Left pain side, could it be gallbladder?
by redhs, Oct 16, 2007
  I'm a pretty healthy 25 year old with a history of endometriosis and uterine cysts, but otherwise no serious problems.  For the past couple of years I've had this aching, almost menstrual-cramp like pain on my left side, radiating from my leg/hip to below my rib cage and to my whole back (especially behind my shoulder blades).  Recently this pain got a whole lot more localized (under my rib cage) and was accompanied by changes in stool as well as hard, sharp attacks of pain/nausea.  It gets a whole lot worse with alcohol consumption or fatty foods, but is inconsistent.  After an ultrasound, I was told I do not have any visible blockage in my gallbladder or bile duct.  But a HIRD test with CCK showed 17% functioning and the CCK replicated my symptoms of tenderness, bloating, and severe nausea.  Today the gastroenternologist I was referred to seemed to be a giant hurry to remove my gallbladder.  She handed me a picture book brochure and booked me for the laproscopic surgery in two weeks.  I guess I was a little caught off guard, so I didn't take the time to ask a lot of questions.  So I guess my issues are:
1. Is removal necessary?  If there are no stones and complications/remaining pain can occur, is this really something I need to go through?
2. If it is necessary, can I postpone it for another month?  I'm taking graduate comps and really don't need this on my plate.
3. Does it make sense for this to be a gallbladder-related issue when it is localized on the left side only?
4. What can I look forward to post-surgery?  Can I drink socially?  What diet changes do I need to make?  I'm a vegetarian who barely consumes any fat - I can't imagine cutting back even more.

Basically I am already looking to get a second opinion from another gastroenterologist, but I'd really like to know what it is I need to ask.  There is a lot of information about there, but sorting the wheat from the chaff is challenging.
by Kevin Pho, MDBlank, Oct 16, 2007
To answer your questions:
1) A low gallbladder ejection fraction can lead to the symptoms you describe.  There are small studies that suggest that removing the gallbladder may help with the symptoms.  

2) It is difficult to make a specific recommendation.  Waiting on the gallbladder removal can cause the symptoms to persist.

3) Typically, gallbladder pain presents on the right side.  Left-sided pain can be due to an ulcer, inflammation of the upper digestive tract, or spleen disorders.  Atypically, gallbladder pain can present on the left side.

4) Post-surgery, you should be able to lead a normal life and diet.  The recovery time can vary from patient to patient.  A low-fat diet is normally recommended if there are continued loose bowel movements from the surgery.

These questions can be discussed with your personal physician or surgeon.

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.

Kevin, M.D.
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Member Comments (6)
by redhs, Oct 16, 2007
sidebar - I've also had a horrible chronic cough in the middle of the night.  GERD?  Help me figure out what to tell them to test for :)
by Avas Mom, Oct 16, 2007
Ok your answer to number 1. Yes even if there are no stones you could have gallbladder disease(which i had) and that needs to come out.
2. You could postpone it but that could just make it worse...my mom waited so long that the bile leaked into her system and she was in the ICU for 3 days.
3. I dont know why you say left side only when you just said it hurt in the shoulders and back also...which is normal with Gb. Also the nausea/vomitting is a symptom too.
4. Post surgery you would be sore atleast a week...maybe more...You could drink but i wouldnt do it soon. They say to change your diet after the surgery-but my dr never told me that..and i didnt and im doing fine.
by ranada, Nov 03, 2007
please help me i had my gall bladder removed  7 months ago and still suffer for alot of pain on my left side , constant burping that tastes like rotten eggs, a large harden lump at the top of my stomach which hurts when any pressure is put on it such as even trying to tie my shoes . when my doc checked me for a hernia their was one but no intestins comming out of the hernia . their was also a possiable mass found on my pancetitus .really scared please help me sorry about the spelling.
by ranada, Nov 03, 2007
sorry did i tell you i am 26 and the mother of 4, and weigh 366
by kethrie, Nov 13, 2007
Has your doctor considered endometriosis of the diaphram?