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gall bladder problems pre and post surgical

Ttavelled to Kenya and Tanzania two weeks before I started this problem.  Never had a gall bladder problem.  Upon return I started with  stomach problems. (bloat PAIN in my whole torso)  After tests u/s HIDA ant CT scan.  It was decided that my gallblader was very large and endemic though functioning normally. No gall stones.    Had surg (4/21/06).  Pathology rport said looked large and very full of fluid.  Othan that it looked healthy.  Felt  alot better after the surgery (no right quadrant pain). After leaving the hospital I noticed the joints in my left hand are red and swollen. Definetly didn't enter the hospital with this. I feel bloated all the time. And am exhausted all the time. My clothes are tight. I am eating a clean lowfat diet. Also am trying to get back to my normal very active lifestyle.  I am dragging.  They think I have a viral infection that needs to run its course.  Could be from the travel or not. All blood work is comeing back fine.  No african parasites, liver enzymes are almost back to normal. I am 45 white female also in the throws of menopause.  I haven't had a period since 12/05.  Could the bloat be hormonal.  This would also be new since surgery.  What are the chances I actually picked something up in Africa.  Nothing has been typical of this entire episode.  Will I ever feel better?
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Not sure that the joint pain is a common complication of the surgery.  Bloating can be a post-op symptom, however further evaluation can be considered.  This can include looking at the upper digestive tract with an upper GI and/or an upper endoscopy.  

Hormonal causes are possible, but should be considered if the workup remains negative.

The joint pain can be evalated with a sedimentation rate and ANA level.  You can also consider a referral to a rheumatologist.

These options can 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.
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