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Normal HIDA scan... could it still be my gallbladder?

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Old 12-18-2005, 09:03 AM   #1
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Normal HIDA scan... could it still be my gallbladder?

I've been dealing with episodic RUQ pain since after I had my baby over 8 months ago. The pain is most definitley located under my right rib cage and "Shoots" through to my back under my shoulder blade. Sometimes it radiates up my chest to under my collar bone. Doubling up and sitting hunched over makes the front pain worse, lying on my back makes the back pain worse. I get moderate relief from lying on my stomach. The episodes have been gradually increasing in duration and frequency. I had an upper GI no ulcers, an u/s on all my right side organs which showed no stones and perfect liver, and a HIDA scan that showed remarkable liver function and a 51% gall bladder ejection rate. The odd thing is during the CCK part of the HIDA scan I began to feel the pain, and it's been even worse than before ever since the scan.

The doctor gave me darvocet, which not only didn't help much, but actually seemed to make the pain worse when I didn't take them. I'm taking fiber and aciphex, and have been for months. Nothing's working. I'm so tired of being in pain.....

I have an appointment for a pre-op consult to remove my gall bladder on Jan 4th. (The PCM said to keep the appt. even though the HIDA looked good.) Do you think they will do anything? The PCM did mention that sometimes the gall bladder can be diseased and inflamed but still function okay, just cause pain, but that it's pretty rare.

What do you think? What else could it be?
Married 09/28/2002
DS born 07/05/2003
DD born 3/24/2005

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Old 12-18-2005, 10:12 AM   #2
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Re: Normal HIDA scan... could it still be my gallbladder?

It sounds like you have classic gallbladder pain. My guess is that since it's such bad pain and interfering with your life, they'll probably just yank it anyway. Especially if they don't have any better ideas. Also, taking it out will also give them an opportunity to examine everything else in the vicinity while they are in there. Of course, it's possible that the surgeon will say that if all the tests are normal then he's not going to do surgery. Guess you'll have to wait and see. But I think it's possible that it can still be the gallbladder. My surgeon was surprised by the size and number of my stones when he got in there, even though I'd had an ultrasound. It just didn't show how many there were, and it didn't show the big ones (1" diameter). Good luck!

Oh, yeah... I didn't get any help from the painkillers either. The surgeon gave me something (vicodin?) to tide me over until surgery and it did take the edge off, but I was still in quite a bit of pain.

Last edited by kehorner; 12-18-2005 at 10:14 AM.

Old 12-18-2005, 11:54 AM   #3
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Re: Normal HIDA scan... could it still be my gallbladder?

Probably best to have it could be inflamed and damaged...obviously it is somewhat as your gb function is low...I had only one stone but my gb was severely damaged and inflamed. Doc said I was lucky I wasn't having worse problems.

Old 12-18-2005, 08:44 PM   #4
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Re: Normal HIDA scan... could it still be my gallbladder?

I'm in pretty much the same boat. ALL my tests are normal. I have had multiple ultrasounds, 2 HIDA scans, liver function tests, etc., and nothing shows anything. I have upper right quadrant pain and some boring epigastric pain, sometimes it is so bad that I require narcotic painkillers. It comes in waves of attacks that recur daily for about 2 weeks, then sort of die down until something initiates another attack. My pain was worse for about a week after the CCK injection. I think it sort of irritated something. My next step, I've been told, is to be evaluated at a large medical center for more obscure things such as bile duct strictures, sphincter of oddi dysfunction, etc. I'm waiting for a referral, so that likely won't happen for another month, at least. In the meantime, I'm trying hard to avoid most fats and I'm supplementing with milk thistle, which supposedly "thins the bile". Won't hurt at this point! The surgeon I saw told me that he would not take out my gallbladder without at least one abnormal test. There are some surgeons who, if your case is convincing enough, will take it out; at least that is what I hear. The problem is, without any abnormal tests, the likelihood of surgery curing the problem is lower than if you had stones or a low ejection fraction on the HIDA. Best wishes to you, I hope you will feel better, and be sure to post and let us know how you are!

Old 12-18-2005, 10:14 PM   #5
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Re: Normal HIDA scan... could it still be my gallbladder?

Regardless of the test results --- I think the symptoms are enough to warrent having your gallbladder removed and you too Circus Squrril.

Before we had all the testing -- Doctors use to diagnose ailments by talking and exams. The tests are not always accurate.


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