I had an attack of severe rt-sided flank pain abt 2 wks ago. It was JUST LIKE KIDNEY STONE PAIN (I've suffered a few episodes of those in the past) but the pain disappeared that afternoon. Things were fine for abt 10 days, then nausea, terrible lower GI cramps and watery green diarrhea began. The next day, the flank pain recurred, and although just like previous kidney stones, the pain was VERY intermittent. This is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT from prior attacks. Finally, I went to the ER for pain mgmnt. CT showed NO STONES. Normal CBC. No fever. They sent me home, still groggy from morphine, 2 nites ago, saying "there's nothing seriously wrong." I slept most of the following day. When awake & eating the diarrhea returned, then nausea & I vomited once. When I search the Mayo Clinic site for diarrhea, nausea, flank pain, the onlything w/ those 3 symptoms is cholangitis, related to gallstones. I had my gallbladder removed in 1997. Is that kind of infection possible with: 1) no fever, 2) no gallbladder, 3) normal WBC count?
Is there any other problem BESIDES kidney stones that could cause this type of flank pain? It's SO dreadful when it hits, it knocks me to my knees!
There are several possibilities. I would hope that they performed the CT with IV and oral contrast so it would have ruled out the appendix as a potential source as well. The colon could also be the source with a (usually viral) infection. Post-cholecystectomy syndrome would be less likely because of the interval since your gallbladder surgery wihout symptoms. Duodenal ulcers can also produce pain in the flank. The role of the ER physician is to rule out immediate, life threatening problems, not to give you the actual diagnosis. Clearly something was wrong because you had the pain and GI symptoms. I would hope that they stressed the importance of seeing your PCP should any of the symptoms persist. If there was any blood in your urine a urology evaluation wold be in order. If any of your liver function tests were elevated an MRCP would be entertained.
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