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Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Forum
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Avatar universal

laprascopic surgery??

First I want to say I'm thankful this sight is here, I dont feel so alone.  I have been having pain under right ribs for past 3-4 years, had liver profile done and ultrasound about 3 years ago, blood was ok but ultrasound found some stones. Dr. said I really didn't have to take out at that time.
About 2 months ago started having that funny feeling under left side, kinda like something was there and it hits my ribs if I move a certain way.  Pain still on right side but was also right in the middle right on the bra line actually hurt to wear a bra.
OK 2 weeks ago went for another ultrasound, when she pressed done in the middle under ribcage, it really really hurt, also hurt under right but not as bad as the middle.  
Next day dr's office calls, you have to go for surgery NOW to get gallbladder out. So I go see the surgeon he pokes me more looks at my slides, and tells me a little about the surgery.
He did say if there was alot of inflamation I might have to go for open. OK they were able to take it out with the laprascopic,
For the next two days I was having a really hard time breathing
and pain on top of both shoulder blades, find out they pump you up with gas, so they can see.  What organs can they see?  Can they see if there are stones in the ducts at that time??  I also read somewhere that they also do laproscopic surgery to just look at the internal organs, Is that true??
I do still have that feeling on left side, how can they check pancreas, what about MRI?? Sorry so long, any other message boards like this out there about gallbladder,liver,pancreas??
16 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi Georgie:

I believe they pump you full of gas so they can see to perform the surgery correctly and so they have some room to manuever with the surgical instruments. I am having a laparoscopic incisional repair soon, and the surgeon described how he would pump gas in to get working room and a better view.

I'm not aware of laparoscopic surgery as a diagnostic tool to view internal organs, but since I'm not a doctor, that doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

I hope you start feeling better each day. Your post will give me another question to ask my surgeon - how do they get the gas back out, and how completely do they get it out. I can only imagine how painful it must be to have it trapped inside, and rely on your body working it out gradually.

Best wishes,
Chicken Soup
Avatar universal
I'm happy that they found the cause of your pain on your right side.  I have pain on my right side also and in the middle.  I've had so many tests done but no surgery yet because all my results come back normal.  They diagnosed my pain in between my ribs as pancreatitis.  If you do have gallstones, they can cause things to back up in the ducts and cause your pancreas to become inflamed.  They can check your pancreas by doing a test called an ERCP(Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio Pancreatography).  They just check the ducts during this test for gallstones and any abnormalities.  I had it done and was in a lot of pain after but it went away quickly.  If your pancreas is inflamed they can also check for high Amylase and Lipase levels with a blood test.  
I hope you've found some relief by having your gallbladder out and I'm sorry that it didn't solve the whole problem.  What I've learned is that you have to keep pressing your doctor for more tests and don't let them tell you that " it will eventually just go away".  I've been dealing with my pain for five years now and the doctors I've seen are telling me it's all in my head.  As I'm sure you know, it is very frustrating.  I just found this website a week ago and it has helped me so much.  Keep posting and hopefully someone's comments will go a long way to help you.  Good Luck
Avatar universal
Georgie,

whether it is an open incision or laparascopically, the surgeon is able to see your abdominal cavity.  he can't see INTO an organ unless he cuts into it.  so he can't see into your gallbladder or into your bowel unless he cuts into it.  where the instruments are placed will determine how much of your abdomen the surgeon can see during a laparascopic procedure.  for instance, if they go in your upper abdomen, it'll be hard to see things in your lower abdomen because the intruments aren't long enough to move things (like your bowel) out of the way to get a clear view.  somethings can be felt thru the wall of your organ and other things can cause changes that are recognizable when looking at an organ.  they do pump gas into your abdomen into your abdomen to inflate it and make it easier to view and move things around.  they can never get 100% of the gas out again (think of a plastic ziptop bag where you can squeeze away, but never get ALL the air out before closing it).  the gas will rise to the highest point (think how helium ballons rise to the ceiling and hang out there).  the gas they put in rises up to your diaphram (separates chest from abdomen) and can sometimes cause pressure and irritation.  the irritation causes referred pain in your shoulder blades and back.  the same way gallbladder pain can cause pain in your shoulder and back.  your body will reabsorb the gas and the irritation will go away.  

laparascopic abdominal surgery is done sometimes to help diagnose gynecological problems.  

you're still pretty fresh from the surgery.  so, first, I would give it a bit more time and let your body heal and recover.  but if you are still having pain in a couple of weeks, press your doc for more answers.

take care
Avatar universal
Great response to Georgie!! Do you have a sense of how long it takes for the body to reabsorb the gas that they can't get out? I realize that my question is way too general in nature and that everyone reacts differently. I am just trying to get a sense of the range of time that I might experience the pain associated with the trapped gas when I have my abdominal incisional hernia repair. The longer that period is, the more work I will have to miss, and I am hoping that the laparoscopic surgery (versus open) will dramatically limit the time I have to take off from work.

Thank you in advance for any insight you are able to provide.
Avatar universal
Thank-you guys, I'm concerned about stones being stuck elsewhere,
someone posted on here that they saw stones trapped in the liver,
I guess I was wondering if they see the pancreas at all in the middle of the gallbladder removal, does anybody know if they check the ducts?  I will take your advice and give it some time. I'm wondering however if when they did the bloodwork on my liver if they did it on my pancreas?? They only mentioned checking my liver enzymes, I wish I would have met you guys years ago cause I didn't know that the pancreas could cause pain on right side or pain in the middle.
Avatar universal

From my recent experience with pancreatitis and having my gallbladder removed I have found that when my doctors ran my initial bloodwork in the ER they ran hepatic (liver) and pancreatic levels along with the other battery of tests.  I'm not quite sure if they do this as a standard or not, but it sounded like they possibly do.

I knew when I went to the ER that I had had elevated liver enzymes for three months prior.  Very slightly elevated, but still elevated.  My doctor had actually told me that it may have been due to a fatty meal or to taking Tylenol fairly close to the blood work.  

Anyway when I presented at the ER the physician assistant told me that I most likely was feeling pancreatic pain (this was before blood or urine tests, or before the x-rays or sonogram).  I told him my mom had suggested it might be my gallbladder from the symptoms she had had with hers.

I really wasn't all that upset, other than the pain, until I took the urine test and it came back the color of diluted coffee.  Even in as much pain as I was feeling, I knew something was wrong.

Come to find out I was diagnosed with pancreatitis and an "enlarged gallbladder" with a "thickened wall".  My Amylase level was like 678 and my Lipase level was 1098.  My understanding is that both are supposed to be under 100.  I was also told that my hepatic function was high (liver).  I never was given a number on that.

Ever since my surgery in July I have been having pain and attacks.  I actually asked my surgeon if he was sure he took my gallbladder out.  He assures me they did.  Poor guy - he seems to remember my surgery like the movie Groundhog Day.  Remembers it like he lives it over and over and over.  It took them four days to get my pancreatitis under control so they could operate and then the last canula they removed nicked an artery so they had to go back in.  NO STONES FOUND ANYWHERE.  Instead of being 1 and 1/2 hours my surgery was closers to 3 hours.  My poor friend almost had a nervous breakdown waiting!

Back to the main point, now every time I have bloodwork done the doctors order heptatic function and Amylase and Lipase levels.  I assumed this was pretty much the standard, but you may want to ask just to be sure.

BEST OF LUCK

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