during a weekend away in Whitby in May when I thought I was having a heart attack, I was vomiting for several days and my blood pressure was sky high,” she said.

After a third attack Carole, who lives in Pudsey, Leeds, was taken to the A&E department at her local hospital where they suspected that she might have gallstones and suggested she visit her GP to arrange an ultrasound scan.

“By this time I could not eat without feeling severe stomach pain and was feeling washed out and tired due to poor diet - I was living on toast and water. Although time off work wasn’t a problem it meant many days at home,” said Carole.  After some initial research, she contacted Spire Leeds Hospital and arranged an appointment. “I had a scan the same day as the appointment and the surgery four days later. The time frame of having the operation within a few days of seeing a consultant was fantastic.”

Mr Jeremy Hayden, Consultant General Surgeon, performed the laparoscopic (keyhole) cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal) at Spire Leeds Hospital in July 2012.  “This is one of the benefits of private surgery,” said Mr Hayden. “Carole had suffered four or five attacks of severe right upper abdominal pain this year. She runs her own business, and her quality of life was suffering. It was preferable to going on a waiting list for several months and taking the risk of being admitted as an emergency in the mean time.” 

Mr Hayden explained the key benefits of this type of keyhole surgery include faster recovery, less pain after surgery and a more rapid return to normal activities compared with an open approach. He said Carole felt much better very soon after the surgery.

Carole made a full recovery and was able to enjoy her holidays in August and September. Today she is back at work in her family business. “I am now fit and healthy. I don’t have any problems eating anything I like. I’m pain free and enjoying life again,” she added.