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Extreme Pain months after gallbladder surgery
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Extreme Pain months after gallbladder surgery

I had my gallbladder taken out in May of 2001.  One week after the surgery I started having 'attacks.'  
I have severe pain in the lower ribs that radiates across the bottom.  It is so painful that I can barely breathe and feel sick to my stomach.
I went to my regular dr who said he thought I had ulcers.  I was on 2 different rounds of ulcer meds with no luck.  I had attacks while I was on them.  He suggested a gastroentrologist.
I saw the gastro dr and he ordered blood tests to rule out any stones in the common bile duct.  The blood work came back clear.  The dr then dissmissed it as 'since it doesnt happend that often' (I TOLD HIM IT HAPPENS EVERY DAY) that he's not concerned about it.  
Has anyone else encountered this problem?  I would like to be armed with some info the next time I go to the dr.  I feel like I am being dismissed as a hysterical woman!
Thank you.
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14 Comments
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You're not alone.  I had my gall bladder removed in April 2001.  Ten days after surgery I was readmitted to the hospital because they thought I had an infection.  The radiology staff tried for 2 1/2 hours to insert a drain tube in my right side without giving me as much as an asprin for pain.  After all that time and feeling like a lab rat, I was knocked out and the tube was inserted.  I was admitted to the hospital for 2 days.  I have almost every test in the book done.  I go tomorrow for a consult for an ERCP.  My gastro doctor suspects that part of my problem is my bile is too grainy.  Put me on acticall which appeared to be working (pain was going away) and then I became allergic to it.  Broke out in hives.  Stopped taking Actigall and pain came back worse than ever.  The doctors also suspect that when they tried to jab the tube in my side they may have damaged something.  I will know more tomorrow and will get back with you. Just wanted to let you know I certainly feel your pain and that you are not alone.  If you have any other specific questions, please feel free to email me:  ***@****   Don't let the doctor's tell you its all in your head and this is normal, because it's not!  BTW, what part of the country do you live?  I live in Virginia.  Take care and I be persistent.  No one knows your body better than you do.  Have a GREAT day!  : )
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My gastro dr didnt even suggest any other tests, other then the blood tests that I had done on Friday.  When he called me on Monday with the results I felt like he was condecending.  I am going to call my insurance and find another gastro dr to see.  If this one cant do anything for me, then I will find another.  

I looked thru the other threads on the list and found several other people who have the same problems as I do.  That makes me feel better, in an awful sort of way.  I think I should have just kept my gallbladder.  

I have also gained a bit of weight and have extreme fatigue.  I have 3 kids and do not have hardly any energy.  My attacks happen mostly in the morning when I am in the school day rush hour to get my kids ready.  

Good luck on your tests.  
Miki in Ohio!
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Just so you'll know, I've had 5 CT Scans of my abdomen, an MRCP of my billiary tract (this is basically an MRI).  I've had all kinds of bloodwork done as well.  Everything comes back within "normal" levels.  Whatever that means.  My appointment tomorrow is to discuss the ERCP with a possible Sphincterotomy.  I'll keep you posted on what they say.  I just hope and pray that they are the right track now.  I feel bad all the time, very fatigued, and just want to stay curled up in my bed.  Do you have an HMO or a PPO or someother kind of insurance.  I have several Gastro doctors to chose from with my PPO.  

You might want to go back to the surgeon.  My GYN doctor was furious when I was still "broken" as he put it.  He said I needed to hold the surgeon ultimately responsible because they are suppose to fix what is broken not break something and leave it that way.  Anyway, I hope you find a good doctor soon. Email me if you have any other questions.  I'll answer what I can.  Have a GREAT day!

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I had my gallbladder removed 2 years ago and have endured RUQ spasms since. Sometimes I have spells that mimick my gallbladder attacks. My story is complex, but I will keep this as short as possible. 2 1/2 years ago, I had a toupe fundoplication for reflux and a gastroenterostomy for gastroparesis (done at the same time).  Previous ultasound for gallstones was negative. While in the hospital I had my first gallstone attack. Subsequent ultasound showed the presence of stones! I eventually had my gallbladder removed. Spasms and tenderness continued, but no more attacks.  I then had a HIDA/Debray scan with morphine which reproduced my pain, and biliary dyskinsia or sphincter of oddi dysfunction was diagnosed. Got along ok with nitrostat, but it caused terrible headaches.  Anyway, I eventually started having reflux and severe gastroparesis again. Many more tests followed and my GI doctor sent me to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta where I had a partial gastrectomy and a full nissen fundoplication last March (I live in Alabama). The surgery was successful, but since then, I have had increased biliary attacks with daily spasms in my RUQ, along with other symptoms. I've had 2 abdominal CT scans and an MRCP which were "normal." My GI doctor attempted an ERCP for sphincterotomy, but couldn't reach the sphincter of oddi due to my altered anatomy. He sent me back to Emory and I am in the process of having more tests. I know my story doesn't help you much, but the moral is to find a good GI doctor who supports you. I would have gone nuts without my doctor's help and support. I hope all works out well for you - I know you must be frustrated.
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I had my gallbladder removed November of 2000. I have been suffering from the same extreme pain ever since. All the Drs I've seen since have only wanted to look at reflux. I have taken every reflux medication out there nothing stopped the pain. One Drs said I needed to take birthcontrols pills. My hormones my be causing the pain. I'm not an idiot I know this pain isn't reproductive. My pain is always in the middle of the night, early morning or when my stomach is empty. I have found that if I eat something the pain most of the time will go away. Sometimes however it only makes it worse. I have gained a record 20 lbs this year. I finally saw a Dr who told me he suspects its either Biliary Dyskinesia (which I was pre op) or Chronic pancreatitis. My blood work has always been normal. I was told chronic pancreatitis is very hard to diagnose because you can have normal blood work. He said having an ERCP done and having the sphinctor cut open will solve both problems. I hope this helps you. I know the pain makes you feel like it will never go away.
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So are you having the ERCP with Sphincterotomy that your doctor has recommended you have done?  Just curious.
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Yes I'm scheduled to have an ERCP with sphincterotomy next week. I understand that is for the Biliary Dyskinesia. To be tested for Chronic pancreatitis it an ERCP with manometry with not too many Drs preform. I hope next week will be the end of this terrible pain.
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Please keep me posted.  I'm having the ERCP done the following week on the 14th.  If you would like to email me, here's my email address:  ***@****.   I wish you the best of luck next week.  I'll keep you in my prayers.  Have a GREAT day!
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Miki,hello i am sorry to hear about yor pain. For ten years i was not listened to by doctors. I even convinced myself that i was the hysterical woman i was portrayed to be. I will not go through the whole story, suffice to say that the doctors were wrong and continualy mis-diagnosed my case. My advice to you is that it is your body, trust your instincts. The pain is being caused by something, insist on GETTING TO THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM. Ask for a scan, an MRI and an ERCP, this will give the doctor a good view of what is going on inside, then some decisions can be made. Good luck, persevere and do not be put off by the doctors attitude!
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Hello, I can sympathize with post gallbladder surgery pain. I had surgery 2 years ago. Still having pain in rt. side and in lower back. Gyn thougt it was ovarian pain. Did ultasound found perfect ovary. I was shocked. He thought now maybe scar tissue?
Had upper endoscopy today. Showed gastritis.GI doc wants to do colonoscopy next. When does this all end? I also have had ab. mri,liver enzymes checked all normal. Only showed hypatic cyst, and fatty liver. GI doc says these findings not responsible for pain I am having or pale colored stools. Guess I will find out soon. Any ideas? I guess scrariest part is the intense lower back pain. It just hits all at once out of the blue. I feellike a big baby. SICK SICK SICK all of the time.Taking prilosec for acid. Thinking about trying zoloft for my sanity. Anyone have experience with this med?
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Hello, was just surfing this site to see what could be causing my pain. I had gall bladder surgery on Oct.18th 2001. the laproscopic type of surgery. 5 days after surgery had an attack similar to the original attack. Have not had that since but I have a sharp aching pain in the area right below my rib cage on the right side. This hurts when I cough and when I walk and when I attempt to lay down or turn over in bed. Does not seem to be getting any better 3 weeks after surgery.  Been to the Doctor twice and he took blood tests and said everything looked OK. Just wondering how many other people have these type of pains this long after surgery. Thanks Dan B.
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Hi - I had surgery back in April 2001 and STILL have pain on the right side of my abdomin (abdomen).  And in answer to your question, there are several that have contributed to this forum that continue to have pain after surgery.  Are you pains like soreness or do they mimic gallbladder attacks?  The doctors could have just bruised something when they went in to get your gallbladder.  But if you are having attacks, insist that they do more tests.  I'm having an ERCP done next Wednesday.  I hope this will help with my problem.  Best of luck to you Sgt!  Take care!
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this is for miki, if you fill that your doctor has dismissed you because your a woman (which has been known to happen more times than any of us care to mention ) then i would seek the advice of another doctor(gastro/digestive )i would not leave your health or trust in a doctor you do not have faith in .nor one that does not have faith in you .i am not up to par on the gallbladder isue but i can tell you there is a reason your hurting and doctors like that are the reason a lot of serious conditions are missed among the female population.myself being one of them!!i agree with parle follow your instincts it is the one thing that we women have that works with out failure .that is unless we don't follow it.god bless you and i wish you well.
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Hi there,
   I also had my gall bladder out in August 2001.Five days after surgery was having the same pain. Went back to the Dr and was diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis afterspending 3 weeks in the hospital. I'm now waiting to have a splint put in my pancreas to drain. Any input would be greatly appreciated. God Bless
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