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Old 11-28-2003, 02:27 PM   #1
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Exclamation Severe stomach ache after gallbladder surgery

Hi there. I had my gb removed 6 weeks ago. I have felt okay for the most part. No pain after I eat but, for the past 3 days in a row I have woken up with a severe stomach ache and pain that goes around my right side into my back. It is piercing. The pain is horrible and actually the gb pain wasn't as bad as this is. I don't eat anything before I go to bed. It usually happens within about 12 hours after I eat it seems. I have been getting a lot of reflux as well. My question is... could it possibly be pancreatitis? I have had a stomach ache since this morning although it is not as severe. I have a feeling of vomiting as well. If anyone has experienced this or has any advice I would greatly appreciate it. I don't know what to do. I can't see my doctor until Wednesday. Thank you.

 
Old 11-28-2003, 04:20 PM   #2
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Re: Severe stomach ache after gallbladder surgery

What does the pain feel like?Is it constant, or off and on?

 
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Old 11-28-2003, 04:52 PM   #3
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Re: Severe stomach ache after gallbladder surgery

Well, I got it a couple weeks ago and it lasted about 10 min. I got another one last week too. Right when I wake up. Then it went, so I really didn't think anything of it. The past three days, I get it when I wake up or it wakes me up ... Wed it lasted for about 10 to 15 min, Thursday and today it lasted about the same amount of time but I have felt uneasy the last two days. Like a dull constant stomach ache. When I initially get it, it is right in the middle of my abdomen and goes around my ribs and into my back. It's very painful. Each time I have taken Gaviscon for it and it does seem to subside and is not as intense. I am scared though. I wonder if I did the right thing by having my gb removed. Guess there is nothing I can do about it now The surgeon said there were no stones when they opened it up and no stones on my ultrasound or hida scan. I am just hoping it is nothing serious like pancreatitis.

 
Old 12-12-2003, 02:35 PM   #4
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feucht HB User
Re: Severe stomach ache after gallbladder surgery

Quote:
Originally Posted by carebear73
Well, I got it a couple weeks ago and it lasted about 10 min. I got another one last week too. Right when I wake up. Then it went, so I really didn't think anything of it. The past three days, I get it when I wake up or it wakes me up ... Wed it lasted for about 10 to 15 min, Thursday and today it lasted about the same amount of time but I have felt uneasy the last two days. Like a dull constant stomach ache. When I initially get it, it is right in the middle of my abdomen and goes around my ribs and into my back. It's very painful. Each time I have taken Gaviscon for it and it does seem to subside and is not as intense. I am scared though. I wonder if I did the right thing by having my gb removed. Guess there is nothing I can do about it now The surgeon said there were no stones when they opened it up and no stones on my ultrasound or hida scan. I am just hoping it is nothing serious like pancreatitis.

Carebear73 - what happened when you went to your doctor? I just joined this board and read your post from November. I, too, have similar problems since my gallbladder surgery. Just wondering what you found out??

Cheryl

 
Old 12-12-2003, 03:21 PM   #5
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Re: Severe stomach ache after gallbladder surgery

Quote:
Originally Posted by feucht
Carebear73 - what happened when you went to your doctor? I just joined this board and read your post from November. I, too, have similar problems since my gallbladder surgery. Just wondering what you found out??

Cheryl
The doctor thinks I could have an ulcer or gastritis... she said it can be common after this type of surgery. I am on a prescription for 6 weeks. I haven't had a stomach ache for a couple weeks now. Just a few little aches and pangs. I do not get the pain anymore after I eat I have been burping alot which could possibly be ulcer related. I have had alot of acid reflux since the surgery which I never really had before. The medication has helped with that too. I am scheduled to see a gastroenterologist in Feb and she is supposed to send me for an endoscopy. I have just been watching what I eat basically and added more fiber to my diet. That's pretty much where I'm at now.The only thing I can figure is sometimes it takes some people longer to heal than others. When did you have your gb removed? What sort of problems have you been having?

 
Old 12-13-2003, 08:55 AM   #6
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Re: Severe stomach ache after gallbladder surgery

Quote:
Originally Posted by carebear73
The doctor thinks I could have an ulcer or gastritis... she said it can be common after this type of surgery. I am on a prescription for 6 weeks. I haven't had a stomach ache for a couple weeks now. Just a few little aches and pangs. I do not get the pain anymore after I eat I have been burping alot which could possibly be ulcer related. I have had alot of acid reflux since the surgery which I never really had before. The medication has helped with that too. I am scheduled to see a gastroenterologist in Feb and she is supposed to send me for an endoscopy. I have just been watching what I eat basically and added more fiber to my diet. That's pretty much where I'm at now.The only thing I can figure is sometimes it takes some people longer to heal than others. When did you have your gb removed? What sort of problems have you been having?

Thanks so much for responding-You will be amazed that I had my gb surgery 16 years ago (at the age of 39, after suffering with abdominal distress since the age of 14). I had undergone numerous tests from the age of 14-39 until a doctor did a HIDA scan and told me my gallbladder was non-functioning-no stones, just a non-functioning gb. Had it out in Nov, 1987 and I will say that the previous discomfort, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea did stop after the surgery.

But 1 week after returning home from the surgery (this was before the current laparoscopic surgery-I had the 'old' open procedure with a 5 day hospital stay), 1 week after the surgery I began getting horrible, abdominal pains between 5-6 a.m., awakening me from sleep and would cause me to have to sit up. The pain would last between 5-15 minutes and then would just stop as quickly as it came on. I could hear 'gas' rumbling in my abdomen. Went back to the surgeon, he did more tests, prescriptions, etc and he determined it was severe gas. Gave me medication which did not help and then just told me to 'live with it'. Over the years, I have suffered these attacks probably 4-5 x week - sometimes more severe, sometimes causing me to break out in sweats, always horrible, horrible pain that would just 'stop' as quickly as it started. I also developed reflux which I did not have before with burping - and not ladylike burping - but horrible belching. Also got to where I could not swallow all foods and during meals would have to go to the bathroom and vomit the food. This was all AFTER the gb surgery.

I have been to a host of doctors - and I work in the health care field so I know these doctors - and after tests - EGD, colonoscopy, gastroscopy, upper GI, lower GI, etc, etc, they tell me it is gastritis and just watch what I eat and live with it.

At this point, even though I work with doctors, I am so sick of doctors that I don't know what to do. I have been on Prevacid for 3 years now and it really does help. The reflux is about 95% helped with the Prevacid and that is wonderful. The swallowing problems have disappeared with the Prevacid so I am happy about that, too. But the morning 5-6 a.m. pains persist - perhaps only every 3-4 MONTHS now instead of daily but when they do, they are horrendous. And I am noting that they seem to occur after an evening when I ate out in a restaurant making me wonder if I could be allergic to some additive used in food preparation - it is a horrible, horrible pain that doubles me over and makes me lose my breath, sometimes breaking out in the sweat, etc and it does not gradually ease up but just abruptly stops - making the doctors diagnose severe gas - true I do hear the gas rumbling in my abdomen during these attacks.

Just found your post the closest to what I have experienced and just recently found this site so I do appreciate your response and any comments you might have. Right now I am burned out on doctors though I bless the Prevacid for helping greatly the reflux and the swallowing problems. I try everything I can think of - watching my diet, sleeping with my head raised, absolutely no food after 6 p.m. - etc, all the standard GERD/reflux recommendations and it does greatly help.

Thanks so much for reading. Cheryl

 
Old 12-16-2003, 08:02 PM   #7
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cosmicgrl HB User
Re: Severe stomach ache after gallbladder surgery

Quote:
Originally Posted by feucht
Thanks so much for responding-You will be amazed that I had my gb surgery 16 years ago (at the age of 39, after suffering with abdominal distress since the age of 14). I had undergone numerous tests from the age of 14-39 until a doctor did a HIDA scan and told me my gallbladder was non-functioning-no stones, just a non-functioning gb. Had it out in Nov, 1987 and I will say that the previous discomfort, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea did stop after the surgery.

But 1 week after returning home from the surgery (this was before the current laparoscopic surgery-I had the 'old' open procedure with a 5 day hospital stay), 1 week after the surgery I began getting horrible, abdominal pains between 5-6 a.m., awakening me from sleep and would cause me to have to sit up. The pain would last between 5-15 minutes and then would just stop as quickly as it came on. I could hear 'gas' rumbling in my abdomen. Went back to the surgeon, he did more tests, prescriptions, etc and he determined it was severe gas. Gave me medication which did not help and then just told me to 'live with it'. Over the years, I have suffered these attacks probably 4-5 x week - sometimes more severe, sometimes causing me to break out in sweats, always horrible, horrible pain that would just 'stop' as quickly as it started. I also developed reflux which I did not have before with burping - and not ladylike burping - but horrible belching. Also got to where I could not swallow all foods and during meals would have to go to the bathroom and vomit the food. This was all AFTER the gb surgery.

I have been to a host of doctors - and I work in the health care field so I know these doctors - and after tests - EGD, colonoscopy, gastroscopy, upper GI, lower GI, etc, etc, they tell me it is gastritis and just watch what I eat and live with it.

At this point, even though I work with doctors, I am so sick of doctors that I don't know what to do. I have been on Prevacid for 3 years now and it really does help. The reflux is about 95% helped with the Prevacid and that is wonderful. The swallowing problems have disappeared with the Prevacid so I am happy about that, too. But the morning 5-6 a.m. pains persist - perhaps only every 3-4 MONTHS now instead of daily but when they do, they are horrendous. And I am noting that they seem to occur after an evening when I ate out in a restaurant making me wonder if I could be allergic to some additive used in food preparation - it is a horrible, horrible pain that doubles me over and makes me lose my breath, sometimes breaking out in the sweat, etc and it does not gradually ease up but just abruptly stops - making the doctors diagnose severe gas - true I do hear the gas rumbling in my abdomen during these attacks.

Just found your post the closest to what I have experienced and just recently found this site so I do appreciate your response and any comments you might have. Right now I am burned out on doctors though I bless the Prevacid for helping greatly the reflux and the swallowing problems. I try everything I can think of - watching my diet, sleeping with my head raised, absolutely no food after 6 p.m. - etc, all the standard GERD/reflux recommendations and it does greatly help.

Thanks so much for reading. Cheryl
Hi I was just reading your symptoms and they all describe me almost to a T. I had my gb out 3 and a half months ago and I have the same problems only I think I already had problems with reflux before my surgery and my spasms as the doctor describes after I eat but not in the middle of the night or in the morning. It is more when I eat certain foods I get a stomach ache. witch quickly turns into a horrible feeling in my upper middle abdomen and through my back. They last a long 10 to 15 mins. I had these same spasms before removing my bg, witch had not been working either. But now they almost seem to get worse every time it happens. I almost feel like my whole body is seizing on me. I get nausua, dizzy, blurry eyed, I can barly speak. to the point where I feel like I am going to pass out. It is so scary.I do notice It only happens about once a month around my cycle. and is brought on after eating eggs, nuts, bannanas, cherry tomatoes,lobter,so far . I have began wondering if it was my gullbladder that was the problem or am I becoming intollorant to foods. I have been to the dr. and said maybe my pancreas or an ulcer. I have not been tested yet for any cause I have no insurance at the moment. I have looked on line and found some other things that this could possibly be, colitis, diverticulitis, endometriosis,fibromialgia( or hormone imbalance) cancer of the stomach or pancreas. Now I am more confused at what this could possibley be and scared. If either of you have any more information please let me know I would greatly appriciate it . Thank you again.

 
Old 12-17-2003, 01:11 PM   #8
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: vancouver, canada
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carebear73 HB User
Re: Severe stomach ache after gallbladder surgery

Quote:
Originally Posted by feucht
Thanks so much for responding-You will be amazed that I had my gb surgery 16 years ago (at the age of 39, after suffering with abdominal distress since the age of 14). I had undergone numerous tests from the age of 14-39 until a doctor did a HIDA scan and told me my gallbladder was non-functioning-no stones, just a non-functioning gb. Had it out in Nov, 1987 and I will say that the previous discomfort, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea did stop after the surgery.

But 1 week after returning home from the surgery (this was before the current laparoscopic surgery-I had the 'old' open procedure with a 5 day hospital stay), 1 week after the surgery I began getting horrible, abdominal pains between 5-6 a.m., awakening me from sleep and would cause me to have to sit up. The pain would last between 5-15 minutes and then would just stop as quickly as it came on. I could hear 'gas' rumbling in my abdomen. Went back to the surgeon, he did more tests, prescriptions, etc and he determined it was severe gas. Gave me medication which did not help and then just told me to 'live with it'. Over the years, I have suffered these attacks probably 4-5 x week - sometimes more severe, sometimes causing me to break out in sweats, always horrible, horrible pain that would just 'stop' as quickly as it started. I also developed reflux which I did not have before with burping - and not ladylike burping - but horrible belching. Also got to where I could not swallow all foods and during meals would have to go to the bathroom and vomit the food. This was all AFTER the gb surgery.

I have been to a host of doctors - and I work in the health care field so I know these doctors - and after tests - EGD, colonoscopy, gastroscopy, upper GI, lower GI, etc, etc, they tell me it is gastritis and just watch what I eat and live with it.

At this point, even though I work with doctors, I am so sick of doctors that I don't know what to do. I have been on Prevacid for 3 years now and it really does help. The reflux is about 95% helped with the Prevacid and that is wonderful. The swallowing problems have disappeared with the Prevacid so I am happy about that, too. But the morning 5-6 a.m. pains persist - perhaps only every 3-4 MONTHS now instead of daily but when they do, they are horrendous. And I am noting that they seem to occur after an evening when I ate out in a restaurant making me wonder if I could be allergic to some additive used in food preparation - it is a horrible, horrible pain that doubles me over and makes me lose my breath, sometimes breaking out in the sweat, etc and it does not gradually ease up but just abruptly stops - making the doctors diagnose severe gas - true I do hear the gas rumbling in my abdomen during these attacks.

Just found your post the closest to what I have experienced and just recently found this site so I do appreciate your response and any comments you might have. Right now I am burned out on doctors though I bless the Prevacid for helping greatly the reflux and the swallowing problems. I try everything I can think of - watching my diet, sleeping with my head raised, absolutely no food after 6 p.m. - etc, all the standard GERD/reflux recommendations and it does greatly help.

Thanks so much for reading. Cheryl
Hi Cheryl, Sorry it has taken me so long to respond. You have suffered from this for a long time. I'm sorry to hear of your troubles. So basically they have said it is gastritis? I don't exactly know what the symptoms of gastritis are. I have been fine for a couple weeks until this morning. I woke up with a bad stomach ache and had to go to the bathroom right away. I have been having looser bowel movements since the surgery as well. Exactly what you describe is what I have as well. It only lasts about 10 to 15 min and goes as quickly as it came on. And I have alot of bubbly gas moving around after it happens. I never had this before surgery. Maybe it is gastritis. Have you found anything that triggers the pain in particular? Any certain foods or anything? Do you take anything to help the pain? I take gaviscon which seems to help. I'm wondering if digestive enzymes would help or not. What have the doctors told you since you have had this .. other than "live with it?" I know the pain you are talking about.. It makes me just double over with pain.. and it goes into my back and it is very painful. It's like I can't talk.. and afterwards.. within a couple hours I have diahreah or bad gas. I too, have severe belching.. not lady like either.. I don't have the abdominal pain after I eat anymore, or the nausea or headaches or anything like that.. Have you found anything that works for the pain or that prevents it? I am on medication and it has helped the reflux ( which I never had this bad before) a great deal. I do notice what I eat does effect my belching though.. foods high in fat or greasy... it happens alot more. I am sick of doctors too.. I am tired of seeing them all the time. I am scheduled for an endoscopy in February.. I am going to see if I can find any info on this topic... I will keep you posted. I hope you are doing well. Take care.
Carrie

 
Old 12-17-2003, 07:10 PM   #9
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feucht HB User
Re: Severe stomach ache after gallbladder surgery

Quote:
Originally Posted by carebear73
Hi Cheryl, Sorry it has taken me so long to respond. You have suffered from this for a long time. I'm sorry to hear of your troubles. So basically they have said it is gastritis? I don't exactly know what the symptoms of gastritis are. I have been fine for a couple weeks until this morning. I woke up with a bad stomach ache and had to go to the bathroom right away. I have been having looser bowel movements since the surgery as well. Exactly what you describe is what I have as well. It only lasts about 10 to 15 min and goes as quickly as it came on. And I have alot of bubbly gas moving around after it happens. I never had this before surgery. Maybe it is gastritis. Have you found anything that triggers the pain in particular? Any certain foods or anything? Do you take anything to help the pain? I take gaviscon which seems to help. I'm wondering if digestive enzymes would help or not. What have the doctors told you since you have had this .. other than "live with it?" I know the pain you are talking about.. It makes me just double over with pain.. and it goes into my back and it is very painful. It's like I can't talk.. and afterwards.. within a couple hours I have diahreah or bad gas. I too, have severe belching.. not lady like either.. I don't have the abdominal pain after I eat anymore, or the nausea or headaches or anything like that.. Have you found anything that works for the pain or that prevents it? I am on medication and it has helped the reflux ( which I never had this bad before) a great deal. I do notice what I eat does effect my belching though.. foods high in fat or greasy... it happens alot more. I am sick of doctors too.. I am tired of seeing them all the time. I am scheduled for an endoscopy in February.. I am going to see if I can find any info on this topic... I will keep you posted. I hope you are doing well. Take care.
Carrie

Hi, Carrie (and cosmigrl, too),

I am finding this board very helpful if for nothing else than it shows me that I am not the only one with these problems (and I sure thought nobody else suffered like I do). I have been to internists, family physicians, GI's, surgeons, etc - I have worked in the healthcare field with physicians my whole career and know doctors personally and nothing has turned up anything of any help. For the first 12 or so YEARS after the gallbladder surgery, these 'attacks' occurred nearly every morning or every other morning and no less than 3-4 x week. Always between 5-6 a.m. and would go as quickly as they came on but I would sure notice that the rest of the day I was whipped - weak, tired, queasy. I went from doctor to doctor - worked in a very high quality hospital - and went thru batteries of tests and the bottom line was 'live with it, it is gastritis, watch what you eat, elevate the head of your bed".

I moved to the other side of our state (Michigan) about 7 years ago and finally found a new doctor who diagnosed reflux and I have been on Prevacid for 4 years. That seemed to really help in reducing the attacks to maybe every couple months and it helped the swallowing difficulties. But I still have the attacks - perhaps not as frequently - but just as severe and it does take my breath away, I find myself wheezing, I can't speak and it is just horrible and then it will just stop - like a switch going off.

As an interesting side line - when I began with the digestive problems at the age of 14, I quickly learned that so many foods aggravated my stomach. Consequently I cut out one food after another and was eating very bland, very little but continued to gain weight. Over the years, I ate very little, very carefully, nothing fried, nothing tomato based, no fast foods, no pizza, bacon, popcorn, potato chips, oriental food, mexican, etc. You name it and I could NOT eat it. But the weight kept coming on and all attempts to diet were useless.

Last year my current physician suggested that I may have completely turned my metabolism around from my bland/small eating for over 40 years. He said that I ate like an anorexic but instead of losing weight, I had totally unbalanced my metabolism and it caused me to continuously gain. Every time I would go on a diet, I would cut back more and would gain, gain, gain. So he had this radical idea that I needed to eat more to lose weight. I was 75# overweight and miserable and the extra weight did not help my digestion, either. And the fact that I ate so minimally was distressing that I would weigh what I did.

So he told me to eat 6 meals a day, eat MORE food, no fat free food, real butter, real salad dressing (of course none of the foods that aggravate my stomach) and eat nothing after 5 p.m. I began that 14 months ago and it has been tough to eat as much as he wants me to eat but amazingly I have lost 60# in that 14 months and my stomach attacks have cut down to maybe 3-4 x year. But even 3-4 x year is too much because I am in constant fear of one occuring and I eat so very bland and my diet consists of chicken, chicken, turkey, chicken, chicken and chicken again. Maybe boiled potatoes, green beans or carrots - any other veggies upset me, and it is very difficult. But, of course, the 60# weight loss is wonderful. But I have had to be very stringent with myself in eating the quantity the doctor wants but choosing the few foods to eat that don't aggravate my stomach. Eating out in restaurants is hard because you don't know what the food is prepared with and I have noticed that the mornings I get the most severe attacks is after dinner out the night before.

I just heard about a product called Reliv? Some type of nutritional supplemental formula - powder form - that you mix with water or juice and people on this swear of its good properties. People with orthopedic problems swear it has helped them; people with digestive problems say that it is a miracle aid. I don't know if I believe this but I am being persuaded to give it a try. Very expensive and I haven't made up my mind yet. But I will tell you both (and anyone else who reads this post), the stomach attacks are horrible, they incapacitate a person and they are very frightening. But I am seeing on these posts that there are very many people who find that having the gb out is not the end of digestive problems. I do take my Prevacid faithfully, 15 mg in the a.m. and 15 mg after dinner. When I feel excessive gas, I have used GasX but it isn't very helpful. Have tried all other kinds of treatments - Prilosec, Zantac, etc and Prevacid seemed to help the most and I wonder if it is just something I have to live with forever. Any other comments or suggestions are surely appreciated. We will suffer together, I guess until we find the right plan to help. I really have come to the conclusion that this is severe gas type pains and that after the gb is removed, people must process/eliminate gas in a different manner and for some (like me) it causes the horrible attacks. So I continue to be very careful what I eat and my closest family and friends are solicitious of this and understand; others can't understand why I can't eat the majority of things that everyone else does and at the holiday time it is extra difficult. I have become an expert on knowing what NOT to eat and it gets very discouraging. I am thinking seriously of giving this Reliv product a try.

Cheryl

 
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