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ERCP's for treatment of "sludge"
About 6 weeks ago I presented with continued pain (after approx 2weeks prior continual pain).  Ended up going to the ER where they did x-rays, CAT scan w/contrast (might have been MRI w/contrast) they had me on IV valium for pain and something else...I have a high pain tolerance, but when I reach my limit, it's hard to gain control of the pain. (Think I'd learn..) Anyway, they kept us at the ER until 3 am (approx 7 hrs) and told us that I needed an ERCP done because my bile duct was completely shut with sludge.  4 years ago I had been diagnosed with sludge when they thought I was having a heart attack.  The surgeon put me on meds and said I would probably never have another problem.  Whoops.  Well, the next am at 8 we had to be at a hospital 1 1/2 hours away.  They explained how they (the Dr.) would "cut" the top "muscle" of the duct, thereby allowing the sludge to pass.  They did not take any biopsies, ballooned out the sludge in the gallbladder and sent me home....AFTER the procedure, my husband and daughter were both with me, THEN they told me I HAD to have my gallbladder out in 4 weeks. PERIOD.  Not only that, we do have great medical coverage, but the hospital alone billed me $17K and I have not received the "surgeons" bill yet.  I called and complained that if I indeed needed the gallbladder OUT why didn't they just take it out, send me up to the ER and schedule me for an emergency gallbladder removal.  Now, my insurance company and I are supposed to accept that #1 I need to go under again; #2 They get to charge me again? #3 I feel like I was duped-this was a TEMPORARY fix, but never explained to us.  This, as it was explained to us was IT.  THE FIX. So, I am planning on going to another (the first surgeon) and having him review my tests.  It's been 6  weeks, have had no side effects, no pain, (passed the sludge that looked like pale particles for days). But, has anyone else had this?  I am aprehensive about having the gallbladder removed, due to  the fact that so many people continue to have problems, even after it is removed.  Is it common to have "sludge" block the bile duct? Thanks.....Ann


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