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Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Forum
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Avatar universal

Pain after gall bladder surgery

My son, age 25 had gall bladder surgery after 8 months of upper right abdomen pain and trying to find problem--finally the hydascan showed a draining problem.  No stones found, but continued pain after surgery.  ERCP procedure done, some sludge removed, no stones in bile ducts--sphlinter muscle clipped for better drainage.  Developed pancreatitus and in hospital 4 days.  Pancreas pain gone, but he still has pain like he did before the gall bladder was removed, only able to work 1/2 days.  The gastro specialist basically said he could do no more for him and he was on his own.  His regular Doctor gave him stomach medicine and antidepressants thinking the post pain trauma was his problem.  All tests come back normal but the pain continues.   Can you help?  Thank you.
11 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi,
Boy does what you say sound familiar.  I was told by my drs. that I was just a "bored, lonely housewife looking for attention" when I kept going back to them for 2 1/2 years with the same pains and more that you are describing.  I eventually got to a University that said I had had Chronic Pancreatitis the entire time.  That I had been showing classic signs of it for years, but because of my age, the other drs. I saw were hesitent to diagnose this.
PLEASE tell your son to be persistant in seeing a SPECIALIST that can correctly diagnose him.  It took me going to a university for this to be done. The GI Specialists I had seen were "dumb founded" and even told me when I was in the hospital, that they really thought that there was nothing wrong with me at all.  Not now, or when I was admitted 4 days earlier.  The university had all my records and I was again showing all the classic symptoms of pancreatitis.  Do what you have to do to get your son well.  Don't stop seeking medical attention because a dr. said it was all in his head.  If he is still having pain after all this time, it's my bet he will eventually be diagnosed with acute pancreatitis.
Write if you want more info and good luck to your son.
TazLady
Avatar universal
Just what is the treatment for Chronic pancreatitis?
Avatar universal
Thank you Tazlady for your response.  What University did you go to for treatment, and what was the treatment.  Was it successful?
Avatar universal
Hi - I agree with TazLady.  I am a firm believer that a patient knows there body better than anyone else, even someone who went to medical school.  Your son needs to be his own advocate.  Tell him not to take NO for an answer or let the doctors make him believe it is in his head.  Perhaps seeking out a University Hospital would be a good next step to take. Do you live close to South Carolina?  One of the TOP GI doctors in the country is at one of the University Medical Centers down there.  You can do a search for Dr. Peter Cotton and should come up with his website.  Best of luck to your son.  Happy New Year!
Avatar universal
Hi,
I was diagnosed at Stanford University in California. There is no cure for pancreatitis. The treatment for Chronic Pancreatitis is enzyme pills to aid in digestion.  A low fat diet of 25 grams of fat or less a day.  I have pain every single day.  Some is worse than others.  No alcohol at all.  That includes nyquil that is 10% and yes, even o'doul's at .05%.  Alcohol will trigger an attack. It may not be that night, but it will happen.The use of alcohol while cooking food is fine as it will burn off as you cook the food. I excersize lightly as it hurts too much to do it for too long.  No heavy lifting or excessive bending as this also sets off my pain. I am able to work only a few hours a day before the pain is too great to continue. Stay away from stress as much as possible.  This also starts the pain. No oils, butters or fried foods.  These are bad.  Ask your son if he is seeing an "oil slick" in the toilet after he has a bm.  This is a sign that the body isn't absorbing all the vitamens and nutrients from the food he is eating, and it suggests that he isn't absorbing  enough fat in his diet.  Yep, we all need to have some fat in our diet.  Now, I am still young and I am sometimes "bad" and treat myself to some whole fat desserts and occasionally french fries.  But I know that I am going to hurt afterward.  I have not given up dairy products, but everything in my house is either fat free or low fat for sure.  When I do eat out, it is grilled chicken.  No mayo.  They have this at every reasturant and fast food places.  If (or I was told WHEN) the pancreas progressivly gets worse despite everything you are supposed to do for it, it can (will) lead to diabetes mellitus, cystic fibrosis, pancreatic cancer or other such wonderful things.  I read on here someone described the pancreas as being the gaurd dog of the body and once awoken, it does not go back to sleep and it lets you know it's awake every single day of your life. How true!
Pain management is a big part of pancreatitis.  It does not have to get worse.  I know of people that have had acute pancreatitis for 20 plus years and they do just fine.  It's once it progresses to Chronic pancreatitis that there is no reversing back to acute stage.  I have had only 1 ERCP with sphincter of Oddi monometry so far and I have to say it helped releave the pain a great deal.  But I dealt with this for 2 1/2 years before being diagnosed.  If they (the drs.) had taken me seriously sooner, I may have been able to stay in the acute stage of this illness and be much better off than I am now.  The pain of a pancreatic attack is worse than having a baby.  They found out I also have spincter of Oddi dysfuntion.  They find this out when a monometry test is performed.  The doctors don't know much about this yet.
Hope this helps you.  Write if you want to know anything else.
And good luck!
TazLady
Avatar universal
Hi, you seem to be or have been experiencing the same symptoms as I have. This is my third bout of pain this year and each time it seems to get worse but the doctors don't seem to be finding anything wrong or out of the ordinary but they haven't performed that many tests to rule too many things out. I have gone to the hospital twice and was told to go home it wasn't really anything to worry about, they gave me some painkillers which didn't work at all but I couldn't convince them of that, they overmedicated me and sent me on my merry way without a clue as to what was wrong with me. It does not want to go away and has not gone away but in reading your comments you seem to know more than what they have offered me in the past year or so. My poor husband is at his wits end wondering if this is all in my head or if there is truly something wrong with me, I know and you know our own bodies and they tell us when we aren't functioning properly. I just don't know where to turn anymore and the pain is so bad sometimes I find myself not being able to work but noone believes me that the pain is really that bad and honeastly how do you convince them without them experiencing it for themselves firsthand? I had my gallbladder out in 1993 and have problems ever since with diarrhea, many many ulcers, abdominal pain, vomitting, dizziness, weakness, fevers, chills, etc of unknown origin and they haven't found anything yet but the only tests that they performed so far was an mri and a cat scan and some blood work and a urine and stool sample but that was all in March when my symptoms became progressively worse, now this is an ever occurring thing and I don't where to go from here! Any suggestions or comments or hints you could give me would be more than greatly appreciated! Thank you for listening!
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