3 weeks ago my wife underwent laparoscopic cholecystectomy all went well and she was discharged, but within 3 days she was readmitted with Jaundice, Nausia, Lethargy and just a feeling of being terribly run down. CT scan was to show a build up of fluid in her abdominal cavity.
She was to undergo the insertion of a drain tube under xray and within a few hours 145ml of fluid which looked like liquid milk chocolate was to be drained from her.
She was told that unfortunately in the area of were the gall bladder had been a abscess had formed and it was this that was draining. I am not a doctor or surgeon but fail to see how such an abscess had formed to this extent within two days of her surgery.
Would I be right in thinking that maybe this was a bile duct leak that was causing this problem ?? If this could be a possibility is it possible for such a leak 'heal itself' as of course we are now concerned that she may have future problems. We are not to see the surgeon now for 3 weeks in the meantime we are VERY concerned.
Your thoughts would be really appreciated.. Thank you.
Peter, I can't with any certainty say that this is what may be going on, but some people do have problems with cystic duct leakage following the surgery. In this problem - for whatever reason - the stump of the cystic duct (duct leading from gallbladder to common bile duct) doesn't get 'clipped' properly and it continues to allow a small amount of bile leakage into the surrounding area. In most, the leak site slowly closes.
The other possibility however, is that a small section of the bile duct may have incurred some damage during the surgery. When that happens, the site may or may not spontaneously seal.
From a doc's point-of-view, I believe most feel that it's more prudent to see if the body will heal itself instead of immediately subjecting the person to further procedures, which may be good, or bad, depending on a person's perspective. If she continues to have problems, they may have to do an ERCP with stent placement depending on where the leak is originating from, so that's one of the questions you might want to ask the doc - where is the leak?
A stent could be placed which will form a barrier between the leak site and the bile. While it's in place, the site of the leakage would then, hopefully, seal over and the stent could subsequently be removed.
The fact that your wife was readmitted with jaundice brings up another question in my mind, however. Did you wife have surgery due to stones and did one of those stones escape and block the common bile duct resulting in a backup of bile flow? If not, did she have a common bile duct spasm, or a spasm at the sphincter of Oddi (the muscular opening to the duodenum) that resulted in the jaundice? You need to find out what the docs think about the cause of the jaundice and try to make sure that the condition is addressed. If your wife is having spasms that back up bile flow it could impact her health in a number of ways and the situation needs to be addressed earlier rather than later.
I really do appreciate your extremely quick response to our concern thank you.
To put you in the picture with my wifes recent health circumstances. Unfortunately she has just been given the OK from a course of CarboPlatin Chemo following a diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer so you can imagine the horror for her to reallse she now had another abdominal problem, she was obviously concerned that it may have been cancer related fortunately not.
She was hospitalised 3 times for CT's, MRI and jelly scans etc. etc. due to her pain which did not show anything except her blood LFT 'not quite right' and until the final scan when at the last scan (hours before surgery) a few small stones where identified in her Gall Bladder and possibly a small stone in her bile duct but told that surgery would ascertain.
She was originally to have had surgery in 3 months time but 2 months later she was to be rushed in for emergency surgery, and the rest is history.
I do appreciate your time and valuable comments, thank you.
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