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Old 01-21-2003, 10:09 PM   #1
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Post left-sided gallbladder pain

Anyone else have the pain referred from their gallbladder to the left side chest area and also going through to the back. When it hits its like my chest is being crushed but after it subsides it is like an extremely bad gas pain. It also seems to follow the breast bone to the right side and is worse with eating certain foods such a brussel sprouts. It is aggravating my crohn's so I'd really like to figure it out. Originally the docs thought esophagus spasms but I have no choking sensations and had a gastroscopy just a few months back which only showed gastritis in my stomach. Heart problems have been ruled out. I have crohn's disease and a gallbladder polyp. My docs think I'm nuts but my mother was the same way (other than the polyp) and had her gb removed. Would really like some advice from someone else dealing with this.
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Old 01-23-2003, 05:59 AM   #2
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This could be bowel/intestine related because the bowel runs along the left side. Have you had a colonoscopy yet? I would rule out polyps,etc. Do you by any chance have a hiatial hernia or GERD, because this could also be the cause, be it hard to believe.
Let me know!

 
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Old 01-23-2003, 06:01 PM   #3
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Hi there. Yes, I've had a colonoscopy, that's how my crohn's was found. Have also had a gastroscopy and a barium meal so definitely no hiatus hernia or gerd. Symptoms are identical to gallbladder except they are on left side and not right. I tend to get referred pain so I'm assuming that is what is going on here. Thanks for the advice though.
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Old 01-27-2003, 05:19 AM   #4
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Hi twisten,
I have multiple gallbladder polyps-the specialist said that I should have them looked(ultrasound)at every 6 months. Becuz they do not go away-eventually will have to have gallbladder out. I had all the symptoms of gallbladder when they found them. Am due for another ultrasound by the end of March. Still have all the symptoms!!! They also did an endoscopy and found bile in my stomach. Just 3 weeks ago was told I have IBS, am on librax for that. I had the pain on the left side right where the bowel is located. Just last week was told I have osteopenia-am borderline osteoporsis. So maybe your pain is IBS related(just my opinion).
Let me know how you are doin.
Sincerely, B-Jean

 
Old 01-27-2003, 06:45 AM   #5
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If the pain that you have is on the left hand side and above your belly button, then it could well be referred pain from your gallbladder. You can get referred pain into your shoulders and sometimes to points below your belly button too. Rather than having gall stones, it could be that you have a chronic inflammation, so keep on pushing for more tests to see.

 
Old 01-28-2003, 08:36 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies everyone. I will keep pushing the docs. My way of thinking is, the gallbladder has a polyp anyway so will have to come out eventually so why not do it now!! Take care all.
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Old 01-23-2004, 02:42 PM   #7
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Re: left-sided gallbladder pain

Does anybody have more info about referred pain? My gallbladder was recently diagnosed at 8% ejection fraction using a HIDA scan with CCK. I swear the feelings that prompted this entire series of tests started on the left side and is predominant on the left side. I can feel it on the right, but it tends to only be when I do not feel it on the left. Very few times have I felt it on both sides at once.

It started with gas bloating feeling on the left side under the ribs and somewhat on the right. In 3 weeks it's become more of a nagging pain than just feeling pressure from underneath.

I'm seeing a surgeon about my HIDA results in 3 days. I'm just wondering what he can tell me about the left side being predominantly where the pain manifests. I've asked my doctor to refer me to a GI doc but since I am seeing the surgeon so soon anyway, the doctor's office suggested that I wait until that meeting and then I can speak with the doctor about what the surgeon said as well as getting referred to a GI. I kinda want a colonoscopy if nothing else to ease my mind that I'm hopefully not dying.

Last edited by hallmatt; 01-23-2004 at 02:42 PM. Reason: e-mail notification

 
Old 01-23-2004, 05:55 PM   #8
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Re: left-sided gallbladder pain

I hope you have better luck than me. Its a year now and I'm no closer to answers now than I was when it first started.
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Old 01-25-2004, 05:48 PM   #9
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Re: left-sided gallbladder pain

twisten,

Did you end up having your GB out? Curious as to what other tests and operations they've tried on you. If nothing else, maybe it'll give me a heads up.

Thanks,

-Matt

 
Old 01-26-2004, 11:33 AM   #10
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Re: left-sided gallbladder pain

I replied to this once already but looks like it vanished!! Anyway, no they haven't removed my gallbladder yet. I've had so many surgeries that they are worried about scar tissue. They do know that the polyp is getting larger though so eventually it will have to come out. I've had gastroscopies, ct scans, blood work, ultrasounds and years ago I had a hida scan which showed my gall bladder doesn't function properly. I hope you have better luck than me with getting things resolved. I see a new gastroenterologist in April so maybe I'll have better luck with him.
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Old 01-30-2004, 02:52 PM   #11
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Re: left-sided gallbladder pain

I had some left-sided gallbladder pain, especially in the last few months before I had my gallbladder out. (just had it out three weeks ago). Usually the pain would start out more in the center but a little towards the right, but as the attack would progress, I would start to get pain on the left beneath my lowest rib. It actually felt like someone was scrubbing my rib with an S.O.S. pad.

I had a laporascopic cholecystectomy earlier this month. My surgeon didn't tell me a thing about it. In fact, I only saw him for about a minute the day after when he discharged me from the hospital. At that time, I was having a lot of throat pain and forgot to ask him how the surgery went. I later went to the medical records department and requested copies of some of the hospital documents. It was through the documents that I learned I had two stones that were so big (in addition to numerous smaller stones) that the surgeon had to extend the incision by my belly button a bit to get my gallbladder out. Also, he said that my gallbladder was sort of bent at a ninety degree angle. Not sure exactly what that means, since I don't know what angle they normally are.

Anyway, other than some severe throat pain from a bad intubation, I've felt great since I had my gallbladder out. Before the surgery, it was a gamble to eat since sometimes things would cause an attack, but other times the same food wouldn't. I was getting about 4-5 attacks a month.
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Old 01-30-2004, 10:24 PM   #12
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Re: left-sided gallbladder pain

Maryilee, my pain hasn't been bad lately, just the odd twinge every now and then. Still some nausea after I eat quite a bit though. I'm glad your feeling better now but I hope your sore throat goes away soon. I sure wish I could get the docs to take mine out. I don't know anything about the degree of angle your gall bladder should be either so can't help you there.
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Old 01-31-2004, 09:40 PM   #13
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Re: left-sided gallbladder pain

Maryilee,

Thank you for the reply. It is very good to hear that left side pain is not terribly rare with GB problems. My wife works with a woman who made the off comment the other day "Yep, I gotta get my gallbladder out soon." My wife was extremely surprised and asked her more about her symptoms. Apparently she herself hasn't had any left-sided pain, but at least one friend of hers did before that friend had hers removed. So yeah, that's like 4th hand information now, but at least it's reassuring that I don't have a faulty GB and another more serious problem at the same time (still possible of course).

The surgeon told me that he definitely can't say whether the removal will solve the left side puzzle. But he left it open saying it might, and that we should first eliminate the GB from the equation since it's known to be bad.

Did you have an ultrasound before surgery? Mine didn't find any stones, though I had a lot of gas bloating my belly at the time which is why I was getting these tests done in the first place. At 8%, obviously something is wrong. I wouldn't be at all surprised if I had a very large stone that they just didn't notice rather than a normal sized one. But maybe you didn't have an ultrasound so they didn't miss it in your case.

Twisten,

Same here. I don't even know if I'd call any of my symptoms pain per se. But what little pain I've had has become more like yours. Twinge is a great word to describe it. Like a spasm. My surgeon used that term to describe what my GB is doing at 8%. Just kinda sitting there spasming every now and then, not really able to contract the way it wants to.

I'm curious, and maybe you've explained this, but why won't they take yours out? I mean, what ejection percentage did your HIDA have years ago? Personally I would demand another HIDA with CCK to measure the ejection fraction again. If it was at the very low end of normal years ago, and now it has descreased to well below normal, AND like me you have symptoms.. it just seems like a no brainer.

Even if you've had surgeries in the past, I would think that it would be worth the risk. I mean, I am slightly nervous about my first ever surgery even though it's routine.. there's ALWAYS a risk like that author who died from anasthesia while getting cosmetic surgery. So your risk is slightly more than others. It just seems pretty cut and dry.. symptoms + failed HIDA = GB comes out or you choose to just cope with it. I've heard of people who cope, and they have never said they feel any better than when they were diagnosed, they have just learned ways to avoid feeling worse. Well if you feel bad, maintaining the status quo doesn't make much sense to me unless the odds are really stacked against you.

Don't let the doctors tell you you're crazy. If they do, find a different one who will listen. Find one who will order another HIDA w/ CCK test. I'm surprised, most people complain that their doctors are too quick to go to surgery. If you've got all the evidence in front of you, and the only thing missing is that the pain is left-sided rather than right-sided, I dunno it just doesn't seem that extraordinary to me but what do I know.

 
Old 01-31-2004, 09:45 PM   #14
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Re: left-sided gallbladder pain

Also, Twisten, I've read that in a lot of cases, a polyp on the GB means one of two things. (A) There is a stone that looks like a polyp or (B) there's a polyp and nothing good can come of it. If I were you, I wouldn't let that slide. Whatever the mass is, there needs to be some gameplan to remove it. If they think it's a stone and can get it on its way non-surgically, so be it. If that doesn't happen, I just don't think there's a choice. Not trying to sound like a smart ***, but I really think you are right to keep pushing no matter what your doctors think.

Good luck all!

 
Old 02-01-2004, 10:41 AM   #15
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Re: left-sided gallbladder pain

[QUOTE=hallmatt]Maryilee,



Did you have an ultrasound before surgery? Mine didn't find any stones, though I had a lot of gas bloating my belly at the time which is why I was getting these tests done in the first place. At 8%, obviously something is wrong. I wouldn't be at all surprised if I had a very large stone that they just didn't notice rather than a normal sized one. But maybe you didn't have an ultrasound so they didn't miss it in your case.

<<<

I had an ultrasound in November that showed numerous stones. The range in size was given but I don't recall the exact numbers. I remember thinking they weren't that large(like half a centimeter?) but the largest stone was actually 2.8cm in size. That's over an inch! I recently read that stones over 3cm are associated with gallbladder cancer, so I'm glad I got those suckers out! LOL.

I did sort of wonder if the reason I had the left sided pain is because maybe those stones actually were rubbing up against my rib, right through the wall of the gallbladder. I don't know if that is possible, but that is what it felt like.
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