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Continued gallbladder pain after removal over eight years ago
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Continued gallbladder pain after removal over eight years ago

I had my gall bladder out almost eight years ago. I am now having more intense gallbladder type pain, it put me in the hospital twice, once my blood liver enzymes were elevated. I take natural enzymes through alternative medicine since my first attack, so I think that is why my liver enzymes were not elevated this second time (as the attack did not last as long). I have always had more watery bowel since the removal. My GI Dr. thinks this could be the bile duct. No one told me you could still have problems after the removal of the gallbladder. Could anybody explain this more?


This discussion is related to After Gallbladder Removal Problems.
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Avatar_f_tn
The condition you're speaking of may be SOD (sphincter of Oddi dysfunction), it encompasses both the sphincter (the opening to the duodenum, and spasms of the common bile duct. You can learn more about it here: http://hopkins-gi.nts.jhu.edu/pages/latin/templates/index.cfm?pg=disease1&organ=3&disease=12&lang_id=1

It may also reflect problems with having sludge or true stones in the common bile duct. The good thing about this is that at least your doc seems to have some idea of what it could be - most docs don't. They brush off the symptoms saying they can't find anything after rounds of testing of organs that have nothing to do with the biliary system. I hope your doc is discussing ways of looking at your biliary system. An MRCP is a less invasive test to do and it may give you some idea of whether or not your biliary structure is 'problematic.' A definitive test for SOD is an ERCP with manometry (make SURE they do manometry if an ERCP is done.
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Avatar_n_tn
To follow up on CalGal's comments, if your doc discusses ERCP with you, please make sure that you are going to a top center in the US (if you are in the US that is.)  There are only a few places that I would trust to go where the docs there have performed thousands of ERCPs as this can be a very risky procedure.  Don't let any doctor tell you that it's "simple" as the risks for pancreatitis following the ERCP are high.
Good luck!
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388261_tn?1215403444
I just had my gallbladder removed 4 weeks ago. Although I was feeling much better, yesterday I started having the exact same pains I was having prior to the surgery. I am having right side pains radiating to the left and to the back area, chest pains and stomach cramps. I am going to my doc tomorrow, but I really hope this does not become permanent! The surgery was bad enough. The gallbladder issue came out of nowhere. I am a very healthy 35 year old, not over weight, eat well, exercise, etc....but my gallbladder became infected and I had to have it removed 10 days after finding some stones.

I am sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. *sigh*
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Avatar_f_tn
Try following a very, very low fat diet. You may not be able to process fats the way you did before and it could take some time to adjust.
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388261_tn?1215403444
Thanks CalGal. I have followed a very strict diet but this last weekend I had a small bit of fried fish. (Went fishing, couldn't resist.....my bad) Could this have set it off?

Also, will this happen all of the time now? I know we have to have small amounts of good fat in our diets, but I am wondering if all fats, even eaten in small quantities, will upset my system like this forever.

I never knew that having my GB removed would change my life so drastically. I did not have a choice but to have it removed, but it looks like, after reading everyones stories, that we pretty much have to be careful of everything we eat. Even foods that are good for you.

Are there any signs I should be watching for when it comes to infection after surgery?
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Avatar_f_tn
Everyone seems to react to fats differently after surgery. And since you're posting on a board, only those having problems is what you end up reading about - the 'no problem' people aren't here so it sometimes sounds like 'everyone' is having  a horrendous time. Not true - but it seems like it.

I can't swear that things will stay the way they are now; no one can. Some docs I know are suggesting that if someone keeps their fat intake low for many months it allows the system to adjust and then they're able to slowly start adding back. I can't say for sure that that will happen, but it's worth a try.

Part of the problem is that our body doesn't know the difference between good and bad fats. Fat is fat for the most part when it comes to the biliary system. It 'sees' fat, releases CCK and 'bring on the bile.' So take it easy.

And you could grill that fish instead of frying it...........think of all that 'juicy' taste that will be more apparent due to grilling instead of the frying...............right????? Your taste buds will be more discriminating....................(I'm trying hard, here..............LOL!)
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Avatar_n_tn
I had my gallbladder removed in 2006, and have had many problems since, chronic diahrrea, gerd, pain in left and right side, low left pelvic pain.

The gastro doc I went to told me this was "normal" after gall bladder removal.

I recently went to a naturopath who prescribed probiotics and hypo gest  along with a castor oil pack on abdomen nightly.  For the first time in over 2.5 years, Im starting to feel well again.  I dont have the constant gas pressure in my stomach, bloating is gone, stool is starting to form.  General feeling of "something not right" with my GI tract is starting to ease up.   The naturopath explained to me that gall bladder problems actually originate in the liver and by removing the gall bladder, you actually make the problem worse as you dont correct the initial liver dysfunction.

I can tell you this - for 2.5 years Ive relied on western medicine to help me and Ive gotten nowhere.  In less than a month, holisitc medicine has helped enormously.   I do feel that western medicine has its place in acute conditions - but with a chronic condition such as this, I personally feel that holisitic remedies are much more effective and easier on the body to tolerate.
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