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Natalulu

Feels like gallbladder attack, but no gallbladder

43 posts in this topic

Hey all. I've had this problem for a while now but am just getting around to posting about it. Every now and then I'll get what feels almost exactly like a gallbladder attack but my gallbladder was removed almost a year ago. Its that intense pain which almost feels like really painful gas in the stomach, and can sometimes extend around your back. I once went to the ER for it back in April and they did a scan, but it showed no leaks, lesions, blockages, etc. The ER doc said it was just stomach pain. The 'attacks' can last anywhere from 4-12 hours. Then they just sort of magically disappear. I've never had a fever or felt fluish/sick with them, so that leads me to believe its nothing serious like appendicitis. And sometimes they will come on after I've had vegetables, but that's not always the case.

Is anyone else experiencing this? Any thoughts? Preferably not alarming ones?? :S

Woodcarver likes this

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Any chance they left stones in the bile duct when they removed your gall bladder? They should have checked for stones there, of course. But I have heard of instances in which people later had gall bladder-like symptoms and it turned out that was the cause. They should have done an x-ray type test, I forget what it's called, to check for stones in the bile duct when they took out your gall bladder. You might want to check with the surgeon to make sure they did that, if you're not sure.

Otherwise, I don't have any idea what would be causing it.

Kelly

Julie-R likes this

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Any chance they left stones in the bile duct when they removed your gall bladder? They should have checked for stones there, of course. But I have heard of instances in which people later had gall bladder-like symptoms and it turned out that was the cause. They should have done an x-ray type test, I forget what it's called, to check for stones in the bile duct when they took out your gall bladder. You might want to check with the surgeon to make sure they did that, if you're not sure.

Otherwise, I don't have any idea what would be causing it.

Kelly

yeah what she said.

Gaspode likes this

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I had the same thing happen to me for almost two years after my gallbladder surgery. Most of my attacks were short lived, thank God. However, one plastered me to a chair, sweat shooting out of me. When I wound up in the Emergency Room they found nothing but sent me to a specialist for further testing because they thought I had had a Pancreatic attack. It was agonizing.

Luckily, I have not had one for a few years now.

In the end, I assumed I had some left over stones from my gallbladder floating around my tubing just waiting to spring their surprises on me.

And to think Gall bladder surgery was supposed to be a relief from surprise pain, LOL!

You are the first person I have heard have a similar (unpleasant) experience!

Tdobson807 and Julie-R like this

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I had the same kind of pain about 6 months after I got my gallbladder out. They did a CT scan and found that my common bile duct was dilated. From there I ended up getting a MRCP, which is basically an MRI. Once again they found my common bile duct dilated. Long story short, eventually they found that the sphincter in my common bile duct wasn't opening like it should, so bile was backing up and causing pain. I had to have a drain in for 7 weeks to stent it open plus they had to balloon it open several times.

Edited by MiladyB

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I had an MRCP also but luckily for me I never had another attack after that. But no, these are not "phantom" pains, in fact my Emergency visit was by far the worst pain I have ever experienced, about ten times the pain of my worst gallbladder attack and right up there with the pain the day my disc popped out of my spinal cord.

Anyone who experiences this will tell you, there is something really stuck in the tubing and causing real life dreadful agony. It is much worse than GB gas pain.

I was told in the emergency room that if they found my Pancreas was involved I was looking at at least six weeks of intensive care at the hospital.

I only wish my nutritionist had put me on Acti-Gall which I was on while I did Opitfast. Although now I am glad I do not have to worry about a gallblader attack after GB.

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Apparently, 10-15% of people who've had their gallbladder removed, continue to have similar or same symptoms that led them to having surgery in the first place.

It's called Post Cholecystectomy Syndrome (PCS).

This is a must read: MedFriendly.com: Post-cholecystectomy syndrome

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Corrine, You are SO hired!

Why is it that there is literature about this and yet no Doctor has ever mentioned this and the emergency room doctors were totally stumped with me?

I fit the higher percentage of this syndrome for a few reasons but probably brought it on myself by putting off the surgery for about six months until it was a convenient time for me to have it.

And according to this, after Gastric Bypass it seems we may be at even less risk for problems post Gall bladder surgery as we have had our Duodenums bypassed..

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Corrine, You are SO hired!

Why is it that there is literature about this and yet no Doctor has ever mentioned this and the emergency room doctors were totally stumped with me?

I fit the higher percentage of this syndrome for a few reasons but probably brought it on myself by putting off the surgery for about six months until it was a convenient time for me to have it.

And according to this, after Gastric Bypass it seems we may be at even less risk for problems post Gall bladder surgery as we have had our Duodenums bypassed..

Well, thank you! :D

Been there, done that and if you take a look at my profile pics, you'll see I have a big honking scar to prove it.

I started having gallbladder issues 6 months after my RNY. After much farting around I ended up having emergency surgery in the dead of night just over a year ago - my gallbladder came out (plus an omental mass and apendix).

The parting words from my surgeon was that I won't have any more problems now that the gallbladder was out. Well, I had news for him because just 6 weeks later, the same old pain was back. And it continued to raise it's ugly head every 6-8 weeks after that.

No one told me about PCS but as you can see, it's well documented.

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Apparently, 10-15% of people who've had their gallbladder removed, continue to have similar or same symptoms that led them to having surgery in the first place.

It's called Post Cholecystectomy Syndrome (PCS).

This is a must read: MedFriendly.com: Post-cholecystectomy syndrome

Thanks for the article, Corrine. I especially found it interesting because it was PCS that landed me with the biliary drain last year. :(

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Wow Corrine, another bit of useful and timely information. I had my G.B. out about 9 years ago (when I lost 85 lbs with Weight Watchers). About a year later I was back seeing the surgeon because I was in such horrible cholicky pain and my own doc thought I might have scar tissue or something. The surgeon didn't think it was much so off I went and still get these phantom pains. Sometimes I am doubled over and very uncomfortable I walk around trying to find a comfortable position but can't. They last about 8 hours at a time and, like you, they rear their ugly head every couple of months. This sure helps explain what's happening. Thanks!:)

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Kidney stones..... I just betcha they are kidney stones.

I had a kidney stone attack last weekend.... this after seeing a doctor twice for what was first thought to be a bladder infection...then when it didnt' respond to the medication, a kidney infection.... when I showed up in the emergency room they did a cat scan and found KIDNEY stones.

It feels just like a gallbladder attack...it's that VICIOUS....

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I am having the same problem. I had my gallbladder removed on Oct 14, 2009. And I am STILL in INTENSE pain. I've seen my gynocologist, pcp, and wls surgeon. I'm a mess. I have a horrible pain on my left side near my belly button. I keep seeing doctors and none of them are helping me. I'm tired of the pain and feeling rotten. Tomorrow I am going in for a scan.

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I am having the same problem. I had my gallbladder removed on Oct 14, 2009. And I am STILL in INTENSE pain. I've seen my gynocologist, pcp, and wls surgeon. I'm a mess. I have a horrible pain on my left side near my belly button. I keep seeing doctors and none of them are helping me. I'm tired of the pain and feeling rotten. Tomorrow I am going in for a scan.

Adhesions can be another reason for your pain. I have problems with them and they are so painful. Is it continual or does it come and go?

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I have constant pain in my lower left side that I think is related to my ovary and endometriosis inflammation. Then I have a sharp pain higher and closer to my belly that feels like when i had gallbladder attacks. It comes and goes. I also have constipation, nausea, diarrhea(more than the constipation), and gas which i think is IBS.

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I had my gallbladder out many years ago but have not experienced anything like what you are saying but my daughter did. She had her gallbladder taken out an about 6+ months later was experiencing the same symptoms as when she had the gallstones. Ended up at the ER they did some checking and tests and sent us home. Ended up back in the ER the following morning after several days and tests it ended up she had a stone lodged in her bile duct, they did an enoscopy and removed it and then slit the end of the bile duct to make it a little looser. They put her on meds to help not build up stones but she doesn't really take them and thankfully has not had any other attacks like this. good luck!!

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How interesting to find this topic!

A while ago I was admitted to A & E and had a three day stint in hospital. Without any discovery as to why I had the most excruciating pain ever.

Initially the doc in A & E thought I might have pancreatitus. As the pain was in stomach just below the breast, it felt like gas. I could hardly breath,

with the pain going round into my back. I literally could not stand up and the only way to get some relief was to bend over the bed stomach down.

I was given morphine to ease the pain, admitted to the ward and starved for three days, with only a little tea on the third. Initially they gave me a

general stomach Xray, which was not thorough enough and absolutely gave no indication as to the problem. When all was calmed down, I was

sent home with the diagnosis of 'Gastritus'. This is not the first time I have been in this pain. But the other occassions not bad enough to go to

hospital as they subsided after a couple of hours.

So on further investigation, an outpatients appointment to have an ultrasound scan to see if I needed gall bladder removed, (NHS doing things backwards- why th ey couldn't do it when I was sitting in a hospital bed for three days?). It all showed clear and that was that. Consultant said I may have had kidney stones, but nothing showed up. So I was baffled as to why this extreme pain occurred. Having read your stories ladies, I am now informed. As has been said before, if there is information out there on 'Post - Cholecytstectomy Syndrome', how come someone from the medical profession hasn't informed us of it!? I can of course only speak for the UK.

Hopefully this never happens to me again but if it does, I now know what to tell them to look for!

Edited by Bianco55

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I had the same kind of pain about 6 months after I got my gallbladder out. They did a CT scan and found that my common bile duct was dilated. From there I ended up getting a MRCP, which is basically an MRI. Once again they found my common bile duct dilated. Long story short, eventually they found that the sphincter in my common bile duct wasn't opening like it should, so bile was backing up and causing pain. I had to have a drain in for 7 weeks to stent it open plus they had to balloon it open several times.

MiladyB,

I am going thru the same thing right now. A Bile drain and my main Bile Duct is swollen shut. I am losing weight like never before and I am scared. I was down to 185 before this happened and after I got out of the hospital last week I am now 173. I keep thinking Pancreas problems or even the Big C.. They are doing more tests on me this week but this has been so discouraging after 2.25 years of working at my health and weight loss untilI felt I reached all my goals. Can you tell me more about the aftermath of this for you and what they thought about why it happened to you?

Thanks!

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So interesting to read this thread now, as I originally posted in November of 2009 just after my GB surgery.

For the past year and a half I have intense and consistent pain just like my gallbladder pain. The difference is that the pain never lasts more than about 10-20-30 minutes now with one exception that lasted about five hours, ugh.

Sometimes I get it twice or three times a day, sometimes once a week.

I have since had a cat scan and swallowing scan and an ultrasound and they found nada!

What I think now is that the pain might be gas pain that has been cause by all the re-routing of my innards.

One of my counseling sessions at the hospital, another girl there complained of the exact same thing.

She said the pain was like child birth but in your chest, LOL!

And she is so right!

it is not fun, I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night, like last night, to sweat and pant it out, or I have had to pull over driving until it stops hurting but the saving grace is that once it is over, I am pretty much normal like it never happened and can go about my day.

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wow, I've found this thread interesting as well, seems that a lot of us have had the same experience.

I was having horrible pain 2 weeks ago, went to the dr. and he checked me into the hospital for 3 days for tests. They did a ct scan, x-rays of my gi tract, and an endoscopy. I lost 10 lbs in a week because eating triggered the pain. The final diagnosis was gastritis. The doc put me on a proton pump inhibitor, and carafate. So far, the pain has subsided, but I don't feel 100% better and I'm afraid to eat too many things. I had my gall bladder out years ago, but I do remember the pain being very similar.

Now I'm worried because it seems that gastritis is one of those problems that never completely goes away, yuck!

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I have just read this thread and I feel comforted (in a very odd way) that I am not imagining what has been causing the pain I have had...I had my gall bladder out in March 2010 and had to wear a bile bag for 8 weeks because stones had traveled to the Common bile duct and various other places...it was a horendous time but got past it and had been ok for over a year...however 3-4 weeks ago I started getting what felt like gall bladder attacks that lasted an hour it seemed to occur if I consumed white wine or when I ate dairy milk chocolate...I thought I could have these things now....I have now had about 6 attacks in less than 4 weeks!!! Thankful that I am not alone but so annoyed...I will have to see a Doctor this week as I had an attack today that lasted over 4 hours and neither of the above food etc had been consumed prior...feel so deceived - I thought all of this discomfort was over when the gall bladder came out!

Edited by JuliaQ

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I am thrilled i came across this post ... I had to have emergency surgery this past Friday and already i have been in the emergency room twice since then .. once on Monday and I just returned home from the other trip .. theyve done x-rays on my stomach and blood work ... shot me up with morphine then sent me home. I feel like im having gallbladder attacks but I dont have one?! ... surgeon mentioned to me that there might be a gallstone or 2 that he wasnt able to get to ... i believe there is bc otherwise im suppose to be feeling better ... right?

Frustrated!

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I was so glad to see this post, as this totally describes what I've been going through lately! I can get this pain both before and after eating, and didn't know what was causing it. Usually a heating pad will help, but there are times when that doesn't even find relief. I had my gallbladder out in the spring of 1989, so it's been quite awhile. I had gastric bypass in October of 2010.

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I have had this also, and per a dr i used to work with, you can still have phantom pains. You are not crazy and most likely is results of possible stones.

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sounds like what i've been experiencing. my pains will wake me up at night, be severe to the point of tears and im curled into a ball. it will last around 12 hours and then it will go away like nothing ever happened. nothing significant bring it on either. along with the pain, my stomach rolls and rolls and makes tons of noises like gas would, but i also have these nasty sulfur tasting burps like i did with my gallbladder before i had it taken out, and thats been 10 months ago. the pain and attacks are getting more and more frequent. is this what pancreatitis is like?

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