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pain after gallbladder surgery
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pain after gallbladder surgery

I HAD MY GALLBLDDER REMOVED 11-13-08 AND EVERY SINCE I HAVE HAD PAIN ON MY RIGHT SIDE WHEN I LIE DOWN OR WHEN I YAWN,COUGH, OR TAKE A DEEP BREATH, I HAVE HAD XRAYS, CAT SCAN, AND MY SURGEON CAN'T SEEM TO KNOW WHAT THE PROBLEM IS, HE SUGGESTED THAT I GET AN SECOND OPINION WHICH I AM SCHEDULED FOR ON 5-18-08. CAN YOU GIVE ME ANY INPUT ON THIS OR WHAT IT COULD BE.


This discussion is related to Pain still after gallbladder surgery.
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I had my GB removed on 4.14.08 and spent two weeks in hospital due to bile duct leak.  Have been out for almost a week and I too still have pain, sometimes dull ache and sometimes knife stabbing, on right side where GB should be.  My doc says the leak is sealed and the pain should go away.  Also having orange diarhea (diarrhea).  He did CAT and HIDA scan and shows everything is normal.  Please let me know what your second opinion shows and I will let you know if I have any info.  I know several people that had the GB removed and never had a single problem since the moment they left the hospital.  Guess we are some of the unlucky ones.  Ha.  Please keep me posted.  I don't think the pain is normal.  
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Like so many of you, I had the laperoscopic removal of my gallbladder three weeks ago.  Incisions have healed well, no fever, instant relief from the actual "indigestion-like" intense upper right chest area pain caused by the gallstones.  BUT since the surgery and dispite all other indicators that healing was well on its way, another very intense pain began to develop in the same area.  But this time a different pain--sharper, stabbing and very intense pain--began to take over when bending, twisting, raising my right arm a certain way, deep breathing, coughing, rolling over in bed, etc.  Attacks of a more acute and "take my breath away" pain would spontaneously catch me (sometimes feeling like internal tearing, pulling, burning).  Over the course of 7-9 days it got progressively unbearable and more frequent.  

My surgeon agreed that this was not normal and needed further "inspection."  I set an appointment but today found myself unable to wait until that appointment set three days later.  I had multiple "attacks" from my center breast bone area to up under and behind my right rib cage (high and low) and into my back and shoulder.  These attacks were so intense I nearly passed out a couple of times.  Elevated BP and shallow breathing and racing pulse proved my body was reacting to great pain.  I ended up in the ER.

After several hours of testing (CTs, Xrays, labs of all kinds, etc.) and normal and clean test results I became so discouraged.  My increasing pain was managed with low dosages of morphine to keep me "comfortably numb but functional".  Just when I thought the Dr. was about to give up hope he had a "wait a minute..." moment.

"Pleurisy," he said.  "It could be that simple."  He'd been looking for more serious problems like blocked bile ducts, twisted intestines, and other "damaged goods."  So the treatment for pleurisy is easy and fairly quick to try.  If the pain noticibly subsides a couple of hours post intravenous administration of such treatment, then it's probable that pleurisy is the culprit.

In my case it seems to be, anyway!  Within a few hours of IV dosages of a heavy anti-inflammatory and a super steroid I experienced major relief in the hard core pain and a visible decrease in a swollen upper abdomen.  Amazing.  From morphine to pain free movement in 6 hours....after days of intense pain.

I'll follow with a couple of weeks of continued prescription anti inflammatory drugs and steroids.  The morphine has worn off and I'm feeling better than I have in weeks--finally!

So that's it.  I wanted to share.  Thank God it was nothing requiring life-long treatments or additional surgery.  Sometimes the simple and obvious are overlooked in post-surgical situations because everyone assumes the problem is more serious and functional.

In this case the Dr. assumes the cameras and tools inserted during surgery irritated tissues and organs (very sensitive ones like the pancreas and liver) and when they swelled and applied pressure to the right side of the lung, the fluid that exists inside the pleural lining to provide lubrication of the lungs upon movement was displaced by the additional pressure causing the lining to rub together, causing friction--which causes pain.  Big, bad pain.  A chain reaction of the surgery with no fever or chills, no elevated white count, and no necessarily present coughing, phlem, respiratory problems, etc. but LOTS of PAIN.

So good luck to all of you still hurting...and ask about pleurisy and/or the possibility of a Indomethacin (anti-inflammatory) and Methylprednisolone (steroid) type treatment--"just to see" if it makes a difference!  My best to all....
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