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Severe Upper Right Abdonimal Pain after Cholecystectomy

I had my gall bladder removed in August 2004. Immediately upon waking after surgery, I had a new severe pain in my upper right abdominal area.  Was told it was surgical and would go away.  Went home, went back to work 2 weeks later and since that time I have had over 30 episodes of this spastic kind of severe pain in the area my gallbladder used to be.  I have been to the emergency room 17 times, had EUS, 2X, cat scan and Liver enzymes and pancreatic function tests, all normal.  Last GI specialist who did EUS in April 06 said I had a stomach full of bile.  Couldn't tell me how it got there.  I have been down to Mayo, their GI person told me it was an abnominal wall injury/pain.  I have had 2 steroidcostoid injections into pain site with no relief.  Only pre-curser I notice prior to getting this spastic pain is a loud gurgle noise from abdomen area.  Does not matter what I eat/drink, comes on very suddenly at no particular time of day or night.  Has woken me up from a sound sleep.  I can be absolutely pain free and enjoying my day at 8:30 in am and within minutes be in so much pain I can hardly walk.  Having BM does not precede or follow pain episode and is not associated with pain in any way.  Pain starts like charlie horse directly under my right breast and goes up into my chest directly behind my right breast.  Has lasted 18 hours and as little as 4 hours.  E.R. treats with dilated and visteral.  Knocks me out.  Usually out of pain when I wake up.  Have lost lots of hours missed work, have had the "million dollar" work up, including a colonoscopy.  Help!
4 Responses
Avatar universal
Your problem really isn't a nutrition concern.  You may want to re-post on the undiagnosed symptoms site.  The gallbladder function is a complicated one.  When you eat a fatty meal, the duodenum sends a message to the pancreas.  The pancreas sends the message to the liver/gallbladder and bile is send to the small intestines. When there is no gallbladder, the bile just goes from the liver into the small intestines without responding to the messages from the pancreas. The pancreas is curled up and behind the stomach.  It is indirectly connected to the bile duct and the gallbladder.  On rare occassions, during surgery this delicate communication system causes problems with the pancreas.  Problems can create severe and sustaining pain behind the right breast and into the back.  Sometimes it is worse when deep breathing and is sometimes mistaken for gallbladder disfunction or pleuritic (lung) problems.  Tests for pancreatic function include ERCP, angiogram, and other radiographic examinations.  Ultrasound examinations are sometimes ordered, but are rarely helpful when function is impaired without infection.  Hope this helps
Avatar universal
In Dec.2006 I had my gallbladder removed. I had never had an attack but after an ultrasound and abnormal liver tests it was determined that my gallbladder was full of stones. My symptoms prior to surgery were pain in the right rib area and a dull constant pain that radiated back thru to my right shoulder blade. as well as what I assumed was acid reflux.
For the past 9 weeks I have experienced a strange cough which originates in the upper chest area that is accompanied with the sensation of having shortness of breath..After having chest xrays to check for phenomia it was noticed by a radiologist that there were surgical clips present from my gallbladder surgery.
Is it common for them to be left in a patient? Can they cause future health problems?Can the body reject them and if so what are the telltale things to look for?
What are they used for?
Avatar universal
It's amazing that we have the EXACT same thing going on! I have been going through this for almost four years now and am (I think) finally making some headway. Was just in the ER again tonight. Pain meds and Zofran and send me on my way. Had my gallbladder removed in May 2003, ERCP in Jan 2006. Pain returned fall of 2008. Docs now saying liver hemangioma or something to that effect, and am scheduled for a surgery consult in .........January 2013! My blood work ALWAYS comes back normal, along with ct and ultrasound, except for tonight whenever my liver enzymes were up. It might sound awful but thank God something is finally showing up! I know the pain sure is heck to go through, Funny thing is, all test were normal on my gallbladder as well, until they took it out and not only was it diseased but my liver was also inflamed. Good luck
Avatar universal
I was so excited when I saw your message on the MedHelp site.   I have been going thru this  ever since I had my gallbladder out in 1986.   I too waited for the pain to subside after I had my gallbladder out.  9 months later, I had elevated liver enzymes and amylase.. Had an ERCP, which  almost killed me.  I  was not given the proper discharge  summary to  alert me to the fact that I could get an acute pancreatitis attack within 24 hours of the procedure.  I  ended up in the hospital for 6 days, on IV's and pain meds.  The ERCP did not show any left over stones or anything else.  Over the course of the next 6 years I had numerous stents put into my pancreatic duct and my duct was so spastic, they just migrated out.  Then I had surgery at the Mayo  in 1993.  A Sphinteroplasty  and  some other things.  I  was better for awhile, but still had that pain and spasming  and gurgling.  Before the surgery, I  was hospitalized numerous times, sometimes with elevations in my blood work and sometimes not.  Now the last 2 years it has gotten a lot worse again.  The ERCP in 2012, they put a temporary stent in the pancreatic duct and stretched the area where I  had the surgery on in 1993 because it had scarred over.  Again, some temporary relief, but not total.   The past  6 months again, I have the gurgling and spasming and pain right under my right breast.  My husband can even hear the gurgling when we are sitting on the couch watching tv..
Now the Dr. wants to try a prescription to bind the bile in my stomach and an antispasmotic drug.  Right now I am willing to try just about anything.  I  even asked about medical marijuana.  Have you ever found out  what is causing this?
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Arlington, VA
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