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Post Surgery upper abdominal/chest pain
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Post Surgery upper abdominal/chest pain

I had surgery on Dec 31st to remove a stage 2 cancer tumor from my sigmoid colon.  Approx. 30cm were removed and no further treatment has been recomended.  I was out of bed the day after surgery and went home on the third, I felt great and required no pain medication after the first day however..... I did notice an ache at the base of my right ribcage after the surgery.  I had first contributed it to the cough the anesthesia caused but no longer.  The cough went away by day four but the tenderness and progressively gotten worse and has expanded both above(Under the r/breast) and below the ribcage in the r/abdomin.  The pain under the breast is now so sever at night when I breathe deep that I can barely laydown.  I called the surgon and he explained that he thought it may be a gas bubble.  

Note: 6 weeks prior to surgery, my bood work showed an elevated liver enzyme.  I was then tested for Hepatitis which was negative.  Also, the surgeon said all my organs looked normal except for the galbladder which was a little large but said he did not feel any galstones.

I have constant tenderness at the base of my right ribcage and below(straight down from the nipple) and have since the surgery.  Now when I lie down the pain intensfies below the right breast and stabbs when I inhale.  I know my body and know that something is wrong, could there be a problem with my liver and or gallbladder??

Thank you,

D

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Surgeon has listed some important causes below.  Pleuritic chest pain (pain on breathing in) is suggestive of a pulmonary cause.  This can include pneumonia or a blood clot.  A spiral CT scan or ventilation/perfusions scan can be considered to evaluate for a blood clot.  A chest X-ray can be considered to evaluate pneumonia.

Gall bladder disease can also be considered - especially in light of the elevated liver enzymes.  I would consider an abdominal ultrasound to look for this - this test is a reasonable step in evaluating the liver and gall bladder.  

I would suggest followup with your surgeon or obtaining a second opinion.  

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.
1 Comment
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there are many things on the list of possibilities; they include gallbladder, pneumonia, blood clot, abscess. It's too long for a gas bubble to be the culprit. It might not be any of the serious things I mentioned, but it's time for some investigations. Get hold of your surgeon again.
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