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After gall bladder surgery
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After gall bladder surgery

My daughter had her gallbladder removed 2 yrs ago at 29. There were no gallstones. It just wasn't working at top level. Anyway, she still has the "bad gallbladder" symptoms. Pain in her right side moving into her back underneath her shoulder, intolerance to greasy or spicy foods, severe diarrhea, nausea. She was told this is normal but I had mine removed at the age of 53 and I've never had a problem. What's going on? She has had several tests done prior to surgery but nothing since. What's the chances of her gallbladder not being the original problem?


This discussion is related to After Gallbladder Removal Problems.
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Hey there - thanks for writing in behalf of your daughter.  I'm a 34 yo female and had gall stones 2 years ago.  Had my GB removed, but immediately started having "gall bladder attacks" following my surgery.  It was in the same place but maybe more through my back, more painful, more frequently and less controllable.  I turned out to be diagnosed (a long 6 months later) with Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction.  It is a condition in which the bilary sphincter muscle that attaches to the Pancreas is contracting and causing a backup of bile both in the Pancreas and the common bile duct.  Since normally, this bile would be deposited into the gall bladder, which is gone, there is pain and pressure from the back up.

I hope this is not what your daughter has as it can be a long road.  First of all, it can be difficult to find a doctor who knows of it or believes in it.  My GB surgeon told me "no way, it's way too rare...that's not what you have."  But, I pushed and pushed and FINALLY got him to refer me to a GI who actually knew what it was but wouldn't do anything to treat me.  

He referred me to Indiana University where they have a pancreas-specialized GI department who does a lot with SOD.  

The only tests to confirm SOD are either a blood test where they test the liver and pancreas enzymes, and even that is not fool proof.  There are three types of SOD, and type III (lucky me, is what I have) shows no diagnostic changes and can only be confirmed by an endoscopic procedure called ERCP in which they go down the throat, through the stomach to both view, measure the pressure and potentially cut the SO muscle in an attempt to alleviate the SOD long term however, there are very risky side effects of developing anywere from acute to chronic Pancreatitis.

I haven't yet needed an ERCP, luckily still a year and a half later I am still responding very positively to the meds prescribed to help.  One is an antidepressant called Elavil which has an effect on pain by numbing the nerve endings all over the body, in effect elevating the body's pain tolerance. The second is an anti-spasmodic called Levsin, or Hycosamine (generic.)  It helps to calm the SO down.

This is WAY long, and may seem scary.  The best advice I can give you is to find a GOOD GI, a learning hospital, or a pancreas based clinic.  Can you tell me where you live?  I am in an online support group for SOD which has proved to be incredibly helpful for me.  It allowed me to skip a lot of the research that I woudl have had to do to find great docs, med recommendations, support, etc.  Please let me know if you and/or your daughter get to a place where you are looking for somethign liek that, I'd gladly pass our group website along if you'd like to join.  Also - do NOT back down if you guys are not getting the care or attention that you deserve.

Good luck and keep me posted.  You and your daugher will be in my thoughts and prayers!

PS Happy Mother's Day  :o)
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi I had my gallbladder out a week ago and I am in severe pain everytime I eat I live in Souh Wales, UK Please could you help me with any advice its very painful
Thanks Amanda
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Avatar_f_tn
Try following a low, low fat diet. Your body will not be able to process fat the way it did before surgery and it may take some time to adjust.

However, if you had stones or sludge when the GB was removed, it's possible that you may have spilled a bit of sludge or perhaps a stone into the common bile duct during the surgery. If there is any possibility that it might be what is going on, you need to check back with your doc. Stones/sludge can severely irritate the common bile duct and cause quite a bit of discomfort.
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Avatar_n_tn
I had my gallbladder removed when I was 17 years old. I am twenty now, so next December marks the third year with it out. For the first few months after the surgery, I had diarreha every day no matter what I did or ate. I had stomach aches, and felt like I was going to throw up. I even had pain like that of the gallstone attacks. The upper right portion of my torso would start twinging with pain, and then it felt like some one was crunching my ribs, making it impossible for me to breathe. By the time I graduated though in June (six months afterwards), these symptoms decreased but didn't go away by any means. I ate less than ever, and had gained 10 pounds. From June through September, I gained a whopping 30 pounds and all the symptoms came back with VENGENCE.

I tried to loose the weight. I watched what I was eating (through the holiday season!) and did about an hour of cardio excercise basically every day for three months. I didn't loose a single pound. In fact, I gained five and got fed-up with what I was putting myself through. I've been conscious about what I eat, but haven't restricted myself ever since and the only time I gain weight is after I loose it. In other words, my weight through the month will jump up and down anywhere from 10-15 pounds. Believe it or not. It doesn't always do this, but it does quite frequently. Otherwise I stay at 235 pounds.

I can't lay on the side any more. It's extremely sensitve. I feel twinging right now in my upper right portion as I type. The diarreha has dwindled down to maybe 2-3 days a month where I have it all day, but more often than not I'll have diarreha immediately after eating a meal, no matter what the fat content is. To my knowledge, this is called "dumps syndrome," which is not a nice name... I must say.

I still get attacks from time to time. Mostly after I wake up or eat a meal. For about fifteen minutes, I feel like I am going to hurl and I can't breathe. It feels like something is literally squeezing my middle and digging or stabbing at where my gallbladder was. I've been having everything from acid reflux to horrible heartburn. Also, I have been constantly missing my periods. Shortly after the 1 year anniversary of my surgery, my period stopped for about 6 months. Needless to say, I was not pregnant. My periods came afterwards for a time, but were late and irregular. I haven't had my period since Feb. of this year. Bam! Gone just like before. And no, I am not pregnant according to the two home pregnancy tests I've taken and the blood test I recently had done last week.

The more I read these ongoing symptoms from people, the more worried I become over them. DO NOT let the doctors tell you you're just stressed, or that you're possibly depressed and that's what's causing these issues. That's what they've been doing to me for the last 2 years, and nothing is improving.
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I had my gb removed Oct 4 07, I have had problems ever since, diarreah (diarrhea) and pain. I also had very severe pancreatitis which caused the attack so the GB had to go and when they removed it they said it was half dead and hard. But apparently there are 2 bile ducts, one gets cut the other doesn't. In cases like mine they cut the wrong one. I have to take a bile binder powder which has help ( I think it comes in a pill also) but there isn't much that can be done to correct the error. I was also just diagnosed with gout which is what maybe have caused the stones in the first place.

Part of what I would suggest is to keep asking the questions and demanding answers, if the dr.s don't give you what you want to know change dr.s its her health and she has the right to ask anything she wants and get a proper answer. My dr.s know they better have answers for me cause I ask plenty of questions, it might not fix things but atleast you will know what the problem is.

Prayers to you
Shannon
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