I had my Lap gallbladder removal on Sept 7, 2010. I had the normal pain after the surgery as the gases in my abdomen dissolved and was absorbed. But, periodically after the first week, I was having horrible, throbbing cramps that felt like getting punched in the stomach followed by a tightening feeling in my chest. There seems to be no common trigger to these symptoms and since I have completely cut out fatty foods from my diet, I have eliminated that from the causes. several weeks passed and the pains seemed to become more and more sparse and less intense. I made my follow-up appointments with my surgeon and he has made no sense of my symptoms. An ultrasound and MRI show no abnormalities and eventually the symptoms stopped. Since then, I have moved to another state and cannot revisit the physician any longer but the subsided pains have returned, less intense. I got one while driving around town and almost couldn't drive myself home. The next month I had another. The month after as well. Just like the pains before, there seems to not be a common trigger. Unlike the pains before, there is only the tightening feeling or a strong pressure on my abdomen and chest; as if a person were sitting on me or a belt is being tightened on my ribs. The current pains are nowhere near as bad as the previous in that they don't cripple me, laying on the floor in the fetal position crying; but, they are disruptive and disturbing. I have asked other 'surgery survivors' and none have seen or heard of pains lasting as long as mine have without a solution. Please Help! I don't want to live in pain anymore!
Ggriggs, many people unfortuantely experience post-surgical pain after the GB is removed. You really need to find a good GI person and follow-up on it because it could be due to a number of things. Some find the problem can be the result of 'newly developed' issues concerning acid reflux. The reflux can cause esophageal spasms that are described by some in similar terms that you are using.
Other issues could be a problem with the development of stones or sludge within the common bile duct after the GB is removed. It can and does happen, and when it does it can cause very uncomfortable pain.
Others experience spasms in the common bile duct or at the muscular opening to the duodeum - the sphincter of Oddi. No one understand why it happens, however. But SOD (spincter of Oddi dysfunction) also result in miserable pain.
Calgal is quite correct in that it could be a number of issues causing this pain.
I am a sufferer of Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction (I also had my gallbladder removed and now is thought was only a symptom of the disorder and not the cause after all) and I get a lot of pain, tightness, nausea and cramping spasms. The actual ducts and the sphincter muscle can go into spasm and cause this pain......
I would be seeing a gastroenterologist who is familiar with these issues....I wish you well and that you can get some answers soon
The pain could be due to post surgical adhesions. The other causes could be gastritis, peptic ulcer disease and GERD. Disorders of the liver and colon could also cause pain. Kidney disorders too produce colicky and sharp pain. Sometimes anxiety with flatulence can cause this pain. You will need to consult your primary care physician for proper evaluation of pain and therapy.
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