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pebblebeach3 04-05-2013 03:53 PM

Aftermath of pancreatic surgery
Hi all. I am looking for some information.

First of all I went thru Pancreatic surgery in January of 2007. After several months of not feeling well -- bloating; especially after eating; nausea; some vomitting, I went thru several CT scans. I don't have the records in front of me but a mass was found on the tail of the pancreas.

So after getting several opinions surgery was done to remove the tail of the pancrease and the spleen as well.

Here it is 6 plus years latter and I am finding that I am not feeling well. Since the surgery I have been thru several rounds of feeling bloated at times is the main issue and it usually continues throughout most of the day.

Since the surgery I also went thru a Hydrogen Breath Test when ever the bloating feeling occurred. It usually turned out that I had some type of infection and to my understanding does occur after the type of surgery that I had been thru. So my doctor would put me on a round of anti-biotics to fight off the infection.

Last year I had the same issue and we redid the MRI/Ct scan to make sure that there wasnt a reoccurrence of the mass. Test showed no mass was found. Also went thru a colonoscopy which came back fine. We did this just to rule out other issues as well.

Well I am now again faced with the "bloating" feeling and again it lasts pretty much all day long. I don't think I have any other symptoms.

Has anyone else gone thru pancreatic surgery and found that they have had a reoccurrence of a bacterial infection. If so what treatment did you go thru? Is the bacterial infection something that I will now have to deal with for the rest of my life? Anyone have information about long term effects of the infection and what it can do to you in the long run?

I tried googling information and really can't say I came across anything. Not sure if I am entering the information right to find what I am looking for. But when I get this bloating feeling it really is a horrible feeling. I can't even say it is a mild case of bloating. It tends to be moderate to once in a blue moon on the severe side.

Any input would be appreciated.

klray 04-19-2013 09:58 AM

Re: Aftermath of pancreatic surgery
I am a 75 year old male that was diagnosed with "Carcinoma of Ampulla of Vater" in early December 2005 (age 68). Four Doctor's from the local hospital all told me Whipple surgery was a no-brainier in my situation so I went for it. Surgery was set up with Dr John Bolton at Ochsner Hospital in New Orleans for 12-16-05. I was released from the hospital on 12-24-05. During the Whipple Dr Bolton took out the usual body parts and I had Stage 2 cancer that had not spread so no Chemo in my case. I had problems with eating and the recovery for two months was not good (hospitalized twice) but then it completely turned around and my weight started to increase and I feel fine. I have some stomach stress several times weekly but have found that by taking GasX it helped some. I also have bloating. I try and drink some water when the stress starts. I always say that I pay for each meal but The Whipple worked for me. I have had Pancreatis four times over the years. The surgery has many problems that come with it but it was correct for me and I am happy to be here.

I hope this helps.

pebblebeach3 04-19-2013 10:17 AM

Re: Aftermath of pancreatic surgery
I truely feel like a miracle at times. When my symptoms first appeared I was getting abdominal bloating feeling; nausea, rarely vomiting. After several CT scans I was referred to a surgeon in Philadelphia. He felt that surgery should NOT be done. His concern was that first I am diabetic and recovery for a diabetic is an issue but more of a reason was that I was born with 1 kidney and have kidney disease of the 1 kidney that I do have.

The gastrologist that I was seeing had problems that surgery was not recommended. We didn't know if the mass that was found was premalignant or malignant.

If it was pre-malignant the issue was whether it would eventually become malignant. And if it was malignant already then the issue was to stop it from spreading.

So my gastrologist referred me to another surgeon at a completely different hospital. The recommendation was that surgery SHOULD be done. So in January of 2007 it was done and did come back premalignant. I thank my gastrologist for his persistence. I truly believe that if surgery was NOT done as initially suggested that I question if I would still be here or not to talk about it.

But since that time I have had several episodes, sometimes severe, where the bloating was extreme and pain associated with it. A CT was done just to make sure the mass didnt reoccur at another spot on the pancreas. It came back I was fine.

I have been thru several Hydrogen Breath Tests and always showed that the cause of my bloating was a bacterial infection. Since they removed the tail of the pancreas and the spleen I wonder if the abscense of the spleen can be responsible for the infections.

I can drink water etc and nothing really seems to relieve the symptoms. In the past I have been put on a high dosage of anti-biotics that seems to help. I have another breath test scheduled for next week. Then I will get the results the next day. I am assuming that this is going to be a re0ccurring problem for me.

Last year I did go thru a colonoscopy just to rule out other possibilities. The colonoscopy was fine.

I was 53 when my problems with pancreas started. I will be 60 in a few months.

My gastro doctor told me prior to the surgery how risky it is to go thru the surgery. Because of what had to be done he felt obligated to tell me that I may not make it thru surgery. I always want to know the benefits vs. risks of any surgery. I felt doing the surgery was the right decision for me. I have no regrets for the decision that I had made.

I've tried to google information on the bacteria but came up empty handed. I need more information from my gastro doctor as to specifically what type of bacteria I am dealing with. And if the absence of the spleen can be a contributing factor. And if there is anything I should or shouldn't be doing so that I can avoid or at least reduce the number of episodes of the bacteria returning.

klray 04-19-2013 12:17 PM

Re: Aftermath of pancreatic surgery
We are miracles and in my opinion without the Whipple we would not be here.
I have a serious pain after eating some 4-5 times weekly in the center of my chest that lasts for several minutes when the food starts to digest. The Doctor's have no idea what it is, so no treatment. I'm not complaining and it is just a reminder that the PC is gone. Another issue of the whipple is bowel movements, very large and very frequent. Another reminder that I am alive.

I saw a Doctor recently when I was taken to ER for heart problems that saw me in 2005 for PC. His statement was "Some patients you remember and some you don't, but if anyone told me that seven years later I would be treating you for heart disease I would not have believed them".

I hope they are able to determine a fix for you.

Good luck to you.

All the Praise goes to God

pebblebeach3 04-19-2013 12:59 PM

Re: Aftermath of pancreatic surgery
When the bloating hits me it goes on and on. It is not in the chest area. Strictly the abdominal region. It may vary from one degree to the next at times getting extremely severe. Even if I haven't eaten anything for hours on end I can have this bloating feeling like I am a baloon that is about to explode. Totally an uncomfortable feeling. And usually when it occurs it is continuous until I get some type of treatment for it.

Yes it is a miracle that we are alive.

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