Adrian's story

 I first noticed something was wrong when I had pain in my stomach after eating.

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Adrian was on a three-month vacation with his wife, travelling across Europe, when he began to feel pain on the upper right-hand side of his stomach whilst staying in Scotland. Originally from Argentina, they’d been looking forward to their holiday for months, and now, in their final few weeks before heading home, they only had Scotland and London left to see.

His pain would get worse when he was eating but was sporadic, so Adrian tried to just push past it at first, eating as little as possible and taking paracetamol and ibuprofen.

“I didn’t have any pain for a couple of days and thought I was maybe getting better, but then it would flare up, usually after 6pm. It could last until 5am in the morning. It kept me awake all night and the final time it flared up like that, it didn’t seem like it was going to ease off so I made my way to the doctor.”

The doctor Adrian saw in Scotland told him to keep taking the painkillers and rest, that he was already doing the right thing.

“They told me it was gastroenteritis and that I should rest. It would get better on its own.”

The following days, his last in Scotland, Adrian’s condition began to worsen and he developed a fever which continued for several days. He had no energy and was unable to stick to the plans he and his wife had made for their trip but he had been told that he just needed rest, so after Adrian stayed in bed for days and cut back on all his activities, they left Scotland and made their way to London.

On the journey Adrian’s pain worsened, so when he arrived in London he saw another doctor. After speaking to his travel insurer, he was authorised to see a specialist at HCA Healthcare UK. There was plenty of availability, and Adrian was able to see a specialist the next day. They determined he had perforated his gallbladder and would need surgery immediately to fix it. Adrian had his surgery and aftercare authorised and was admitted to The Princess Grace Hospital.

Adrian’s surgery was a success. His pain was gone, and, when he woke up, he felt such relief. There was a little tenderness around the incision, but that was all he felt. He spent four days recovering in the hospital after surgery, where he was seen by physiotherapists, his consultant and his nursing team daily, and they set him on the road to recovery. One of his favourite parts of his experience was having his own room, because it meant his wife could stay with him for the first two nights he was recovering, which made him feel much better.

His recovery seemed to happen so fast. “I recovered well. My physiotherapists had me walking, and when I could walk up and down the stairs they told me I could go home,” Adrian remembers. “The HCA UK doctors were excellent! All the people were amazing!” Though we did miss a few days in London, we’re planning to see the beautiful city another time. Under better circumstances!”

I’d recommend people listen to their instincts. We know our own bodies, and I knew something was wrong. The pain, the fever, and some vomiting – it just wasn’t right, and at HCA UK they really listened to me.


And after being given a follow-up check, he was allowed to fly home to Argentina, where he received an ultrasound confirming he was healing well.

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.