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Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Forum
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Avatar universal

Pain below right side of chest after GB surgery

Hi,
Quick question...I had my GB removed about three weeks ago.  Twice now I have had a strange pain that I have never had before.  I get the feeling like I have been shot right where the GB was.  It comes on suddenly, and then tapers off.  It takes my breath away!  It happened on my lunch (I am a teacher) and then in the car the other day.  My husband was scared!  It is the kind of pain that makes you stop and double over.  What the heck is that????  Is it a spasam of some sort?  If so, from where?  I have never had this before.  Just as a quick history...my GB was removed because I had stones.  Doctor said it was inflamed, as well.  Otherwise I have felt fine.  No more GB type symptoms.  Any help or insight is greatly appreciated!
Anne
24 Responses
Avatar universal
This happened to me too.  It has been 4 months since my GB was out and this weekend I was getting the same symptoms like you.  What could this be?
Avatar universal
hmm, maybe a stone in a liver duct ? or a stone stuck in the
oddi-sphincter ? Although that should assumedly give
slowly increasing pain as the pressure increases...
Avatar universal
I have the EXACT same problem.  I had my gallbladder out 4 months ago and about 1 month ago the pains started.  It makes me sweat profusely and hurts so bad that I feel like I could pass out.  My gastroenterologist thinks it's an ulcer and has me on Pepcid.  Although taking TUMS seems to make the pains go away about 80% of the time...about 20% of the time nothing helps.  Since I have been on Pepcid it seems like the pains are less frequent...only about 2-3 times/week rather than 4-5 times/week before the Pepcid.  It happens with all types of food...spicy, non-spicy, bland, fatty, non-fatty...I can't connect it to anything in particular.  The next step is to have a Pepida Scan to see if there is scarring where my gallbladder was removed.
Avatar universal
I had my GB removed in May 2002. I didnt have any problems for about a month or two..and then the pain came back..only this time I felt like I was being impaled in the front..or someone was poking me very hard with a stick or something. My doc did an ERCP in Oct 2002 where they stick this thing down your throat and explore your bile ducts, etc. The results from that were that I had "sand" type granuals in my b. ducts so he cleared that out, did a schpincterotomy. I felt GREAT...until about two weeks ago. Now its the same pain as before but now it is also on the left side! I get the chills every night to the point that my teeth chatter. No naseua, heartburn, vomiting or reflux. I saw my primary doc Monday and they did some blood work that they claim is not back yet ( isnt 5 days a little long??) . He gave me some Tylanol 3 for the pain. The Tylanol didnt help at all so I called my GI doc and he told me to take Bentyl ( it was originally prescribed to me for intestinal spasms) and see if that helps. Guess what? It IS helping me. I dont know how or why..but it does help me. You might want to ask your doc about Bentyl and ask him if he thinks it might help. I am really upset that this pain is back again and I think my doc is frustrated, too. Sometimes I feel like an old car that has a new problem every week! Why wont this ever go away!?!?
Avatar universal
MY GOD I THOUGHT I WAS THE ONLY ONE WITH THIS PAIN AFTER G/B REMOVEL I WAS BEGINING TO THINK THEY HAD DESCOVERED MY GALLSTONES BY ACCIDENT AND REMOVED THE G/B BUT THAT IT HADN'T BEEN THE PROBLEM AFTER ALL MY DISTRIC NURSE IS CALLING TOMORROW SO I CAN KNOW FEEL QUIET SANE TELLING HER ABOUT THIS PAIN I'LL LET YOU KNOW HOW I GET ON
Avatar universal
ive been hurting simmular to this first once in a while for the first 4 months now all  the time i get very nauseaed and weak.i feel like the pains never going to go away and sometimes i even feel that i could die from it if they dont find out whats wrong its nice to know im not alone.nd it would have been nice if before i had the lap.gallbladder removal i could have been informed on these kinda problems other wise i would have perfered a old fashion gallbladder surgery with a six inch scare that dont cause me long lasting pain.because sometimes the pain hurts even worse on every deep breath i take.living like this is unbearable.
Avatar universal
I also have this pain.  I have had my GB removed for a long time though.  Today is March 7 2003.  My GB was removed in Sept 1999.  A few months ago I started having a pain under my right rib.  It almost feels like a GB attack.  Another description is if feels like a burning sensation in my right side.  I went to the doctor and he told me that it could be gas in my upper intestine, which according to him is in that area.  He gave me some medicine for it and told me to come back if the pain persisted.  I took some of the medicine and did belch which seemed to release some of the pressure in that area.  The only thing was the medicine has side effects worse than the symptoms.  dizziness, could stop you from sweating?  yikes.  Anyway, I bought some of the over the counter gas pills with malox and they seem to work just as good.  Another thing that gives me relief is eating something like like a milkshake.  Strange huh??? although the milk may coat my stomach like the pepcid I saw someone mention earlier in this forum.  Thanks to all of you for your postings.  It gave me some idea of what to ask for when I go back to the doctor.  A liver screening is next to make sure my liver is working okay.  Then possibly the investigation of the bile duct.
Avatar universal
I also have this pain.  I have had my GB removed for a long time though.  Today is March 7 2003.  My GB was removed in Sept 1999.  A few months ago I started having a pain under my right rib.  It almost feels like a GB attack.  Another description is if feels like a burning sensation in my right side.  I went to the doctor and he told me that it could be gas in my upper intestine, which according to him is in that area.  He gave me some medicine for it and told me to come back if the pain persisted.  I took some of the medicine and did belch which seemed to release some of the pressure in that area.  The only thing was the medicine has side effects worse than the symptoms.  dizziness, could stop you from sweating?  yikes.  Anyway, I bought some of the over the counter gas pills with malox and they seem to work just as good.  Another thing that gives me relief is eating something like like a milkshake.  Strange huh??? although the milk may coat my stomach like the pepcid I saw someone mention earlier in this forum.  Thanks to all of you for your postings.  It gave me some idea of what to ask for when I go back to the doctor.  A liver screening is next to make sure my liver is working okay.  Then possibly the investigation of the bile duct.
Avatar universal
I think I have everyone beat here.....  My gallbladder was removed in 1989, when the incision was about 9" long, and still is.....   Mine was twisted and closed at both ends.  The Dr. said I was probably born like that but as I aged (I'm 53 now) it tightened.  It was a horrendously long recovery period; months!  The sharp pain you mention never goes away completely.  I don't know what it is, but it was frequent at first.  All these years later, it still happens occassionally.  It feels like a sharp stab right where the gallbladder was. Now I have another problem, could be related or not.
I have pain exactly below my right ribs.  Had an ultra sound which showed calcification or granulomas about 1 mm large.  I am scheduled for a CT scan of the abdomen now.  Could it possibly also be scar tissue from the surgery?
Avatar universal
I also had my GB out years ago. (Around 15) I also still have pain that comes & goes. It sometimes feels like a kind of tightness in the area. I was thinking maybe it was adhesions. I think it also could be the liver. Who knows ??
Avatar universal
I have this pain as well.  I saw a doctor and had an ultrasound, and they decided it was a hiatus hernia, with some beginning reflux.  I was told it's stress induced, and is aggrevated by acidic foods, such as tomato and onions.  I'm taking medication, and I've been on vacation, which has helped a lot, but on the airflight coming back it started all over again.

I have a further problem now, which I'm sure is related or not.  It's really embarassing, but I'm kinda leaking a bright orange liquid out of my rear end.  It's only been two or three days, and I guess I'll go to the doc next week if it doesn't clear up, but does anyone know what it is?????
Avatar universal
Man Oh Man Me too! I had my gall bladder removed 6 weeks ago, lap surgery, it was more painful than the total abdominal hysterectomy I had 11 weeks ago! I was told the pain initially was the gas left in my surgical area that had to work it's way out..
I had a slow recovery (I think) because my surgeon said after a week I'd start feeling better and more like myself after week two and I could go back to work. Balogna! My surgeon also told me I could have a normal diet after one or two weeks post op, at first, I may be constipated or get diarrhea but after that I can eat a normal diet.
The first four weeks all fats gave me explosive diarrhea, mind you, I did cut WAY back on all fats anyway even though I was told I could have a "Norm" diet... Last week fatty foods, like  french fries and potato chips (just a few!) gave me pain in my right side so bad I thought I tore a muscle. The pain was to the right under my ribs and I noticed I had a ton of trapped gas (it seemed) but no more diarrhea, it just seemed to get stuck there and the pain was constant, when I moved, breathed, and worse when I ate. I went to the doc and he ruled out pancreas trouble and did bloodwork, (normal) and said I could have a stone lodged in the main bile duct. (OH MY GOD NOT AGAIN!) By the time I had the appointment set up to see the surgeon again my pain was deminished, then it hit me again when I ate fast food french fries, this pain lasts for days and gas and agony follows for at least three days.. IF I EAT anything fatty I get the pain, if I don't eat fats the pain eases up. I read Chamimile dissolves gall stones and I started drinking strong chamimile tea since I cut out fats, I'd like to know how in the world can we be healthy when we cannot digest essential fats necessary for our beauty( haha) and health! I mean Cod liver oil, fatty cids, omega 3 etc..??? I wonder if digestive enzymes are good to take? Any GI info on digesting fats with digestive enzymes (sold at the health food store) for me would help me because I'm afraid(of PAIN) to take any vitamins and minerals till I know.. can't afford to keep seeing a doctor! My question to all of you sweet suffreing comrads, when you get this pain like I do, have you had any fried foods or hi fats in what you eat like me? OH to have a plate of fried eggs and buttered toast again! Thanks and God Bless! RD
Avatar universal
Hi,

If you suffer so badly after having FATTY french fries, why continue eating them????

I had my g/b out on January 24, 2003 and I am still having a tough time recuperating.  I cannot eat ANY fats (even very low fat) or I too suffer terribly.  Mind you, I've cut out all beans, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms (anything that MIGHT give gas), and I still get the gurgling, trapped gassiness. Some days it's so severe I think that something is going to rupture.

The doctors don't have a clue (do they ever)????

I'm having a colonoscopy and endoscopy done on April 7th. My problem is more severe constipation though. I have to take about 3 tablespoons of Metamucil twice a day, plus two stool softeners and I eat oat bran and cheerios and prunes to add bulk.

I did not have gallstones, just the attacks and the HIDA SCAN showed functioning level at 33.4% which didn't sound that low.

Makes you wonder about gallbladder surgery, doesn't it? I mean they say you will be fine in a week or two and here it is almost 3 months and I can't work, can't go to school and hardly have any social life since the surgery!

Good luck and keep in touch.
Avatar universal
Didn't have the same problem after gall bladder op but after pancreatitis! Is amazing to read of people with the exact same pain. It is very scary, always worse after a  cold drink, I find. Was nice to read it described exactly by someone else!
Avatar universal
I am 28 yrs old and had my GB removed in Oct. Ever since then I have had this pain that is in the middle of the sternum and spreads through my ribs and into my heart. I have always had IBS s/s. But now I have these attacks, that are crippling. I see a GI doctor who really is working hard. He has come to the conclusoin that it is SO Dysfunction. Only thing is all my LFT's are always normal. I had a normal abd US and I have a HIDA Scan scheduled in the next week. I have been placed on Cardizem and take Nitro at the time of the attacks. Which helps but in really bad cases the pain returns in the next 30 mins. And Nitro comes with a headache. I am concerned that if this is not SO Dysfunction then I may be having a procedure with a lot of side effects for no reason. ERCP with sphincterotomy is no picnic from what I hear. Does anyone have similar pain? I have read a lot about right sided pain, but mine is not always on the right side, and it creates a lot of pressure at the base of my espohagus so that it is hard to breathe, then comes the pain, his crampy, stabbing pain that spreds areound my middle. This pain was never present prior to cholecystectomy. Also the nausea that was there before is back. And a lot of bloating in the abdomen. I am very healthy I excercise, I am not over weight, I am at a total loss about this pain. It has definetly changed my lifestyle. I dont sleep because they come at night, and I miss work because Nitro is the only thing that stops the pain, but it causes light headedness and headache. If anyone is a fellow sufferer who has found relief please let me know...I would love the feedback. Good Luck to all who have postings I know that it is frustrating, especially when our drs. are at a loss...Thank You
Avatar universal
Gawd, It's like reading descriptions of my pain in every message here! It's been 2 months for me. I'm 28, and had a baby about 3 months ago. I had Pancreatitus, Gall bladder removal and stones in my liver ducts I was in the ER twice in 3 weeks. My doc keeps telling me it's because I had so much at once. I can't eat anything. I want to, though. I was Sooooo good during my pregnancy, and I am craving bad things like mad! It's been over a year since I had a big jucey steak on the grill... sigh. Now, I'm on a vegan diet and I have pains in my lower right shoulderblade, and chest. I'm on Protonix, but it barely helps. Sometimes the pain is so bad I get headaches that run up my entire spine, and I get stiff, and worn out. I don't eat gassy foods, and I eat low to no fat foods. My doc sent me back to work, but I'm so tired by 2:00, I can barely stay awake! My body runs down fast, and I just do a computer job, I get stiff, and my whole body gets sore. Another problem I have since I was preggers was that my er...breasts got bigger and they are so heavy, they push on my lower ribs causing more pain in the area where my GB was. I can't wear a bra, because the bottom part of it digs into that area, too. It's been at least a year since I've felt half way decent, I had bad Morning sickness, too. I'm not over weight, but enough is enough! When do I start feeling better already?!
Avatar universal
How come a Doctor doesn't comment on the spasms we ALL seem to be getting?
Avatar universal
I, too, suffer with this pain. I had my gallbladder removed 20 years ago. Doctor thinks this is from adhesions or SOD. I was told to eat 5 or 6 small meals a day.  This does help. But when I make a bad judgement and think wow, I can probably eat a few FF or maybe a small piece of fried chicken and wham....I'm hit with the bloating and under the right rib pain.  It can last for days and so can the bloating.  I'm losing weight because I can't consume enough food. Maybe my only option soon will be to have surgery to find out what is going on. Can someone get another gall stone trapped in the bile duct even after all these years after gallbladder surgery?......It sure feels like the same pain!
Avatar universal
I had GB too a year ago and I still have pain. but it could be a blocked hepatic duct since the GB and liver were friends
Avatar universal
I am considering laprascopic gall bladder surgery. My doctor says it might help me and that 90% of patients do well after this surgery.  Has anyone had any positive results from this surgery with no complications?
Avatar universal
i was so glad to find this website.
i have all the same probs everyone has stated. i have been diagnosed with nash, had my gb removed a year and a half agobut still so much pain sometimes. pressure and movement feelings like when you are pregnant. any suggestions?
Avatar universal
I had my gallbladder removed 6 weeks ago.  I just had a Baby 8 weeks ago and developed Gall stones during my pregnancy.  Anyway, I now developed this pain every time after I eat.  It is actually in the right side of my neck runs to my chest and around to the right shoulder blade.  Sometimes it is accompanied by neusea and dizziness.  This pain is only on the right side and I describe it as feeling like a heart attack on the right side.  I have read a lot of your comments out there but I never heard anyone who has this.  Most of you have pain under the ribs but mine is in the upper chest area.  Anyone else experiencing this pain after the surgery?  I don't eat any fat at all I have no clue what this could be.  Does anyone?
Avatar universal
I have pain under my right ribcage too. My doctor's office says it is common and that it is going to last for 6-8 weeks from the date of surgery. Supposedly because the muscle there was cut. I also have a "white string" which they claim over the phone is a suture which needs to be "trimmed". Yeah right! My surgery was May 27th 2003 and it's now June 18th. Shouldn't all sutures be disolved, and I had steri-strips. The pain under my rib does happen when I use my ab muscles to get up or roll over or sit down or bend or cough or ANYTHING!!! Is the dr's office bs'ing me?
Avatar universal
I have pain under my right ribcage too. My doctor's office says it is common and that it is going to last for 6-8 weeks from the date of surgery. Supposedly because the muscle there was cut. I also have a "white string" which they claim over the phone is a suture which needs to be "trimmed". Yeah right! My surgery was May 27th 2003 and it's now June 18th. Shouldn't all sutures be disolved, and I had steri-strips. The pain under my rib does happen when I use my ab muscles to get up or roll over or sit down or bend or cough or ANYTHING!!! Is the dr's office bs'ing me?
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