Hi everyone! I'm new to this board. I have read quite a bit about people on here having problems similar to mine. So let me share my story. Maybe some of you all can give me some insight.
I am a healthy 28 y/o female. I am not overweight, I eat a healthy diet. I have been having this RUQ abdominal pain for about a month now. It is right below my ribs on the right side and somewhat tender to the touch. It hurts worse after eating. Sometimes immediately, sometimes it takes about an hour. Greasy foods seem to hurt it worse. My first thought was that it could be gallstones. (I am an operating room nurse, by the way). The pain was dull at first with a feeling of fullness in that area. I gave it a week or so to see if it would go away on its own. It didn't go away, it only got worse. The pain/nausea became much worse and my right shoulder blade started hurting very badly as well.
I thought it for sure had to be my gallbladder, so I called my favorite general surgeon and told him how I was feeling. He told me to go the the ER in the morning and he would take my gallbladder out that day. Well, I went to the ER and had an ultrasound. No stones. I had blood work done. It was all normal. So he ordered a HIDA Scan. It was normal too. Next I had an EGD done, which showed mild gastritis. So they gave me some prescriptions for Nexium and Levsin and sent me on my way. I have had gastritis before, and it felt different than this (LUQ pain for starters).
Anyways, I was hopeful that the Nexium would do the trick. But it has not helped one bit. So I had a CT done last week. Guess what? Everything is NORMAL! But I don't feel normal! The surgeon has told me that he thinks it could still be my gallbladder even though the tests have all been normal. He thinks that based on the location of my pain and my other symptoms he thinks it is my gallbladder. He told me he will take it out, but it is up to me. I am not sure what to do. I don't want to take it out unnecessarily, but I also don't want to be in pain like this for years like some of the people on here I have read about. So I have to decide if it is worth the risk. The pain is interfering with my ability to work.
Does anyone have any advice or insight on this? I don't know what to do.
I have had the same for 2 years. Every test normal. I had my gallbladder out a year ago. It did not help. I was told I have IBS ( rubbish) but nothing shows up on anything. I was the same on one endoscopy I was told mild gastritis. I was put on Nexium that did not cure the problem either. I don't know what to tell you but having my gallbladder removed was no big deal. If there is a chance it will help I would have it taken out.
I hope you feel better.
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I have almost constant nausea. There are times I get a break and feel like eating but then I get sick again. I have occasional dull RUQ pain and pain along my ribcage near my sternum. I also belch a lot. I do not have any abdominal tenderness.
I have had ultrasound, HIDA scan, EGD and colonoscopy. The US showed what appears to be fatty liver. My liver enzymes (ALT, AST, alkaline phos.) were slightly elevated. The HIDA scan was normal except I had a very high ejection fraction. It was over 90% but neither my primary care Dr nor my surgeon were concerned.
I also have a hiatal hernia. However I was diagnosed with that in 1993.
I am perimenopausal and both Drs think the nausea is related to that and my IBS and GERD. I take. Pepcid AC for my GERD as PPIs do not agree with me. I'm also taking Bentyl for my IBS.
I am not convinced this is all hormonal. I see my primary care Dr next week and I'm going to talk more to her about it.
I am terrified to have my gallbladder out especially after reading on here about everyone's problems afterward. I feel I would most likely have more pain, nausea and horrible digestion. I'm totally "freaked out" by the incidence and possibility of sphincter of oddi dysfunction too. I definitely DO NOT want that.
So what do I do? Live the rest of my life nauseous with no appetite and a good deal of fatigue too OR take my chances and have my gallbladder out?
I'm also very depressed over all of this too. I want to feel well again.
Edited to add: my stool is soft too and fried, greasy or spicy food makes everything worse.
Last edited by Chantal231; 03-16-2009 at 10:50 AM.
Thank you all for your replies. I forgot to mention I did have fatty stools when this first started, but not so much lately. I'm pretty sure I'm going to go ahead and have my gallbladder removed. And, yes, I agree, it is a process of elimination. I am hopeful that it will give me some relief. If it does not...at least I won't have to wonder if it was my gallbladder. And of course, I will let you all know how it goes.
I was also diagnosed with IBS about 2 years ago. I have not had any problems with that for some time. And the problems I am having now are nothing like my previous IBS flare ups. So I do not think that's what this is. I find it kind of strange how common this is, actually. I hope we can get some answers soon!
I had my gallbladder and appendix removed yesterday. I am in quite a bit of pain from the surgery, so I can't tell if the original pain is still there or not. The doc said there was sludge in my GB. And my appendix looked fine, but with abdominal pain of unsure origin, it wasn't a bad idea to take it out (I had asked him to remove it). So, hopefully I will know soon whether or not this has "fixed" me.
Yes, it was fast. Working in the OR has its perks. I am happy to have gotten it overwith. I am still in a lot of pain. When I first woke up from the surgery I was not nauseous, but I was in a lot of pain. They gave me a lot of anti-nausea meds before and during the surgery so nausea wasn't a problem. I haven't had much nausea today. Still just a lot of pain from the surgery. My abdominal muscles are very sore. And I have been having a lot of chest/sternum/shoulder pain, most likely from the residual carbon dioxide. It was a same day procedure. I am on a low-fat diet. The doc didn't give me a specific time frame for the diet. I don't really have an appetite now. But with the small amounts of food I have eaten today, it has been painful. I will probably always have to stay on a relatively low fat diet, which is not a problem for me. It's healthier anyways, so why not? I have been taking digestive enzymes with my meals since all of my pain started and I will probably continue to take them now that I don't have a gallbladder. They seem to help with the pain immediately after eating. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I don't mind answering them. And I will let you know how my healing progresses.
Update: my daughter had her gallbladder removed although all of the tests were relatively normal. What they found when they went in was that her gallbladder had grown into her liver and that there was inflammation surrounding the gallbladder. The first surgeon did not want to do the surgery but I requested a second opinion and then pushed for the removal of the gallbladder knowing that we had a 20% chance of the surgery not resolving her pain. However, her abdominal pain is gone and she only has the surgical pain now. I am so glad that we pushed for the surgery.
I will be following this thread closely. I too have been having upper abdominal Liver/GB area pain for about 5 months now. All my tests (Endoscopy, Colonoscopy, HIDA Scan, etc. have come back normal) My HIDA Scan ejection was 50%. I do not have any loss of appetite. I do burp a lot, and feel pain, including spasms in this area daily.
An abdominal ultrasound found that I have a mild fatty liver. So, my post seems most similar to Chantal's thus far.
Jylget, it seems interesting that the gallbladder did have problems even though the HIDA scan didn't come up with anything.
Hequet, I envy your celebrity status (I'm joking, but what I mean is that alot of us struggle to get tests and procedures done, or have to wait long times, while ballplayers can get things done ASAP.). Your status in the ER had your back this time. Your lucky.
I thought that after the HIDA Scan test, I would've been able to put the GB threat behind me, but I guess not. I am 24, male, 5'10, 150 lbs.
Please let us know how you end up doing. We've read too many horror stories, but we still have room for hope.
I had a "moment" yesterday where I realized I was finally starting to feel better. I'm still in a lot of surgical pain. But I am able to stand up straight now, which I hadn't been able to do since the surgery. The first few nights I could only sleep on my right side or I was in horrible pain. I am now able to sleep on my left side. (I am a side sleeper) So, things are looking up for me. I can go a full 4 hours without counting down the minutes until time to take my next dose of pain medicine. I have been taking food enzyme pills with all of my meals and haven't had any problems eating so far. I've been able to eat small low fat meals without any additional pain. I still have a little bit of the chest/sternum/shoulder pain from the residual CO2. But it is nothing like it was at the beginning. So things are definitely looking up!
I am worried that I could get SOD or post cholecystectomy syndrome, but I am hopeful that I will not. I hope that I will be able to control any possible problems with diet. Worrying about it won't do any good. So I will just wait and see how it goes and hope for the best!