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Avatar universal

After Gallbladder Removal Problems

Good Afternoon,

I am a 40 year old mother of three and healthy until I had my gallbladder removed (laser) in Dec. 1999. I had some intense pain in my right abdomin and chest area that my doctors said was due to a diseased gallbladder. Although these pains were infrequent, I had the surgery to prevent any further problems.

Since then I have had chronic abdominal cramping, burning and diarrhea always 15 to 30 minutes after I eat and many times first thing in the morning. I experience weight loss, fatigue, elevated liver enzymes, high calcium and low phospherous levels. I have had every test and seen many doctors who have not given me any hope of recovery.

I work as a graphic artist and therefore take Cholestyramine and over the counter diarrhea medicine Sunday night through Thursday so I can go to work. This constipates me, but it allows me to work without the chronic pain and embarrassing accidents. When I stop taking the medicine over the weekend I eventually return to the acidy burning pain, cramps and diarrhea.

A friend thought that I may have a bial duct injury. My surgery was the laser technique, I went home the same day and was out of work for a week. I didn't experience any symptoms until I went off of the pain medicine. Can I get help for this problem?

26 Responses
233190 tn?1278553401
Hello - thanks for asking your question.

Bile duct injury is possible - without examining you or your studies, I cannot be certain.  Tests to evaluate this would include an ultrasound, HIDA scan or biliary scintigraphy.  ERCP would be the definitive study to evaluate the location of any leak.

Sphincter of Oddi dysfunction is suspected in patients who have biliary-type pain without other apparent causes. In this setting, SOD is most commonly recognized in patients who have undergone cholecystectomy.

Again, a fatty meal ultrasound or biliary scintigraphy would be the initial tests to evaluate for this.  ERCP with manometry would be the definitive test.  These studies should be discussed with your personal physician.

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
Avatar universal
If you'd had a bile duct injury, the effects would be different and would at minimum show up with abnormal blood tests of the liver. You could have dysfunction of the valve where the bile duct drains into the intestine ("sphincter of oddi dysfuntion" -- if you google that term, you'll get lots of hits). It can be diagnosed and treated by passing a scope through your stomach into the duodenum (small intestine at the end of the stomach). It's true, however, that people who have gallbladder surgery symptoms that turn out not to have been due to the gallbladder may have a very hard time getting a solution.
Avatar universal
Thank you for your help! I have not heard of those tests before. I will call my doctor and have the tests done.

I am in Jacksonville, FL and was wondering if there is a doctor(s) or establishment that you could reccommend. I would be willing to travel anywhere with my records in tow to be able to get help and a better answer than my symptoms are "all in my head" like what I have heard from many doctors here.

Again, thank you very much!!!!!!!!

Avatar universal
there is the Borland-Groover clinic in fla. they have a web site you can visit.  I only know this because of researching the same problem.  It took me countless of dr. visits to get across my problem and that it wasn't the typical IBS or acid reflux.  I traveled 900 miles away to my home town to find a gastro. dr. who actually listened to me and took a long look at my records.  I would have traveled to the ends of the earth if that meant any relief for me. I did finally have a biliary sphincterotomy done in Feb of this year.(in PA)  I now have about 50% of relief from my previous problems.(high grade of stenosis in bile duct and sphincter valve would not open).  My pain only hits about every 3 weeks and the attacks only last approx. 2 hours.  That is a BIG victory from my previous state.
Good Luck
Avatar universal
My daughter is 19 years old and today she was diagnosed with a ejection fracture of her bladder. After doing a Hida Scan, they are telling her that her bladder is only working at 23%. The surgeon is suggestion she have her bladder removed immediately. Can you provide the pros and cons of this surgery and any information on this condition and the doctors request for bladder removal


Rica's Mom
Avatar universal
I had my gall bladder out 3 years ago.(402 small stones, yes, 402! I had trouble with it for 26 years and was misdiagnosed 5 times!) While the excruciating "attacks" stopped I continued to have pain in my rt. side, radiating to my back. My gastro. did an ERCP. He told me my bile duct was too small and needed to be opended up. The following week he did another ERCP and opened up the bile duct... I ended up in the hospital for 2 weeks with pancreatits. (he told me there was a 5% chance of it)
It's been 2 years and I still get pain in my rt. & lt. side (worse in the rt.) and still have the diarrhea that comes on *fast*.
I find that some fatty foods make the pain worse and sometimes it can be anything at all that causes the pain. If I eat Chinese food I can expect to be in pain for 4 days.
Also, I can't lay on my rt. side since my gall bladder was taken out, it hurts soooo bad. The minute I switch to my left side I'm okay. Anyone else have this problem?
What helps the pain in your side?
Help!  Please feel free to email me anytime. ***@****
Thanks so much!!!
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