7 months liver resection post-op - still swelling?
I am a 32-year-old female who had a liver resection in January, 2009. They removed sections 4,5,6,7 and 8 and removed my gall bladder. I had a very large benign focal nodular hyperplasia tumor. The mass that was removed was 20cm x 15.5 x 6.8. I've been told repeatedly that my case is extremely unusual, so my doctors don't really have a lot of answers because they've never come across anything like this.
My problem is that my abdomen swells, usually begins right below my incision which starts at the top of my left rib cage, goes up towards the zyphoid process, then along the right rib cage, turning horizontal for the last inch or 2 of the 12-inch incision. I go from having a fairly flat stomach to looking like I'm 5 months pregnant in a short time period. The swelling causes pressure, pain, discomfort, etc. I have noticed this happens after I sit for a while. One doctor said maybe it's diet related, but decreasing the amount of fiber and gas-causing foods has had no effect. She also gave me probiotics to see if that would help. It didn't.
In addition to the abdominal swelling, I still have boughts of fatigue (even when I do sleep), sleeplessness, occasional itching (but my blood tests come back fine). No one I've seen seems to know what to do or think. I figured I'd try this and see if it helps instead of "doctor hopping".
I have also gotten conflicting recommendations on exercise. One doctor has said I can basically only walk, why others say I can do any type of exercise. Big difference. Any thoughts on that? I do have pain when I run or jump, which I've "tested out" a couple of times. I still cannot sit up from lying flat on my back.
Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated!
we have found a lot of similar GI symptoms in live donors of right lobes for liver transplants. Sometimes they don't go away but generally most of the symptoms resolve in most people. This far out from surgery your musculature will probably be as strong as it ever will be. i think there will never be a guarantee you won't develop a hernia but I generally tell my patients they are ad lib with regard exercise---use common sense however and don't lift refrigerators, etc!
I tried a few things the gastrenterologist suggested, including taking stuff to find out if my swelling was caused by gas and taking a diuretic. I took an over the counter diuretic which did make my swelling go down, so know we know it's fluid. But now the question is why is fluid gathering in my abdomen? And how de we get it to stop? I don't really like the idea of taking diuretics all the time, especially the OTC kind because it makes my urine blue, gives me headaches, and makes me more nauseous than I already am. I'm trying an herbal diuretic to see if it helps, but would still like a long-term solution and a reason behind this.
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