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Persistent Pain Right Rib Cage Area
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Persistent Pain Right Rib Cage Area

I have had sharp pain through my right rib cage area every since my gall bladder was removed two years ago. I have had numerous cat scans (thoracic and abdomenal (abdominal)) and even a spinchterotomy.  My gastro has just performed a CA-19 and scheduled me for an MRCP and pancreas ultrasound.  He is also sending me to Birmingham to have my pancreatic duct pressures checked?  How risky is this procedure?  If I had cancer, I always assumed I'd be dead by now.  I also am getting B-12 shots for a slight defiency.  I cannot take anything for pain because it causes it to be worse.  Could I have an allergy to the titanium clips that were left in when they removed my gallbladder? I have a temp. of 100 for two weeks and have just finished Z-pac for URI.  Would this URI cause ribcage pain to be worse?  I'm frankly scared out of my wits.  Do you think it is cancer? The pain is always under my right rib cage and radiates through to my back.
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12 Comments
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I am in the same boat as you.  I had my gallbladder out in 1998.  I am currently having the worst bout of pain in my right side.  Very, Very similar to the gallbladder attacks I had before the surgery.  I have not started the doctors yet on me.  Frankly, I know that it will be several tests and doctors before I get an answer.  And, even if I get an answer, it's usually pathetic like GERD or IBS.  I have not even tried as hard as you to look to find out the problem, and I'm already giving up.
Sorry to be a downer, but I hate the non-specifics of abdominal pain and it leaves doctors clueless much of the time.
I feel for you and I often think that something went wrong in my surgery.  It took me 2 months to recover when it should have been 7 to 10 days.  What does that tell you!  I am currently 26 years old with a healthy (and very active) 18month old.  So, I live with the pain and hope it will work out.
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PRAISE GOD MY CANCER SCREENING (CA-19) CAME BACK NEGATIVE.  MY GASTROENTROLOGIST STILL WANTS ME TO HAVE AN MRCP AND CATSCAN THOUGH.  I ALSO WONDER IF MY SURGERY WAS SCREWED UP OR MAYBE MY BODY IS REJECTING THE TITANIUM CLIPS.  MY PAIN MANAGEMENT DOC HAS ALSO PRESCRIBED AN ANTI-SEIZURE MED (GABBATRIL??)WHICH IS SUPPOSED TO STOP THE BILIARY SPASMS WHICH ARE SUPPOSEDLY CAUSING THE PAIN.  I LEFT THE RX WITH THE PHARMACY, SO I'M SORRY I DON'T HAVE THE EXACT SPELLING YET.  IT IS AN ANTI-SEIZURE MED THAT DOESN'T MAKE YOU SLEEPY THOUGH.  I AM HOPING THIS WILL HELP. I WILL KEEP YOU POSTED.
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I am there with you I had my gallbladder out in Jan. 2001.  Since then I have been anemic, had digestive problems and hurt.  I have seen my family practice MD and they say it is GERD. So i have tried the Axid, Prevacid thing.  Unlike the most of gallbladder pts after removal I have the opposite problem with bowels.  I actually am always constipated. My las visit showed that I also had blood in my urine and I have seen a urologist and have gone through 2 IVP's, 1 CT scan, and a cystoscopy to rule out any problems there.  I guess the good news is my kidneys they say are fine and that I am just one of these people that have blood in there urine.  I still have the pain as if I was having a gallbladder attack and currently the nausea is getting worse.  I also have had cancer of the cervix which concerns me.  I am willing to try almost anything at this point, I am only 29 and am sick of being sick.  One suggestion I have through is to see if you still have your common bile ducts?  Sometimes if you still have your common bile duct this can cause similar pain as did the gallbladder attacks.  I have called my surgeon to see with no answer yet.
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I feel your pain.  I'm sick of being sick too.  Correct me if I'm wrong though.  You said something about still having a common bile duct?  I thought the common bile duct was essential in carrying the bile from the liver to the duodonem.  Isn't it? Maybe you mean another duct.
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I found out some interesting news today that would make you very excited.  I went to see a specialist and internist.  He has diagnosied me with post-cholecystectomy syndrome.  That does sound misarble and awful, but for once in my life it has pinpointed  my symptoms and there is treatment with proven relief.  It has to due with the response to 3-hydroxy-3-methlglutaryl coenzyme a reductase inhibitors.  You can find an article in THE JOURNAL of the Oklahoma State Medical Association, Volume 87, n0.7, JUly 1994 or feel free to email mail or leave another message and I can get you a copy of this article He has started me of LIPitor.  Sounds odd but how it works is to lower your biliary cholesterol which can cause calcification of your common bile ducts which thus cause biliary pain ands dyspesia.  I will keep you posted.
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Thanks for your advice.  The last time I had my cholesterol checked it was 300.  I had it check again yesterday to see if it was a fluke and will get the results back next week when I see my internal med doc.  I will tell him what you told me and he might just put me on Lipitor.  I felt like I was dying the last two years and was especially bad for two weeks recently.  I had the worst pain ever those two weeks and ran a fever.  Yesterday as I sat out in the back yard in the sun, I prayed the hardest I've ever prayed and asked God to please take this affliction from me.  PRAISE GOD - HE ANSWERED MY PRAYERS.  Today I feel like a new person with NO PAIN whatsoever.  GLORY BE TO GOD.  HE DOES ANSWER PRAYS.  Thanks for your help.
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So good to here the good news . Today is dec. the 9th and I returned back to work, free of nausea all day it is now almost 7pm my time and every second of my life is not pain, after my long day alittle but not like it used to be.  God Bless YOU and Hope for great holiday's.  GOD does have his ways and he has bleessed you an I thank you for the encourament .  GOD bless and good luck to you, it will be intersting to here about your cholesteral even if your serum or blood cholesterol only rose alittle talk to your GI doctor about your biliary cholesterol. GOOD LUCK.
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I am so astonished to have found this site and realize that I am not alone with my problems!!!  I lost my gallbladder a year ago and have had ongoing yellow diarrhea, moderate to severe abdominal pain, gas and nausea.  The last three months have been a living hell with severe esophageal pain and persistant pain in my right rib area.  I have been diagnosed with GERD and put on Nexium which initially seemed to help but now has increased this right quadrant pain tenfold.  I will certainly be taking your findings back to my doctor as I am sick to death of being sick too!  I have lost my job and am about to lose my sanity!  I feel that God must have guided me to this site and to your postings!  God bless everyone and wish me luck!
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good luck to you all an update I feel even better today.  I also have found tha I have irritable bowel and adding fiber to my diet has really helped.  In the health food stores the sell pill psyllium fiber for those that do not like metamucil.  GOOD Luck. and god bless.
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Hi - I'm in the same boat as you.  Had my gallbladder removed in April 2001 and continue to have pain.  Had an ERCP with Sphincterotomy done on the 14th of November and ended up with Acute Pancreatitis.  Was out of work for a month.  In fact my first day back to work will be Monday.  Can you email me a copy of the article you referred to:  THE JOURNAL of the Oklahoma State Medical Association, Volume 87, n0.7, JUly 1994?  My email address is:  ***@****.   My doctors can't seem to "blame" my pain on anything so now they say I have IBS. I might well have IBS but I'm certain there is more than that wrong.  Thank you so much for your help.  Happy Holidays!
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After reading comments from everyone I am now more concerned than I have been. In 3 days I will under go a sphyncterotomy at Vanderbilt. I have to admit I am scared. I have been told all the things that can happen to me after having this done. I had an ERCP done Jan 2001 and ended up with pancreatitis and spent a week in the hospital and had a second ERCP done before leaving the hospital. During the second one I woke up, but for me that was not too bad. They put me back to sleep so fast that it was not bad. The doctor has taken lots of blood work and has not rushed me to make this decission but the elevation of the liver enzymes and having to go to the ER by ambulance on Thanksgiving Day just kind of put the icing on the cake. Everyone pray for me on Friday 12/21/01 if you would please because I know this could possibly cause me more problems than it could resolve. Thanks for taking the time to listen. I will keep you posted on my experience.
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Dear "sick of being sick",

I am so discouraged!!!  I just returned from my doctor and after being deathly ill for two weeks (it took one week to even be able to see him) I was diagnosed with IBS again!!!  I feel strongly that this is NOT the problem!  PLEASE mail me the article that you found from the "Journal of OK State Medical Assoc., Vol. 87, No. 7, July 1994.  I've been too ill to go to the University to retrieve it myself and it doesn't seem to be on-line anywhere without a paid suscription.  My e-mail address is :  ***@****.  Thank you so much.  I appreciate it.
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I would like to receive a copy of article in THE JOURNAL of the Oklahoma State Medical Association, Volume 87, n0.7, JUly 1994 that you referenced.  Can you please email to ***@****

Thanks,

Linz
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I am glad I am not alone.  I had my gallbladder out a year and a half ago.  I still have the extreme pain under my right rib cage.  I also have persistant gnawing pain in my stomach and through out all my intestines.  I have been to so many specialists and of course, they say it's IBS.  That's what they say when they don't know.  I have even been to two specialists at UCLA Medical Center in L.A.  I have had every test they can give me and I'm still suffering.  All they do is try my on yet ANOTHER antidepressant.  I am interested in "sick of being sick"'s  article  THE JOURNAL of the Oklahoma State Medical Association, Volume 87, n0.7.  I don't see your email, but I would love to have a copy of that.  I hope you will write to me.  My email address is ***@**** .  Is there any hope for us with this problem?  It scares me to think that I will live like this for the rest of my life...if you call it living.  The quality of my life is nil.  I wish all of you the best in getting help from this hellacious sickness.  God Bless all of you.  

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