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pain after gallbladder removed
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pain after gallbladder removed

My gallbaldder was removed in December, I had had several attacks before that time, and finally, I just had to stop eating.  It took them 3 months to decide to remove gallbladder because all tests did not show any stones.  When gallbladder was removed, it was full of little stones, scarred and inflammed and so was the area around it.  Since the surgery, I have had some pain on the upper right side, which seemed connected to what I ate.  Finally, about a month ago, the pain stayed there all the time and I am back to not eating fat, or much of anything.  The pain gets worse about 1-2 hours after eating even some fat.  I have been working with gastro Dr. for past month, but he's stumped.  The surgeon did not check my bile ducts during surgery to see if they were blocked.  Gastro Dr. says it's not my bile ducts because liver enzemes are normal. In fact everything is normal except white blood count (CBC) goes up, then comes down.  When I eat normally, I can feel it backing up, I feel pain and swelling in my right side, under the ribs.  Sometimes the pain radiates all the way around, even a little on the left side and on the back.  My symptoms have always been pain, not nausea, when I had the gallbladder there was pressure also.  Any ideas?
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18 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I seem to get pain anytime I eat meat, even turkey. Is this gallstones ?
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Did the Dr. check for ulcers?  I had my gallbladder removed last week because of a large gallstone but the Dr. did a scope and a biopsy to see what was causing me the pain (it is not from the gallbladder problem)  I will find out next Thurs. what else it could be.
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Is this pain the same as you had with your gallbladder attacks? Your gallbladder pain should have gone away after surgery. It is hard to tell by what you wrote how bad the pain is. After my gallbladder was removed I had severe pain. It would start right below the sturnum and radiate around to my back. It took my a year and a half before I found a Dr who believed me. I asked every visit "could it be my bile duct?" No way you don't have the symtoms (symptoms). My liver tests and everthing else always came back normal for the first year after surgery. The my liver and pancreas started showing signs after a year. I should say the liver test at the end was only a little elevated. Had an ERCP came back normal nothing blocking the duct. As it turned out - the duct wasn't opening enough to let the bile out. While the gallbladder was there it took care of the excess bile. Once it was gone it had no where to go except the liver and pancreas. If my pain sounds similar to yours go to google.com and search sphincter of oddi dysfunction. I did have a Dr tell me this wasn't a illness at all and he wouldn't test me for it. I found another who would. Turned out that is what was wrong. I had a sphincterotomy done and have been pain free since.
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Avatar_n_tn
last fall they did an EGD, and said my stomach and small intestine were fine. Also, I believe they tested for the bacteria in my blood that indicates an ulcer is present(I forget what it is called). The pain can be quite bad at times, I am currently taking pain pills which helps.  I also feel this is my bile ducts, because I can tell that eating a normal diet - even with small amounts of fat makes me feel blocked up and swollen.  Only by reducing food for several days/weeks do symptoms improve.  I also feel that it is my liver and pancreas which are affected.  The pain is similiar to what I was feeling with the gallbladder, except when I had my gallbladder, I also felt terrible pressure.  I'm glad I don't feel that anymore!  Next week I am seeing a gastro Dr. at Unv. of Va. and I hope they will be able to help me.  It's hard to have a life with all this going on. I can't eat "normal" food.  My fat intake is almost nil.  I'm also worried about damage to the liver and pancreas.

I'm glad your operation helped you.  It's possible this may be my problem.  What was involved with the operation, and how long was the recovery?  Can you eat pretty much what you want now?
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lor - thanks your information is very helpful.  I too am having trouble finding a Dr. to take this seriously.  I keep asking if it is my bile ducts.  Where did you go to have your sphincterotomy?

eGoober - After my experiences, I am very suspicious of the gallbladder when someone mentions pain in the upper right side.  I also had stabbing pains or pressure in my back.  After this experience too, I am not reassured by tests which come back indicating nothing is wrong.  They did so many tests on me, which showed everything was fine.  Only when they did surgery did they realized the gallbladder was diseased.  I was begging them for 3 months to remove my gallbladder, because I was sure that was what it was.  One way to tell is if you eat fatty food and pain begins 1-2 hours after eating, and can last for several hours.  In my case it got so that it hurt all the time.  Also, the gallbaldder is tricky, sometimes it hurts after eating something, sometimes it may not.  Protein could be triggering it.  If you're having pain, I would start investigating it with a Dr.  I'm glad the gallbladder is out, because I did feel better at first, and like I said it caused pressure which I don't feel anymore.

s.mcm - I hope they can find the source of your pain.
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Avatar_n_tn
I had the ERCP with menometry done. It measures the pressure in the bile duct - if the pressure is high they cut the sphincter. The problem that scares most people away from it is that it has a very high risk for pancreatitis. I did get it, but I was informed before hand this could happen. They caught it early. They take you off food for 3 days and fill you up with lots of potassium. I had my sphicterotomy done at the borland groover clinic in Jacksonville Fl. You can look them up at borland-groover.com  I had my procedure done on a Thursday - Went in the Hospital with pancreatitis Friday. By Monday I was on a field trip with my daughters class. The only problem I have is the bloating with gas. If I stay away from foods like lettuce, onions, broccoli things like that I'm ok. I can live with gas the other was interfering with my quality of life. I was getting sicker by the day. More so after I'd lived with it for a year.
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Avatar_n_tn
I think your concern about your pancreas is very valid.  Quite often with gallbladder problems, the gallbladder is removed and then after  the removal  the pain still remains.  Sometimes it is a stone formed in the common bile duct that was overlooked, or pancreatic problems.  Many chronic pancreatitis patients started out initially with gallbladder removal.  When their original symptoms didn't diminish or actually increased, they found out they had developed chronic pancreatitis. The pain that you are feeling after eating, especially with it stabbing and radiating to the back, is very indicative to chronic pancreatitis pain, as is the higher WBC.  Nausea is not always a symptom of CP.  Hopefully when you see the gastro next week he will do some thorough diagnostic testing to check the condition of your pancreas.  Sometimes a second, or third, opinion is what it takes to find the right doctor.  Good luck!

Nanny
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Thank you lor and Nanny.  Tomorrow I'm seeing a new Dr., it's obvious my current Dr. doesn't have a clue.
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I could have written your initial post myself. I have the exact same pains, as you described. Please keep us posted as to what it is, how you find out and what is the treatment?
Taylee
Good Luck.
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I saw the specialist at the teaching Hospital, and they are going to do an MRCP.  After that we may have to do an ERCP.  I'm glad I changed Drs, this one is taking me seriously.  Unfortunately, won't be able to do this for a month.  The MRCP is only done at special medical centers.

I'm sorry you are having the same problems, but I'm glad I found someone who knows what I have been going through.  Let's try to keep each other up to date.  I would recommend going to a specialty or teaching hospital, if your symptoms are like mine, you need a place with up-to-date equipment, Dr's, etc.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
I am sorry we are all having these terrible pains too.
I am now going to one of the top hospitals in Boston. The doctor I am seeing is the Director of The National Pancreas Foundation, and one of the chiefs of endoscopy. If I do have an ERCP, it would definitely be there, not where I live.
I have a good GI dr in my area, but he was having such difficulty figuring out the problem, that he sent me to this guy.
I have had the MRCP last year before the GB surgery and it didn't show anything.
They said ERCP is really the gold standard for diagnosing SOD.
Anyway, the Dr. wanted to try a few meds before doing the procedure to see if anything would help. (So far, no).
I will keep you posted as I hope you do too. It is really helpful to read other's problems, and how they are working to solve them. Just one person may have the same thing as you.
I am praying for some answers.
Someone else asked on this board if antibiotics ever helped and when I had my GB,they used to relieve the pain and I never knew why.
Taylee
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One Dr. gave me Flagyl (antibiotic) but it didn't seem to help.  What is helping me most right now are antispasmotics (Donnatal) and Demerol as needed for pain.  Also very low fat diet.

since I am going to a teaching hospital here in Virgina (also not where I live) I am hoping for help.  I'm glad you're going to specialists also.  Let's pray they can help us.

Keep us posted.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you, I had bronchitis a few weeks ago, they put me on Zithromax 2 per day and the SOD pain just went away, when the medicine was gone, the pain came back....interesting.
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Avatar_n_tn
Yes, if an antibiotic helps, something has to be inflamed or infected but why doesn't it show up?
I too had relief from them. Antispasmotics don't work.
How soon after eating can anyone here feel the pain? Because I do feel it immediately after eating or drinking, it starts with a dull ache, then slowly gets worse like a spasm, and it is middle to right sided.
I am calling my Dr Wednesday for help. I am afraid to try any more meds as my liver doesn't process them well. (Maybe that is a clue, who knows). I get sick off anything.
Taylee
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My gallbladder was removed 12 years ago. Since May  I have pain and soreness in my upper right abdomen upon examination.  And pain off and on every day in the bile duct area and some in my liver.  One of my liver enzymes is elevated and one is low. I am now scheduled for a nuclear test on Aug. 7and am to see a gastro doctor on Aug. 12.  Has anybody out there had the same symptoms so long after gallbladder removal?
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I had three episodes that were like a week apart, and the strange thing about them was that each one was on a Sunday.  The attacks maybe lasted for a couple of hours or so, i'm not quite sure because of having so much pain I would become tired and fall asleep.  Anyhow my lastest attack which was on 09-22-02was different;itlasted pretty long and did not go away as anticipated.  It was on a Tuesday 9-24-02 that I had to go to the emergency room because the pain became unbareable.  The triage nurse said it sounded like gallstones from the description of pain and symptoms I was having.  Instead of having me wait they hurridly had me admitted to the hospital so that surgery could be performed.  The only thing that subsided the pain was that of a drug called demoral.  I had the surgery on 9-25-02 and as I awakened in the recovery room the pain was ridiculous.  After a day I still felt horrible; I had no appetite for food and could barely move around. The next day I attempted to eat something, but was more clinged to the juices given to me. Till this day my appetite is not what it used to be.  I like to eat, but it's like my body tells me different now.  When I cook something I eat it in small intervals or sometimes end up throwing it away.  It seems that everything should be normal, but in a sense it's not.  Well, I am having regular bile movements now, but I don't hold very good.  When I have to go, I have to go.  I also become tired quickly and my side is still tender.  I had a relapse of what I was feeling before the gallbladder was removed and cried because I thought the pain should not come back.  I called the doctor that performed the surgery and he just prescribed some more pain medication and statetd that if the pain persisted that I would have to come and see him.  My pain is located and starts in the same area as I I've read from other comments on the far right side of my body all the way to my back. I also became sick (vomiting) from the symptoms.  Hopefully I do not have another relapse, because I want to do normal things without the threat of having anymore complications. The only thing I can do is pray to the Lord to watch over me and heal me from anything that comes to harm (bodily).  I didn't mean to make this long so I guess i'll end it here.  Thank you for reading my comment.
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I had three episodes that were like a week apart, and the strange thing about them was that each one was on a Sunday.  The attacks maybe lasted for a couple of hours or so, i'm not quite sure because of having so much pain I would become tired and fall asleep.  Anyhow my lastest attack which was on 09-22-02was different;itlasted pretty long and did not go away as anticipated.  It was on a Tuesday 9-24-02 that I had to go to the emergency room because the pain became unbareable.  The triage nurse said it sounded like gallstones from the description of pain and symptoms I was having.  Instead of having me wait they hurridly had me admitted to the hospital so that surgery could be performed.  The only thing that subsided the pain was that of a drug called demoral.  I had the surgery on 9-25-02 and as I awakened in the recovery room the pain was ridiculous.  After a day I still felt horrible; I had no appetite for food and could barely move around. The next day I attempted to eat something, but was more clinged to the juices given to me. Till this day my appetite is not what it used to be.  I like to eat, but it's like my body tells me different now.  When I cook something I eat it in small intervals or sometimes end up throwing it away.  It seems that everything should be normal, but in a sense it's not.  Well, I am having regular bile movements now, but I don't hold very good.  When I have to go, I have to go.  I also become tired quickly and my side is still tender.  I had a relapse of what I was feeling before the gallbladder was removed and cried because I thought the pain should not come back.  I called the doctor that performed the surgery and he just prescribed some more pain medication and statetd that if the pain persisted that I would have to come and see him.  My pain is located and starts in the same area as I I've read from other comments on the far right side of my body all the way to my back. I also became sick (vomiting) from the symptoms.  Hopefully I do not have another relapse, because I want to do normal things without the threat of having anymore complications. The only thing I can do is pray to the Lord to watch over me and heal me from anything that comes to harm (bodily).  I didn't mean to make this long so I guess i'll end it here.  Thank you for reading my comment.
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Avatar_n_tn
I had three episodes that were like a week apart, and the strange thing about them was that each one was on a Sunday.  The attacks maybe lasted for a couple of hours or so, i'm not quite sure because of having so much pain I would become tired and fall asleep.  Anyhow my lastest attack which was on 09-22-02was different;itlasted pretty long and did not go away as anticipated.  It was on a Tuesday 9-24-02 that I had to go to the emergency room because the pain became unbareable.  The triage nurse said it sounded like gallstones from the description of pain and symptoms I was having.  Instead of having me wait they hurridly had me admitted to the hospital so that surgery could be performed.  The only thing that subsided the pain was that of a drug called demoral.  I had the surgery on 9-25-02 and as I awakened in the recovery room the pain was ridiculous.  After a day I still felt horrible; I had no appetite for food and could barely move around. The next day I attempted to eat something, but was more clinged to the juices given to me. Till this day my appetite is not what it used to be.  I like to eat, but it's like my body tells me different now.  When I cook something I eat it in small intervals or sometimes end up throwing it away.  It seems that everything should be normal, but in a sense it's not.  Well, I am having regular bile movements now, but I don't hold very good.  When I have to go, I have to go.  I also become tired quickly and my side is still tender.  I had a relapse of what I was feeling before the gallbladder was removed and cried because I thought the pain should not come back.  I called the doctor that performed the surgery and he just prescribed some more pain medication and statetd that if the pain persisted that I would have to come and see him.  My pain is located and starts in the same area as I I've read from other comments on the far right side of my body all the way to my back. I also became sick (vomiting) from the symptoms.  Hopefully I do not have another relapse, because I want to do normal things without the threat of having anymore complications. The only thing I can do is pray to the Lord to watch over me and heal me from anything that comes to harm (bodily).  I didn't mean to make this long so I guess i'll end it here.  Thank you for reading my comment.
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