Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
After Gallbladder Removal Problems
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After Gallbladder Removal Problems

Good Afternoon,

I am a 40 year old mother of three and healthy until I had my gallbladder removed (laser) in Dec. 1999. I had some intense pain in my right abdomin (abdomen) and chest area that my doctors said was due to a diseased gallbladder. Although these pains were infrequent, I had the surgery to prevent any further problems.

Since then I have had chronic abdominal cramping, burning and diarrhea always 15 to 30 minutes after I eat and many times first thing in the morning. I experience weight loss, fatigue, elevated liver enzymes, high calcium and low phospherous levels. I have had every test and seen many doctors who have not given me any hope of recovery.

I work as a graphic artist and therefore take Cholestyramine and over the counter diarrhea medicine Sunday night through Thursday so I can go to work. This constipates me, but it allows me to work without the chronic pain and embarrassing accidents. When I stop taking the medicine over the weekend I eventually return to the acidy burning pain, cramps and diarrhea.

A friend thought that I may have a bial duct injury. My surgery was the laser technique, I went home the same day and was out of work for a week. I didn't experience any symptoms until I went off of the pain medicine. Can I get help for this problem?

Sally
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233190_tn?1278553401
Hello - thanks for asking your question.

Bile duct injury is possible - without examining you or your studies, I cannot be certain.  Tests to evaluate this would include an ultrasound, HIDA scan or biliary scintigraphy.  ERCP would be the definitive study to evaluate the location of any leak.

Sphincter of Oddi dysfunction is suspected in patients who have biliary-type pain without other apparent causes. In this setting, SOD is most commonly recognized in patients who have undergone cholecystectomy.

Again, a fatty meal ultrasound or biliary scintigraphy would be the initial tests to evaluate for this.  ERCP with manometry would be the definitive test.  These studies should be discussed with your personal physician.

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Thanks,
Kevin, M.D.
10 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
If you'd had a bile duct injury, the effects would be different and would at minimum show up with abnormal blood tests of the liver. You could have dysfunction of the valve where the bile duct drains into the intestine ("sphincter of oddi dysfuntion" -- if you google that term, you'll get lots of hits). It can be diagnosed and treated by passing a scope through your stomach into the duodenum (small intestine at the end of the stomach). It's true, however, that people who have gallbladder surgery symptoms that turn out not to have been due to the gallbladder may have a very hard time getting a solution.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for your help! I have not heard of those tests before. I will call my doctor and have the tests done.

I am in Jacksonville, FL and was wondering if there is a doctor(s) or establishment that you could reccommend. I would be willing to travel anywhere with my records in tow to be able to get help and a better answer than my symptoms are "all in my head" like what I have heard from many doctors here.

Again, thank you very much!!!!!!!!

Sally
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Avatar_n_tn
there is the Borland-Groover clinic in fla. they have a web site you can visit.  I only know this because of researching the same problem.  It took me countless of dr. visits to get across my problem and that it wasn't the typical IBS or acid reflux.  I traveled 900 miles away to my home town to find a gastro. dr. who actually listened to me and took a long look at my records.  I would have traveled to the ends of the earth if that meant any relief for me. I did finally have a biliary sphincterotomy done in Feb of this year.(in PA)  I now have about 50% of relief from my previous problems.(high grade of stenosis in bile duct and sphincter valve would not open).  My pain only hits about every 3 weeks and the attacks only last approx. 2 hours.  That is a BIG victory from my previous state.
Good Luck
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Avatar_n_tn
My daughter is 19 years old and today she was diagnosed with a ejection fracture of her bladder. After doing a Hida Scan, they are telling her that her bladder is only working at 23%. The surgeon is suggestion she have her bladder removed immediately. Can you provide the pros and cons of this surgery and any information on this condition and the doctors request for bladder removal


Thanks

Rica's Mom
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
I had my gall bladder out 3 years ago.(402 small stones, yes, 402! I had trouble with it for 26 years and was misdiagnosed 5 times!) While the excruciating "attacks" stopped I continued to have pain in my rt. side, radiating to my back. My gastro. did an ERCP. He told me my bile duct was too small and needed to be opended up. The following week he did another ERCP and opened up the bile duct... I ended up in the hospital for 2 weeks with pancreatits. (he told me there was a 5% chance of it)
It's been 2 years and I still get pain in my rt. & lt. side (worse in the rt.) and still have the diarrhea that comes on *fast*.
I find that some fatty foods make the pain worse and sometimes it can be anything at all that causes the pain. If I eat Chinese food I can expect to be in pain for 4 days.
Also, I can't lay on my rt. side since my gall bladder was taken out, it hurts soooo bad. The minute I switch to my left side I'm okay. Anyone else have this problem?
What helps the pain in your side?
Help!  Please feel free to email me anytime. ***@****
Thanks so much!!!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
I had my gall bladder out 3 years ago.(402 small stones, yes, 402! I had trouble with it for 26 years and was misdiagnosed 5 times!) While the excruciating "attacks" stopped I continued to have pain in my rt. side, radiating to my back. My gastro. did an ERCP. He told me my bile duct was too small and needed to be opended up. The following week he did another ERCP and opened up the bile duct... I ended up in the hospital for 2 weeks with pancreatits. (he told me there was a 5% chance of it)
It's been 2 years and I still get pain in my rt. & lt. side (worse in the rt.) and still have the diarrhea that comes on *fast*.
I find that some fatty foods make the pain worse and sometimes it can be anything at all that causes the pain. If I eat Chinese food I can expect to be in pain for 4 days.
Also, I can't lay on my rt. side since my gall bladder was taken out, it hurts soooo bad. The minute I switch to my left side I'm okay. Anyone else have this problem?
What helps the pain in your side?
Help!  Please feel free to email me anytime. ***@****
Thanks so much!!!
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Avatar_n_tn
reading all of these posts has really helped me.  i had my gb removed 2 years ago.  my daughter was onlly 4 months old, and i was only 29!  anyway, for about a year after, i had really bad explosive diarhea (diarrhea) atleast 5 times/day.  it was horrible.  i also had a couple of "attacks" after it was removed.  the surgeon said that my duct was too small to even insert a needle into, so she didn't think there could be a possibility of a stone in there.  

for about a year, i was okay.  then about 3 months ago, i started having this severe burning pain right under my sternum.  it radiated up my right shoulder and through my back.  it was like having a contraction!  then my colon started going into spasms.  i would get so hot and feel like i was going to faint/die.  i was literally laid out for about 2 months.  

i went to the er 3 times.  twice they said it was an ulcer, once they said it was IBS.  finally got in to see a GI doc.  they did a colonoscopy/upper endoscopy and found nothing.  they did an ultrasound and did nothing.  

i've basically been diagnosed with dyspepsia!  PLEASE!  i'm very tired of the pain i was in being dismissed.  it seems as if i had all of the sypmtoms of SOD.  however, my liver enzymes were normal.  i'm pretty sure they checked my pancreas as well.

finally after being on vicodin and levsin for about a week and not being able to eat, i went on a juice fast for 6 days and had accupuncture....plus a whole lot of prayer.  i finally feel better, but want to do all i can to keep this from happening again.

if anyone can relate, or has anything to say, PLEASE email me.  ***@****

thank you!
christy
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Avatar_n_tn
hi

i am 16 years old and i had my gallbladder removed when i was 15. it was December 30, 2006.  i hear people saying that they lost wight after the sergery (surgery) but ive only gained it. i used to weigh 120 i know it doesnt seem like alot but i thought it was. after about 2 weeks after i weighed 128, and now i cant lose any of it.  

i was actually having problems playing soccer the 2 years i played. i would literally fall down in the middle of the game and start hyperventalating.  ive actually stopped breathing for 1 min cause i passed out.  we thought it was just some type of asthma.  i had extream side aces and horable chest pains.  we went to the doctors and they said it was nothing.

when we moved to colorado in september i was having more problems. we just thought it was the elevation but come to find out the time i went to the doctors they really couldnt find out what was wronge with me until they did an ultra sound and found that my gallbladder was a gravel pit.  and it had to come out or i would be experiencing the same pain.  so i got it out,
  
                                                          

the doctor said the reason that i got my gallbladder out was because of my diet.  well i was thinking of what i ate all the time and all i could think of was sonic. i worked at sonic at that time and thats all i could eat cause i worked so much. i was basically in love with the tater tots and french fries. and i had all this fatty food but when i ate it wouldnt be alot of good nutrition. that is the reason why i got my gallbladder out. the only good part of the sergery (surgery) was that i really didnt have to pick up a finger or anything. so i basically got to stay home and relax and watch what i wanted to watch! which was pritty awsome.

                                                          THE JOKE
when i was diegnosed with gallstones he was shocked and he told me. . . . . .

Usually you dont get gallsones until your fat and over 40 like your mom.  my mom didnt take it seriously becuase he was a guy and they just dont think of your feelings.  
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi

I had my gallbladder out in 2001 and have been fine until just recently I had a bout of upper right quadrant pain went to emergency and they did blood tests, and abdominal CAT Scan, nothing showed up and just recently I had an endoscopy and the doctor said there was inflamation (inflammation) and did a biopsy and nothing showed from that. I also have pain around my back, I feel that eating sometimes helps but then there is no sign of ulcers.  I haven't lost any weight due to this.  Tomorrow i'm getting an abdominal ultrasound.  Is there any other tests you may know of that might determine the cause of inflamation (inflammation). I was thinking maybe something is wrong with my bile ducts but wouldn't that show on a endoscopy? If you have any suggestions  of what other types of tests I should be suggesting to my doctor would be greatly appreciated, it seems nobody can help me, I also feel fatigued and tired.  I am 53 years old female.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
I had my gallbladder removed on 6/25/07 the test showed it being very in larged, alot of sludge but they said no stones. The problem I'm having is still can't eat much, always having a stomach ach, right side hurting, I've read that people have problems with diarhea (diarrhea), I did for a few days of being home from the hospital, but the problems I'm having now are being constipated, does any one have that
problem? I've also lost about 15lbs. I went to the health food store & just bought some stuff called     "Super Digestaway "  a dietary supplement made by Solaray. I just started it today so will see if  that helps with the eating. I also heard that you can take charchol which will help in soaking up the bile, has anyone heard of that?  I'm a 49 year old female.  anyone got any suggestions?

Debbie
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