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  • 7 months post gallbladder surgery, and in pain!

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    Old 03-27-2007, 05:24 PM   #1
    Nal
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    Thumbs down 7 months post gallbladder surgery, and in pain!

    Well, I had my gb out last August. All was doing well until December when I started having right sided pain again. It travels to my back and such just like it did when I had my gallbladder issues. I have seen my GI dr who did an MRI and everything looks good except that there is some slight enlargement of the tube that connects from the liver to the small intestine. However, he assured me that this enlargement was normal for post GB surgical patients.

    So why the pain again? He wont do an ERCP (i think thats what its called when they can go in and open up the tube leading to the intestines) because there are no stones evident or anything.

    I don't know what to do. My whole right side will ache-almost like a stabbing pain at times and it will travel down towards the large intestinal tract. They are sending me to see a urologist because one of the ureters looked a little inflamed but again, no evidence of stones. Not to mention, the pain has been going on for 3 months now.

    Man, this is discouraging. Anyone have any thoughts, input, etc?

    Nancy

     
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    Old 04-03-2007, 02:37 PM   #2
    Nal
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    Re: 7 months post gallbladder surgery, and in pain!

    Please, does anyone have any thoughts on this? Others have had problems after GB surgery correct??

    Nancy

     
    Old 04-03-2007, 06:27 PM   #3
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    Re: 7 months post gallbladder surgery, and in pain!

    I had my gallbladder out a couple of years ago and the pain I've been getting every now and then has increased with frequency and severity. About three weeks ago, after eating something really greasy and spicy, I haven't been the same. The pain in my upper-right abdomen would come and go, and at times, even if there wasn't any pain, I would feel swollen in that area.

    I have a history of a borderline ovarian cancer, so after seeing a doctor at urgent care a few days ago, I was advised to have a ct scan just in case. The tumor I had was borderline, and there's been some disagreement in medical articles online as to whether the type of tumor similar to what I had was even cancerous. The type of cancer I had rarely comes back, but like I said - that doctor advised me to have a ct scan today just in case.

    Which I did. That barium drink was horrid, but at least the scan didn't take as long as I remembered from the last time I had one done. The test was at 11am, and so far I haven't heard anything, so I'm hoping that no news is good news. They told me that my doctors would have the results either this afternoon or tomorrow morning.

    It seems to me that if something was of an urgent nature, I would have been notified by now. I hope.

    I'm not sure what to tell you, except that maybe a second opinion from another gastroenterologist would help. I've been reading up on this and from what I heard, that "ERCP" could help, but I'm no doctor.

    My pain seems to get worse if I'm not careful what I eat, or if I get upset. For example, a couple of nights ago, when the pain was really bad, my upstairs neighbors were banging around, drunk and stoned out of their gourds. I couldn't sleep because of the pain, and them, and whenever I heard more noise from upstairs, the pain got worse!

    How long does it take to get ct results??? I'd hate to sit for another week, wondering what's going on. I don't get to see my new primary care md until Monday, and I'd like to know by Easter what's going on.

    Please keep us posted. I hope you will feel better soon.

    Last edited by dianajune; 04-03-2007 at 06:28 PM.

     
    Old 04-05-2007, 04:22 PM   #4
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    Re: 7 months post gallbladder surgery, and in pain!

    CT results can take up to a week to come back. Im in a lot of pain today and really wish I could just die. I cant live like this forever. I don't know whats wrong, all my tests are normal. I don't think seeing a urologist is going to help either. I just feel so totally helpless.

    Nancy

     
    Old 04-06-2007, 08:02 AM   #5
    Lenin
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    Re: 7 months post gallbladder surgery, and in pain!

    I guess the thing NOBODY wants to hear after having a gallbladder removed is, "That wasn't the cause of the pain."
    I guess the money is available and the surgery is easy so doctors will remove gall-bladders at the first sign of discomfort "just in case." It pays well.

    Rule of thumb is if it's food related it might be gall-bladder, stomach, pancreas. With diahrrhea or cramps it's intestinal.

    You both need a good diagnostician...somebody who is good at thinking "If this, then not THAT." Too few doctors seems skilled enough.
    PAGING DOCTOR HOUSE!

    I hope you both get to the root of the problem and it's not serious.

    An abdominal or even thoracic MRI looked at by an EXPERT seems a good way to proceed...but that EXPERT is never easy to find.

     
    Old 04-07-2007, 07:28 PM   #6
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    Re: 7 months post gallbladder surgery, and in pain!

    it does seem to be food related. Liver enzyme levels are normal. The MRI revealed that the bile duct was dilated to an 8. Dr says they wont do surgery unless its around an 11. The MRI also couldn't rule out a stricture. its very frustrating.

    Nancy

     
    Old 04-08-2007, 02:03 AM   #7
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    Re: 7 months post gallbladder surgery, and in pain!

    I really fee your pain, as this is also my cross to bear. A little history-
    I had a chronic gall bladder attack in 2001, right upper quadrant pain for about 4 weeks. My doctor ran blood work, x-rays and an ultrasound. After each test I had to wait a week to hear a response that they couldn't determine what was wrong. I knew it was my gall bladder though. No stones was all they'd say, so it can't be your gall bladder. Little did they know.
    On September 11, 2001 I was admitted to the hospital. The gb attack had gone from chronic and long- standing to acute and intense. I was not only nauseous as I had been, but at this point I couldn't even tolerate drinking water without vomiting. Again, while in the hospital they ran blood work, found nothing, ran x-rays, nothing, did and EGD- nothing. I kept hoping they'd just do a hida- scan. This is the most accurate test for revealing true gall bladder issues, not just stones. Finally after 2 days in the hospital they did! My ejection fraction was only 1/2 what it should be. Finally my dr consulted with a GI doc who told me that what I had was called Biliary Dyskinesia (****** it!), and that removing my gb had a 50/50 success rate. At this point, the condition I was in, I felt I had no choice. After my gb removal I felt much better for a while, a few months maybe. It wasn't long though before that gnawing pain returned. I couldn't understand why. After many returned trips to the GI doc, he informed me the he suspected sphincter of oddi dysfunction (****** that too!). It is a condition that usually results after gb removal in patients with biliary dyskinesia, patients that have no stones, just malfunctioning gb. Basically that entire system has the same problem, spasms, in a nutshell. He wanted to do an ERCP at that time, but after researching on my own, which I do frequently (you are your own best advocate for your health and well being!) I realized at that point I wasn't willing to risk the complications from the ERCP, as there are many potential risks with this procedure.
    Fast forward to five years later...
    I had come to terms with the fact that the upper quadrant (phantom gb pain) would always be a part of my life, no biggie, as I know everyone has their own cross to bear. In late February of 2006 I had been sick with pneumonia, had begun to get better by early March, but after my antibiotics, apparently I wasn't quite healed and it returned (which of course had nothing to do with my suspected sphicter of oddi dysfunction, but bear with me, I am going somewhere with this
    I returned to my family doc on a Friday, they gave me 2 shots in the hips, one was for my asthma, the other was antibiotic and sent me home to take guafenisen (sp?) with codeine and a nebulizer treatment. After returning home, I took the rest of my medicine, and sat down on the couch and began my neb treatment. After about four breaths in I felt an enormous pain in my upper right quadrant that was like contractions of pregnancy, and then a tightening that I was just sure something in there was going to pop. I have had 3 kids, and don't think I felt that much pain my entire labor. Within 30 seconds I was writhing around on the floor screaming in pain. I grabbed the phone barely able to speak. Breathing at all seemed to intensify the pain. I was just sure it had something to do the with all of the medicine. I dialed my doctor, and between screams was able to get out "help me!", and told them who I was and that I had just been there not only one to two hours earlier. They too assumed I may be having a reaction to the medicine and told me to call an ambulance. I dialed 911, and again was barely able to convey who I was and what was wrong. I just kept screaming, I had never felt anything quite like that in my life. I thought I was truly going to die before they got there. Once in the hospital they did the usual- imaging and blood work, and of course they had to more or less sedate me for the pain. I was completely wiped out from the ordeal. Within 24 hours my liver enzymes went thru the roof. My doctor kept scratching his head, thinking I could have been exposed to Mono, or Hepatitis B, wow- I was thinking but I have been immunized against that. No clue!! Basically after 2 days where my liver enzymes, specifically my AST and ALT levels continued to climb, they finally leveled and began to drop again. The pain was ever present, just not to the degree as when I called the ambulance, but I was always holding my side. My doctor sent me back to the GI doc to consult about the pain and my liver enzymes. He immediately knew it was sphincter of oddi dysfunction, but of course you have to have the ERCP to determine for sure. Well, at this point I knew another attack would be imminent. My GI doc sent me to Indy, they have a clinic there that is designated to ERCP and they have the capability to do manometry readings on the pressure in your sphicters that are located at your bile and pancreatic ducts- all part of the biliary system. My own GI doc didn't have the capability to do the manometry readings, but said they clinic in Indy was highly capable (which I would suggest if you are going to get an ERCP having a very skilled doctor, because there are so many risks associated with this procedure. ****** him on the net and see if he's done case studies, etc.). Anyway, after a few weeks I was able to get in to see Dr. Sherman in Indy (He was wonderful! Very skilled and experienced). He performed the ERCP with manometry readings and informed me that I did, in fact have sphincter of oddi dysfunction, and that the pressure in my bile duct was 1/3 high and my pancreatic duct was 2x the normal pressure. He made a cut in both, but of course I developed pancreatitis from the procedure, which is a normal possible complication, and had to be hospitalized for about 5 days (nothing by mouth) until it resolved.
    A year later....
    I continued to have mild upper right quad pain, only from time to time. In January 07 I had some other health issues that required me to begin taking a lot of ibuprofen for pain. I did this for about two months, which helped my other unrelated issue, but the pain in my right upper quad seemed to be getting worse, until March I had to have a laparoscopic procedure related to my other health issue, and once that was done, and I was given more pain medicine, the pain in my right upper quad became unbearable again, not quite as bad as last year, but I was unable to function, and ended up hospitalized again! My GI doc told me that from this point, since my sphincters have already been cut, unless they have formed scar tissue around the opening, there's not really much more they can do except treat me when I am symptomatic with antispasmodics (boy, do those have some great side effects!) So that's what I've done. When I have an episode I am to take hyoscyamine to get me thru it. I've been told though, that as you age this drug becomes less and less optimal, because they side effects cause too many problems. I hope by the time I get to that point they have other options.
    You know, looking back now, I am not sure if I knew then (2001) what I know now that I would have ever gone thru with the gb removal. If I could have just treated the initial gb attack with antispasmodics and pain medicine and gotten thru it, maybe I'd just have gb attacks to deal with from time to time. I know a woman who does this, and also has biliary dyskinesia. She knows taking her gb out won't "cure" her, so she deals with the episodes when they occur. I surely don't blame her. Isn't that what I'm doing? Only now that my condition has progressed to sphincter of oddi and my liver, and pancreas have also become involved. I have had continued episodes of hypoglycemia since my ERCP and sphincterotomy.
    Back to the medicine issue- Here's an interesting fact I learned on my own just last month, doing research on the subject of my illness. I read in other's accounts of taking narcotics that it seemed to bring on episodes of the pain. I was astonished to learn this, as I had always thought it was strange how that really bad attack happened last year when I had to call the ambulance, right after I had taken all that medicine. And then this year when I had been taking 1600mg of ibuprofen a day, how my pain had again returned and increased until it became a full blown attack. My GI doc told me also the stress on my body of the laparscopic procedure probably helped to bring it on as well. I read other people's accounts of how after unrelated procedures they opted altogether not to take any pain medicine, as they knew it would bring on an attack. I couldn't believe it. Someone else out there lives thru the same nightmare I do!
    I read your post, and it really sounded as if you may need evaluated for this. Just please be very cautious, as with any procedure, there are risks, and I would recommend you wait until the the procedure is unavoidable due to the pain and suffering and your quality of life is directly affected to the point that it becomes your only viable option. It is not a cure-all, but sometimes absolutely necessary!
    As I said before, I recommend you "******" the conditions, and compare the symptoms you are experiencing. If you are suspicious this is the case, consult with your GI doc about it, and go from there.
    In any case, I wish you the best of luck. It is not something that is understood by those who are not plagued by it.

     
    Old 04-08-2007, 02:08 AM   #8
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    Re: 7 months post gallbladder surgery, and in pain!

    (****** it!) means research the subject online. Do an "exact text" search of that specific item.

     
    Old 04-08-2007, 07:00 AM   #9
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    Michelle 573......

    Thank you Michelle!!! I was writhing in pain last night in bed. I felt like my whole abdomin was going to tear in half while laying down-on the right side. My GI dr discussed Sphincter or Oddi dysfunction with me. He said too that an ERCP was an option but he didn't really want to do it unless he absolutely had to.

    Im on Bentyl right now and have taken motrin and valium for the pain. Seems like the more stuff i take, the worse it gets! How does one treat sphincter of oddi problems then if pain meds make it worse. Will i die from this condition at some time?

    last night was horrible. I too have had 3 kids and nothing compares to the pain. I knew that taking out the GB was a risk but when they removed it they told me it was so sickly looking that had i not taken it out, it would have gotten worse and i could have run the risk of a very serious infection or even GB cancer down the road.

    Ill research this dysfunction more. Ill even bring it up to my GI dr. BTW, they didn't find stones in my GB either-they discovered the problem through a hida scan. No fun!

    How do you cope with this? Im only 35 and i wonder if its only going to get worse, will it just rupture my liver one day and that will be it?

    Nancy

     
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