15days post op after gallbladder Another trip to A&E with excruciating stomach/chest pain

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Hi,

I'm new to this but after 5mths of seeing my sister go through hell and back and battling our way through the nhs system, thought I'd ask some advice on here,.

My sister had her op on 6th August 2015 which was after 4 months of constant trips to A&E and 4 hospital stays, lost 2st in weight (her start weight 9st 10lbs), she's suffered with the normal gallstone attack as well as bad acid reflux, we was hoping the op would solve this but sadly after 4 days stay in hospital after the op the acid came back, she's has the normal ranitidine 2x a day and lansoprazole 30mg 1x a day which has not helped.

The op has really took it out of her but she is healing well, last night we was back at A&E after she had excruciating pain in middle of stomach level 10pain, which affected her chest for around 30min, hospital done the usual bloods/urine all came back clear, she has had grumbling pain for the last 3 days over gallbladder area, and less severe pain over the stomach area/Breast bone which last 10min, she has constant burning in chest/stomach area also.

A&e advised her to start taking lansoprazole 2x a day and see GPs on Monday, .

Can anyone give any advice?..iv looked up bile reflux and spincher oddi which seem similar I was leaning more to bile reflux but with this acute attack she had last night I'm a bit lost.

Any help would be a blessing.

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  • Posted

    Sorry to hear about your sister, it must be terrible for her especially after all she's been through.  It is still early days after operation. If the doctors feel that it is still settling down maybe they can at least provide better pain relief?  When your sister sees her GP on Monday she should ask for something strong enough to keep her out of pain.  They can give oral morphine (Oramorph) if it warrants it though there are downsides with constipation and feeling woosy - not good for driving, cooking or looking after children!  And some people are alergic to morphine.  I hope she gets some help on Monday.
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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply Tom Peters, sadly pain meds have been a problem she can't have morphine as it kicks off pain in her chest, she's goes loopy on codine, so she's taking paracetamol, diflinfinic and buscopan.

      She was coping quite well with the normal less severe pain, but the acute pain was a bit of a shocker and your left worrying if it's going to kick of again. 😕

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  • Posted

    I'm sorry your sister is suffering so much. I agree with Tom though it's very early days yet. For most people there is an adjustment period which can last anywhere from 6-12 weeks to 6-12 months. If your sister has bile reflux she might have a metallic taste in her mouth. Also the drugs she's on will not work if it's bile reflux. She will need bile sequestrains like questran or colestid which work by soaking up the bile. However a number of people do find that there acid reflux gets worse after gallbladder removal and there are some who find it gets better. There are some herbal remedies that might help psyllium husk fibre soaks up the bile and can be effective or milk thistle can help the bile flow and reflux. I was on ant acids prior to my gallbladder removal and am fortunate that I could stop them post op. I have experienced other side effects though but am a lot better now 8 months later. Unfortunately the body needs time to adjust and in some of us it's a gradual process. Having a good doctor is key to this. Thankfully my doctor had experience of post gallbladder side effects and was very supportive. Your sister is not alone. There are many of us who've had side effects. Has she had a ct scan to rule out rogue stones? Also insist on a scope of tummy if this continues and they can look for bile in her tummy. Sphincter of oddi is tricky to diagnose as far as I'm aware and is very rare. I hope she feels better soon. Take care x
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    • Posted

      Thanx for your reply Acejonhston, I think we knew it was going to take a long while just never thought she would be having more attacks, she did say this pain felt different from the gallstone attacks but like you say it's a waiting game for everything to settle down.

      We went to the hospital that day as she had a ct scan booked which was organised by the GP 4wks before they gave her a date for her op to confirm she had stones but as everything kick off, on one trip to A&E the surgeon done the ct scan then, so when we went yesterday the ct department doctor said we won't do it again as you've only just had 2wks before and they didn't want to expose her again.

      Iv been looking at the bile reflux angle for the last week just because of all the anti acid meds she's on ain't helping, I have heard there's a few things you can get to help, So I'm hoping the GP will just have a lot at that angle, but with most GP surgerys you never know what doc your going to get and if they will have the experience needed for your problem.

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    • Posted

      I hope the gp can help and prescribe the right meds for her. Unfortunately a lot of us thought having the operation would be an instant relief and for so many it is but for some of us it isn't. Tell her to stick to low fat foods for now if she's able to eat at all. What symptoms was she having before the operation? I had a burning pain from the 1 stone under my ribs and in my back. Just to reassure your sister I know a lot of people who went through hell after gallbladder removal with pain, nausea diarrhea and most got better and could return to a normal diet. Most recovered by 6 months and some took a little longer. Has she any nausea or vomiting? X
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    • Posted

      Thank you Ace, I only had my op about 3 weeks ago and I was in that place that as soon as my gallbladder was removed I was sure I could just go back to normal!

      suprise suprise that's not happened, I'm still throwing up, but I've started keep a food diary and that has helped a lot, right up until I forget again!

      anyway just to hear it can take anything from 6 weeks to 12 mths for body to recover was a real help and I don't feel so helpless, so many thanks

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    • Posted

      Oh Lynne I'm so so sorry to hear this. Unfortunately we are all told the same thing. You'll feel so much better and you'll be able to eat what you want! Yes for some people but for a lot of us it's not true. The vomiting is the worst thing ever. I coped fine with the diarrhea but when the vomiting and nausea started I nearly lost my mind. Especially when my surgeon (who I've known for 23 years and told me to have the operation) told me he'd never seen it before! Thankfully I met an awful lot of people in hospital who had their gallbladder removed and nearly every single one had some sort of side effect and a lot had the vomiting and diarrhea too. I know people who had nausea vomiting and diarrhea for up to 6 months and then it settled down and they can eat and drink what they want even 30 years later! My gp had a patient who had vomiting and diarrhea for 8 months and then it started to get better and she fully recovered. Poor girl had 3 small kids under 4 and had to get an au pair to mind them as she was so sick. I tried every anti sickness drug out there and none worked for me and just made me feel drugged. Fresh ginger root sliced into a teapot of boiling water. Leave it for a few minutes before drinking. Also try to sleep on propped up pillows to stop the vomiting at night time. I hope this settles for you soon. But remember this will pass and your not on your own. Take care xx
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    • Posted

      Hi acejohnston

      Sorry for the late reply, her symptoms before op where, bad acid reflux, pain right side rib, pressure build up in chest, change in stools, she was in and out of hospital like a yo yo when the attacks happened which where every day sometimes 3 times a day in the last 4 weeks before the op and constant tenderness in the whole area.

      We ended up back in A&E again today before we could get her in for her GP appointment, they said again it could just be the healing process as it was major surgery but they didn't want to do anymore tests as all the bloods where fine, this time the pain was lower than stomach more like kidney/bowel area, it's all very confusing and frustrating!

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    • Posted

      Hi ruthie am sorry to hear this. Has she diarrhea at all? God love her. Hopefully it's just her body adjusting. It's important to remember that she's had a major organ removed and her body has to adjust without it. I do remember other people posting over the last few months who were getting pains and attacks but it did get better. It must be terrible for you to see her suffer like that. Is she able to eat anything at all? I hope things settle down soon for her. Take care and keep us posted. Xx
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    • Posted

      Hi AceJohnston

      Well today after we came back from hospital she had diarrhoea about 3 times and then a few more times passing like bile, she did mention that when the pain started as it was lower bowel kidney area this time, that she felt distended and hard there, she mentioned all this at hospital but they weren't concerned, she is eating 3 meals a day still low fat (mash, veg,Turkey), but she has had a couple of digestive biscuits but mainly in early hours of the morning, she's going to stop having them and see if there's any difference but I'm not sure it will as the attacks have been 3-5hrs after eating anything.

      I was thinking earlier about her pain had moved in these attacks from stomach to right side, to this one which was lower bowel and with the bowel movements this afternoon, could it be bile build up working its way through, we are hoping to get hold of the GP tomorrow and maybe they can try her on some bile medication and see it that helps?

      The weird thing is she recovers quite well after these attacks even though it can spike to higher pain, compared to the gallbladder attacks she had!?

      fingers crossed we get somewhere as 2 attacks in 4days is a bit scary...again!!!

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    • Posted

      Ruthie the lower bowel pain is probably from the bile diarrhea. This is all part of the adjustment process. Diarrhea is a common side effect of gallbladder removal and usually only temporary while the body is adjusting to the bile now free flowing into the small intestine. There are bile binders that the doctors can prescribe but they don't like prescribing them until at least 6-8 weeks post op as it settles in most people by then. I take psyllium husk powder which is a natural alternative and works very well at soaking up the bile. She could also try some Imodium but they didn't really help me.
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    • Posted

      Thanx Acejonhston,

      Yeah that's what I was thinking but do you get the extreme pain attacks with that???

      I'm not sure she needs Imodium as she don't have diarrhoea all the time she had it for 4 days straight a few days after surgery, but that stopped and thus the heartburn kicked in, I was thinking something to soak the bile may help, we will see what the doc says as they said if the diarrhoeaa kicks off again she needs to be referred to the gastro team!

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  • Posted

    I had my gallbladder out June 30th. Unfortunately I'm still going through what your poor sister is. Had an endoscope done two weeks ago to test for ulcers and h pylori. Came back normal. Went to ER a few weeks ago because I thought I was having a heart attack. They prescribed me the same Meds as your sister. Does take care of heart burn, but not all of the other pains, I.e., pain where the organ was, pain in right rib cage and back. Saw the surgeon AGAIN yesterday. He said there is nothing more he can do. After reading all of the other posts, sound like this is a downfall to this surgery. I'm hoping after a LONG recovery we will all be better. Tell your sister to stay on her Meds. Ask for pain Meds and try to weather the storm for a while. I do feel sorry for her and hopes she gets relief soon.
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    • Posted

      Bird lover am sorry your suffering too. Unfortunately we are not told of the side effects of this operation. I still get the odd twinge were my gallbladder was and did have a couple of stabbing pains there a few times. I have heard people having this for a while post op but for most it goes away. My gp mentioned post cholecystectomy syndrome to me many months ago and said that the specialists like to lump anyone whose has side effects into this category. She told me she has seen many people have this operation over her 35 years experience and only had 1 patient who had long term side effects (diarrhea). She's has had patients with pain nausea and diarrhea for up to a year post op and it settles down. Try to keep positive but I know it's hard! Unfortunately they don't know why some of us have side effects and others don't. I had 1 large stone giving me pain as did my cousin. I've had nausea diarrhea and vomiting and she had no side effects at all and can eat and drink what she wants. I hope you feel better soon. By the way I was also told there was nothing more they could do for me even though they were quick enough to remove my gallbladder! X
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    • Posted

      thank you for the reply. It really does help knowing I'm not alone and others know what I'm talking about and feeling. I'm going to try to chill out and take this day to day.
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    • Posted

      Thank you for your tell bird lover, I'm sorry to hear your in the same boat as my sister it's truly awful for people to go through and the lack of importance to this illness.

      My sister had a load scans and endoscopy to check for ulcers before the op as they weren't convinced the gallstone were the problem, after op the acid did clear for 4 days but she had diarrhoea instead, this is what got me thinking the bile could be causing it.

      I think it's dreadful the docs have said they can't do anything else, have they not checked for some of the other side affects you can get from gallbladder removal, iv had to put my foot down a few times with the doctors as they only seem to want to check one option and then if it's not that they give up, my sister hasn't even got a follow up appointment with the surgeon which to me after an organ is removed it should be standard.

      I do hope you get some more help as being in pain is not nice, if you've got a good GP see them again, as just tests for ulcers is not all they can do.

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    • Posted

      That's the best approach to take. Have you had any nausea or diarrhea? Did you have stones too? Unfortunately for me I had a large cyst on my ovary which I wasn't told about until after my gallbladder operation. I started vomiting and had horrendous nausea 8 weeks post op and was in and out of hospital. They wouldn't remove the cyst as I've had previous bowel surgery and they were afraid of perforation. They told me they thought the symptoms were a side effect from the operation but I now know it's been the cyst all along as it partially ruptured and the symptoms disappeared until it decided to finally rupture 2 weeks ago and I got the symptoms again. Anyway am hopeful things are a lot better just the odd nausea and now have some constipation but feel things are finally going in the right direction. Take care and remember your not alone. Many of us have had side effects. X
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    • Posted

      Here is the weird part. I did not have gallstones. Just a slow pumping gallbladder which is called sludge. I do not have Diareah or nausea thank heavens. Just constant pain on the right side. Funny you talk about a cyst on your ovary. My right ovary hurt so bad at the beginning of this when I had a ct scan I asked they check for a cyst. Still hurts and was going to make a gyno appt. I will for sure do that now. Great info. Thank you.
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    • Posted

      Bird lover am so glad you don't have the nausea and diarrhea as well. That pain is enough to be dealing with. Gallbladder problems are commonly linked to high estrogen levels which can be from hrt, birth control or other hormone drugs. I was put on a hormone drug a few years back by my endocrinologist as due to years of steroids I wasn't producing enough of this hormone. One of the side effects was increased estrogen. My gallbladder wasn't inflamed although my surgeon is now trying to tell me it was. Mine happened very fast. Had a scan end October and told I had a stone but had no symptoms and 2 weeks later started getting burning pains. My surgeon whose done my previous bowel operations 20 years ago rang me and said it was best to remove the gallbladder as it would only get worse! Well worse it got but only after the operation. Looking back I am now wondering if it was the cyst causing me the pain in my ribs. The cyst was over 3 inches. Also linked to high estr
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    • Posted

      Estrogen! I was having irregular periods before and after my operation. I've been attending an acupuncturist out of sheer desperation and she told me to take milk thistle for the liver as she explained when we have too much estrogen the liver can't get rid of it so it goes elsewhere causing cysts and also the bile becomes thicker causing gallbladder sludge and stones. I took the milk thistle for 8 weeks and think they helped my cyst go away. It also helped the indigestion and pains too! Well worth trying if you do have a cyst or digestive issues. Take care xx
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