About ten years ago, I was hospitalized so many times for pancreatitis, I was in the hospital more than out for about three years. I had my gall bladder removed at the hospital in Muskogee, OK, but still kept getting sick, all day, every day, and excruciating pain. The hospital kept saying there was nothing wrong with me. My ex and I packed up and went to Indiana, where some friends reassured us medical was better. Our first night there, I ended up at the ER, where the kept me overnight, and the next day performed an emergency ERCP to put in stents. I was told the stents would dissolve on their own in a short period of time.
Now, I'm having all the same problems again. I went to the doctor's office this morning, after not being able to hold anything down for four days. The doctor did a quick exam, and as soon as I opened my mouth for him, he could tell how dehydrated I was, so he immediately put me on IV fluids. I was hooked up to the fluids for a couple hours, and they gave me a sublingual Zofran for the nausea. I've been taking 50mg phenergan, which I have at home, but nothing at all is helping me to stop vomiting.
The doctor did blood work. My amlaiyse and lipase were normal, and my blood count looked fine, but my blood sugar was extremely high. He sent me to the hospital to have a CT scan, since he couldn't figure out what was going on... he just wanted to make sure I didn't have a ruptured ulcer or anything. He was wonderful, in sending them his personal cell # and telling them he wanted the results TODAY, so I wouldn't have to go through the ER and end up hospitalized all weekend if it wasn't absolutely necessary.
So, they did the CT scan, and came out and asked me about the stents. I told them, yes, I had them put in several years ago, but was told they would be gone. They found something in my bile ducts, so they said it must have been the stents, and ruled that they couldn't find anything wrong, based on that, and sent me home.
I just started reading about this a few minutes ago, have been in bed, feeling terrible. I'm seeing on here, from everyone, that the stents should be removed within a short time of being put in??? Why do I still have these??? Should they still be showing up ten years later??? I'm just so confused, and so scared, don't wanna go through all this again, as I have gone through several episodes over the years of the excruciating abdominal pain and severe nausea and vomiting that I am having now, and having hospitals say, 'there's nothing wrong with you'.
I have definitely learned that, in many cases, I tend to know more about my condition than many of the doctors working on me, so I decided that I needed to get to work and get more informed on this again, since it's been several years since I've researched it.
Any advice or ideas would be so greatly appreciated!
Dissolvable biliary stents have been used but the vast majority have been plastic for benign strictures. Metal stents are used primarily for biliary strictures caused by cancer. If you did have a dissolvable stent placed the concern would be that the narrowed duct has scarred back down after the ten years. If it was a non dissolvable stent that was supposed to pass spontaneously and didn't it may have occluded. Either way, you need to be evaluated by a qualified gastroenterologist who deals primarily with biliary issues as pancreatic duct stunting is not something that all GI docs do. Patients with longstanding chronic pancreatitis don't always elevate their amylase or lipase levels with recurrent pancreatitis because the have destroyed too much of their pancreas. If you are to the point of having troubles with blood sugar control this is a distinct possibility. How you should be managed will depend on the anatomy of your pancreatic duct and this would best be assessed with a MRCP which is a version of a MRI scan specifically looking at the bile ducts. If you now live in Indiana it might be in your best interest to be seen at Indiana University as they have an excellent team of gastroenterologists and biliary surgeons.
Baybay, I concur with the previous poster in the suggestion to check with docs at Indiana University. They have a great group of docs who are very well versed in problems that concern the biliary system. Someone I know who has dealt with stomach/biliary issues for a number of years just had surgery at that facility and the care was first-rate. Furthermore, in my opinion (for what it's worth), the diagnostic work-up and follow-through was excellent. It was a shame in the first place that she had to get to that health condition, but that had nothing to do with those at Indiana University. It was unfortunately due to what I consider sub-standard diagnosis and care up until that point.
Please, do NOT allow the condition to continue unchecked by docs who may not know what's going on. The biliary system can be 'tricky.' You need to check with docs who KNOW what they're doing.
As the poster above said in an understated manner: "you need to be evaluated by a qualified gastroenterologist who deals primarily with biliary issues................" The important words are 'qualified' and 'primarily.'
There are a lot of decent gastroenterologists out there, but not many who deal with the biliary system competently - my opinion.
Thank you guys so much... I've been lying here curled up in pain, not wanting to go to the hospital because of the way they treat anyone who is in pain, especially when it mimics the pancreatitis exactly, but my enzymes do not show elevated. Now, at least I feel like I have some back up. It's so freakin' frustrating to know that you're in so much pain, can't hold anything down, etc., and the doctors dismiss it as gastritis, or tell you there's nothing wrong with you!
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