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Extreme Pain months after gallbladder surgery

I had my gallbladder taken out in May of 2001.  One week after the surgery I started having 'attacks.'  
I have severe pain in the lower ribs that radiates across the bottom.  It is so painful that I can barely breathe and feel sick to my stomach.
I went to my regular dr who said he thought I had ulcers.  I was on 2 different rounds of ulcer meds with no luck.  I had attacks while I was on them.  He suggested a gastroentrologist.
I saw the gastro dr and he ordered blood tests to rule out any stones in the common bile duct.  The blood work came back clear.  The dr then dissmissed it as 'since it doesnt happend that often' (I TOLD HIM IT HAPPENS EVERY DAY) that he's not concerned about it.  
Has anyone else encountered this problem?  I would like to be armed with some info the next time I go to the dr.  I feel like I am being dismissed as a hysterical woman!
Thank you.
14 Responses
Avatar universal
You're not alone.  I had my gall bladder removed in April 2001.  Ten days after surgery I was readmitted to the hospital because they thought I had an infection.  The radiology staff tried for 2 1/2 hours to insert a drain tube in my right side without giving me as much as an asprin for pain.  After all that time and feeling like a lab rat, I was knocked out and the tube was inserted.  I was admitted to the hospital for 2 days.  I have almost every test in the book done.  I go tomorrow for a consult for an ERCP.  My gastro doctor suspects that part of my problem is my bile is too grainy.  Put me on acticall which appeared to be working (pain was going away) and then I became allergic to it.  Broke out in hives.  Stopped taking Actigall and pain came back worse than ever.  The doctors also suspect that when they tried to jab the tube in my side they may have damaged something.  I will know more tomorrow and will get back with you. Just wanted to let you know I certainly feel your pain and that you are not alone.  If you have any other specific questions, please feel free to email me:  ***@****   Don't let the doctor's tell you its all in your head and this is normal, because it's not!  BTW, what part of the country do you live?  I live in Virginia.  Take care and I be persistent.  No one knows your body better than you do.  Have a GREAT day!  : )
Avatar universal
My gastro dr didnt even suggest any other tests, other then the blood tests that I had done on Friday.  When he called me on Monday with the results I felt like he was condecending.  I am going to call my insurance and find another gastro dr to see.  If this one cant do anything for me, then I will find another.  

I looked thru the other threads on the list and found several other people who have the same problems as I do.  That makes me feel better, in an awful sort of way.  I think I should have just kept my gallbladder.  

I have also gained a bit of weight and have extreme fatigue.  I have 3 kids and do not have hardly any energy.  My attacks happen mostly in the morning when I am in the school day rush hour to get my kids ready.  

Good luck on your tests.  
Miki in Ohio!
Avatar universal
Just so you'll know, I've had 5 CT Scans of my abdomen, an MRCP of my billiary tract (this is basically an MRI).  I've had all kinds of bloodwork done as well.  Everything comes back within "normal" levels.  Whatever that means.  My appointment tomorrow is to discuss the ERCP with a possible Sphincterotomy.  I'll keep you posted on what they say.  I just hope and pray that they are the right track now.  I feel bad all the time, very fatigued, and just want to stay curled up in my bed.  Do you have an HMO or a PPO or someother kind of insurance.  I have several Gastro doctors to chose from with my PPO.  

You might want to go back to the surgeon.  My GYN doctor was furious when I was still "broken" as he put it.  He said I needed to hold the surgeon ultimately responsible because they are suppose to fix what is broken not break something and leave it that way.  Anyway, I hope you find a good doctor soon. Email me if you have any other questions.  I'll answer what I can.  Have a GREAT day!

Avatar universal
I had my gallbladder removed 2 years ago and have endured RUQ spasms since. Sometimes I have spells that mimick my gallbladder attacks. My story is complex, but I will keep this as short as possible. 2 1/2 years ago, I had a toupe fundoplication for reflux and a gastroenterostomy for gastroparesis (done at the same time).  Previous ultasound for gallstones was negative. While in the hospital I had my first gallstone attack. Subsequent ultasound showed the presence of stones! I eventually had my gallbladder removed. Spasms and tenderness continued, but no more attacks.  I then had a HIDA/Debray scan with morphine which reproduced my pain, and biliary dyskinsia or sphincter of oddi dysfunction was diagnosed. Got along ok with nitrostat, but it caused terrible headaches.  Anyway, I eventually started having reflux and severe gastroparesis again. Many more tests followed and my GI doctor sent me to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta where I had a partial gastrectomy and a full nissen fundoplication last March (I live in Alabama). The surgery was successful, but since then, I have had increased biliary attacks with daily spasms in my RUQ, along with other symptoms. I've had 2 abdominal CT scans and an MRCP which were "normal." My GI doctor attempted an ERCP for sphincterotomy, but couldn't reach the sphincter of oddi due to my altered anatomy. He sent me back to Emory and I am in the process of having more tests. I know my story doesn't help you much, but the moral is to find a good GI doctor who supports you. I would have gone nuts without my doctor's help and support. I hope all works out well for you - I know you must be frustrated.
Avatar universal
So are you having the ERCP with Sphincterotomy that your doctor has recommended you have done?  Just curious.
Avatar universal
I had my gallbladder removed November of 2000. I have been suffering from the same extreme pain ever since. All the Drs I've seen since have only wanted to look at reflux. I have taken every reflux medication out there nothing stopped the pain. One Drs said I needed to take birthcontrols pills. My hormones my be causing the pain. I'm not an idiot I know this pain isn't reproductive. My pain is always in the middle of the night, early morning or when my stomach is empty. I have found that if I eat something the pain most of the time will go away. Sometimes however it only makes it worse. I have gained a record 20 lbs this year. I finally saw a Dr who told me he suspects its either Biliary Dyskinesia (which I was pre op) or Chronic pancreatitis. My blood work has always been normal. I was told chronic pancreatitis is very hard to diagnose because you can have normal blood work. He said having an ERCP done and having the sphinctor cut open will solve both problems. I hope this helps you. I know the pain makes you feel like it will never go away.
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