After several years of increasingly severe and frequent attacks, a frantic trip to the emergency room resulted in the removal of my gallbladder in August 2007, at which time it was also discovered that I had pancreatitis second to the gallbladder trouble.
Following the surgery, the surgeons told me that my gallbladder was so inflamed it was -- and I quote -- "almost comical." Apparently, once inside, it was much worse than the ultrasound had predicted; they told me that there were dozens of stones, all of which were amongst the largest they'd ever seen. To that end, they had to make the hole in my belly button larger in order to get everything out.
I was in the hospital for four nights (if you count the first night in the E.R., and three nights post-op) because they wanted to make sure my pancreatitis improved. Once home, I immediately came down with a sinus infection (poor timing, I know) and developed a horrible, unrelenting cough. At my two-week post surgical follow-up, I told the doctors that I was still having flank pain and, after examining me, they said they believed I'd developed a couple of hernias, probably due to the excessive coughing. They sent me home to rest, and told me to go to the E.R. if the pain or my symptoms got worse, otherwise they'd check back with me again in two more weeks.
In the interim, I went to see my primary physician about the cough and he, too, felt what he believed to be a hernia.
Two weeks later, I returned to the surgical clinic -- still in pain -- and was told that they no longer felt a hernia but that the lingering pain might be caused by adhesions which, according to them, can begin forming right after surgery. They scheduled me for a CT scan to rule out the hernia(s) and once again told me to come back -- this time in four weeks.
Four weeks later, I returned -- yes, STILL having pain -- and was told that the CT scan showed nothing at all. However, they advised me that adhesions wouldn't show up on a CT scan or MRI anyway. Their solution was to have me wait a bit longer (i.e. another month or two) to make sure the pain wasn't simply due to the fact that I hadn't healed completely from the surgery (even though two months had already elapsed at that point), since diagnosis of adhesions requires another surgery and should be a last resort.
Well, at my last visit, the doctors (whom, by the way, have never been the same people at any of my visits, as they're a team that does rotations) told me that adhesions took a long time to form (which contradicted what their colleagues had told me) so it was unlikely to be that, and that they were basically washing their hands of me.
I'm so disgusted! Here it is, five months post-surgery and I'm still having major flank pain -- yet I'm getting conflicting information, and dismissals. I'm not having signs of obstructions or anything like that -- but I'm in pain almost all the time, and it's getting worse. I don't know what else to do. I would like to get a second opinion at another hospital, but I'm told that surgeons very rarely will agree to see other surgeons' patients. If that's so, then what's next? I didn't have this pain prior to my surgery and I want it gone.
The pain, incidentally, involves major tenderness, the sensation that something is getting "caught" when I bend, and a feeling of being poked very hard. The location of the pain is my right flank, including my rib area, and my sub-sternum, very near one of the incisions.
Anyway, does anyone have suggestions on what to do next?? I'm stuck. :-(
Thanks in advance.
I developed a lump on the right side and started coughing like crazy.
The pain never went away and only got worse.
Had 2 exploratory surgeries that made things even worse.
Now I have a diagnosis:
It is either Cecal Bascule (cecum flips up on itself) or Cecal Volvulus (cecum and right intestine twised).
It took me 2 long years of pain to finally be directed to a Colo-Rectal Surgeon.
If one is prone to a MOBILE CECUM, abdominal surgeries can cause these nightmarish conditions.
My advice - see a Colo-rectal Surgeon ASAP to rule out these possible problems. They will not go away with time or drugs - only specialized surgery will help.
NO ONE and NO WEBSITE ever mentions this problem - you must know what it is, before you can find out more about it, and it's more common than anyone realizes.
I now have some hope I might get my life back and can stop thinking of suicide.
I have been taking Meprozine 50/25 mg and Zanaflex 12 mg morning and night just to get through each day. I also use topical Lidocaine ointment on the area around the surgery site. The worst pain is inside my body just under my right ribs. It goes down my abdomen a few inches, almost to the center of my sternum, and around my right side. Soon I don't think the doctors will prescribe the pain meds for fear of addiction.
I am searching for some treatment or program that can relieve this constant pain that has taken my life away. My day consists of lying in bed, on pillows, trying to get into the least painful position I can. I also can't take deep breaths or stretch without intensifying the pain. It is a chore to shower or even go to the bathroom.
I believe this is a bigger problem than the medical professional is willing to admit. Please post if you have had this problem after gallbladder surgery.
Good luck to you all.
I've had many tests, xray, sono, EGD, everything is "normal, just a fatty liver". MD's say fatty liver will not cause these symptoms, but I have spoken with other people who report the same problems.
Also I just found out that the guy that did my surgery left something inside my friend when he did hers. He dropped a stone and it's been sitting inside of her for a year, she's been very fatigued and crampy and now has to have another surgery to get it out!
So far I just deal with the pain... Told my primary care physician that it continues on and instead of referring me to specialist, he ordered an xray of my rib to see if it is "fractured". One has to wonder why these complications that are so prevalent post op seem to go undiagnosed and without proper course of treatment. At this point, I think I will try to see a colo rectal surgeon suggested by another author.
It's nice to know that these "phantom pains" are real even though physicians continue to ignore or discount.
Good luck to you all
My name is Tom amd I live in England. I am 50years old and I had my gall bladder removed over 6 years ago in October 2003.Before this I considered myself to be reasonably healthy
I had to have a full cholesystectomy after keyhole surgery was abandoned due to my vital organs being inflamed, which made keyhole sugery too dangerous. I had a large gallstone blocking the entrance to my gall bladder and this caused some seriously painful colic attacks
After my operation my surgeon told me I was full of mush inside and that I had been cleaned up as best as possible.
As at January 2010 I am still in constant pain. My pain is in my abdomen where my scar is and this spreads up into my shoulder blade
and into my neck and arm as the pain level increases.
I have beentold that this is reffered pain.
My pain is with me 24/7 and varies from 2 to 9 on a scale of 10 depending upon activity.
I have been through the A to Z of medication, all with very limited effect on reducing the pain.
I have had physio on several occasions and seen a pain psychologist.and pain management doctors.
I have had injections into the abdomen and ultrasounds and MRI scans which detected no abnormalities.
I spent so much time absent from work due to pain that I finally lost my job in September 2009.
This pain has a huge impact on my everyday life and severely limits what I can do and the length of time I can maintain doing it.
It also has a big effect on my mental state and quality of life.
I am still no nearer a solution to help with my pain today and it is no fun waking up each day(if I manage to get to sleep at night) knowing that another pain filled day is ahead.
I could go on all day about this. It is only part of the story.
Does anybody out there have similar problems? If so you have my utmost sympathy.
Any solutions? I would appreciate any help.