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gallbladder & pancreas problems
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gallbladder & pancreas problems

I will be having my gallbladder out within the next few weeks due to about 1/2 dozen bouts of incredible chest pressure/pain in the past month & apparent stones found on the abd U/S.  However, my PMD & GI specialist were perplexed as to why I also have another type of pain which is ongoing and is usually in the upper left back, & just under the left rib cage.  I thought it might be due to perhaps a stone blocking the pancreatic duct.  While the first 2 docs seemed skeptical, the surgeon fully agreed that was a very real possibility and that the pain is probably due to some mild pancreatitis.  But even the surgeon does not feel he fully understands all of what is going on, and this concerns me.  My amylase & lipase are elevated "further than usual" (they have been elevated for a couple of years, and the docs never figured out why... an ERCP with stents did not fix the problem, so it was written off as idiopathic).  Anyhow, besides that, my WBC's are elevated somewhat, with the neutrophils up and the lymphocytes down.  I thought that could just be due to the inflammation with my gb & panc, but the surgeon said he just does not know and that he'll have to look around when he does the lap chole (gb removal).  I asked him about the possibility of cancer, and he shook his head no and is even ok with my waiting till mid-November for the surgery due to my work obligations.  How can he feel so sure that it is not cancer?  From all I've read since I saw him, wouldn't he want to warn me that the longer I wait, the more damage to the pancreas could occur just from the inflammation?  In fact, due to what I've learned along with some greatly increased pains in the past 2 days, I've decided to move my surgery forward.  I do trust this surgeon.  Not only did he perform a very difficult surgery for my dad, removing a tumor and half his pancreas, his gb & his spleen (which is why I asked for this doc), but I've heard a few times that he's one of the best in the area.  I just don't understand, and I'm hoping someone out there will be able to share their insight with me.  I am also wondering if anyone has had a similar story in any respect, and how things turned out for them.  Thanks so much.
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I had some of the same symptoms - About 5 years ago I took a sip of wine on Xmas Eve and had immediate pain in my stomach.  I had to ask guests to leave.  Went to doctor - had blood taken - received nothing for pain and had the worst pain I've ever endured.  4 days later doctor called to hospitalize me for pancreatitis - too late - I was feeling better.  Checked on line and became really frightened and insisted upon having tests including a CT.  Nothing showed up - told me "idiopathic" - not to worry - no damage and would probably never happen again.  Last April - WHAM!  I'd had left side back pain for several days but did not associate it with pancreatits.  I had a pedicure - there was a vibrating device in the chair that ran up and down my spine.  Came home - had a bite of food and immediately had excrutiating pain - this time I knew I had pancreatitis.  I drove to the closest ER and told them what was wrong with me.  My amalase was over 4000 and the lipase was also elevated along with the liver enzymes.  I had everything checked about 4 months prior and had normal everything.  Had an ercp - induced another bout of pancreatitis.  Learned I had a benign mucin producing tumor in the pancreatic duct which has a 40 to 60% chance of becoming cancerous.  I am now scheduled for whipple surgery coming up next week.  I have been unable to eat fat, dairy, beef, spicy foods along with some of my old favorites - licorice, peppermint.  I have almost constant diarrhea anyway.  My stomach hurts to one degree or another all the time and I have weird sensations whenver I eat something - feels like things move around in my abdomen.  I'm terrified of the sugery although I'm assured I have one of the two best whipple surgeons in the Chicago area - there is still a high level of mortality for the 8 hour surgery and a high chance of becoming diabetic after the surgery.  I will be taking enzymes for a year after the surgery.  A side issue is that I already have glaucoma and if I become diabetic I know my chances of blindness may increase.  I'm between a rock and a hard place - if I do not have the surgery I may develop cancer and I would be subjected to frequent attacks of pancreatitis causing more damage to the pancreas. My father and his mother probably had this very same problem - and lived to be in their 80's - my dad couldn't tolerate dairy - often didn't eat for a week or two at a time, etc.  (I go several days without eating sometimes).  BTW - my gall bladder is just fine - no stones, etc. - it's coming out along with the tip of the pancreas, bottom of the stomach and the top of the duodenum.  

I don't know about you but I got sick and tired of being asked about my drinking habits - If I were a lush I would have had problems MANY years ago.  When they could no longer use that accusation I was accused of eating fried foods.  I seldom eat fried foods and when I did it wasn't often or very much.  Now I can have an egg only twice a week.  But for dinner I will take a couple of pieces of calamari - that's it.  I watch it very closely but still have stomach aches/diarhhea.  Looking back I realize I probably had low level pancreatitis for about 15-20 years - had the back pain from time to time - chronic diarrhea too.  Probably a good thing I quit drinking milk when I was 12.  I'm also loaded with allergies/sensitivities like my dad and grandmother - I keep thinking it's because we are RH negative.

Stormy
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you so much for your response.  I was worried that no one could relate to my biliary tract problems, although I am sorry for you that you are in a similar boat and in fact have this huge surgery to face this week.  I agree that you need to do it.  If you don't have the surgery, you have even greater risks, I think.  Would you believe that my dad had a benign pancreatic mucinous tumor?  He had been NIDDM prior to surgery and is now insulin dependent.  He is coping much better than he thought he would, but of course it's not easy.  So I understand your concern.  We're all just so grateful that it was not cancer.  And I'm so glad that you said yours is benign as well.  That must be such an incredible relief for you to hear.  I agree with you about some docs or others trying to blame it on alcohol.  Except for my first year or two of college, most of my life I was the odd-ball NON-drinker of the bunch... drinking just made me tired or gave me allergies.  So to be accused of that by some P.A. in the ER one time was extremely upsetting when I was already hurting and scared and confused as to what was going on with my labs & my pain.  Patients are in such a vulnerable situation.  I moved my surgery up to Oct 24.  What day is your surgery?  Please write in as to how you are doing.  I wish you the best.
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Avatar_n_tn
yes i had had un ultra sound and they found a gallstone in my gallbladder 150mm they said it was to big to pass and want to remove my gallbladder how big is that 150 mm aand what are  the effects if i take it out or leave it thank you

Frances
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Avatar_f_tn
I never heard of a gallstone that size.  150 mm is 15 cm, which is about 6 inches which is larger than the gallbladder is to begin with.  Not being a doctor, I can only say that if a gallstone is very large, it is typically recommended to have the gallbladder removed due to the increased likelihood of the stone leading to possible problems/complications.  Other than the typical risks of any surgery, some people have to watch what they eat a bit more closely after their gallbladder removal, but many people have no additional problems and often feel better.
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