Could it be sphincter of Oddi dysfunction?

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I had my gallbladder removed at end of 2016 due multiple gall stones.

Since then I have had recurrent bouts of gallstone type pains, cramp like pains on right side of abdomen, just below waist line. Pains often accompanied by nausea & sometimes vomiting.

A sphincterotomy has been mentioned.

Reason for posting tonight is that 3 weeks ago & yesterday have had really bad pains quite high but around middle of abdomen, & pain sometimes refers into back, yesterday although very nauseous I had episodes of diorrhea. Nausea etc better, but pains in middle & right side of abdomen still there esp after eating.

Could it be a hypertensive sphincter of Oddi

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5 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Moira:. I had my gallbladder out in February of last year. I still get the pains too and the gasses and the poops too as well. With me, it depends on the foods I eat and what time of the day I eat them. But I was told by my surgeon last year in a follow up a few months afterwards to watch the greasey and fatty foods and the spicy foods too in which I do not eat. The acidy foods will also hurt you too. With me when it happens I drink a cup of tea with a bit of milk and sugar or a glass of water and it usually calms it down. But I was warned about the problems. My mom had hers removed years ago and she told me as time goes by, it will get better. Also stress hurts you too. The more stressed out you are the worst it gets. Good luck and take care.
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    • Posted

      Thanks for taking the time to reply, I have to say I am really only eating a plain diet, no spicy or acid foods, and am trying to stay low fat.

      I generally have fish based meals or microwave scrambled egg - skimmed milk


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  • Posted

    Hi Moira, I had mine out last year, they had thought that I might still have some pain after removal and sphincter of oddi dysfunction was mentioned to me. After removal after a month the pains started again with pain underneath the ribs on the right hand side, going around to the back and upto my shoulder similar to gallbladder pain. My surgeon suggested that I get my gp to refer me to the pain clinic which was a really good decision. As my appointment to see a gastro Doctor again was going to be months away and after increasing pain I decided to pay for a private appointment which was a few weeks before my pain clinic appointment. The doctor didn't think that I had sphincter of oddi dysfunction but thought I might have abdominal cutaneous nerve entrapment. He told me that he'd had a patient before that had this and thought this was probably the same. Where I live the nhs doctors also work in the private hospital  so he knew my pain clinic doctor. He wrote a letter for me to show to my pain clinic doctor.

    The pain clinic doctor read the letter and ran a few physical tests on me. I was positive for Carnet's sign which is a classic test for nerve entrapment. He decided to book me in for rectus sheath nerve block a month later where via ultrasound they put a local anaesthetic where you say it hurts and then put a nerve block into the correct place. I actually watched it on the ultrasound and it was really interesting. Unfortunately it only gave me relief for a few weeks so at the end of January this year I had a second session. Even though I ended up in terrible pain before the 2nd nerve block it did mean that I could pin point the exact places which where 3 for the nerve block. 

    At the moment I am over 3 months with much reduced pain so much so that I haven't needed the cocktail of pain meds that I had before. The doctor said if the pain is reduced for 4-6 months then it will be worth doing the procedure again if I still need it. He left it upto me to contact the pain clinic if I need to. 

    The pain may just go in the future, they don't know. 

    There isn't loads on the internet about this, but from everything I read it is underdiagnosed and some doctors don't recognise it. There's a few reports online which are heavy going about some of the research.

    This is my story so go back to your gastro doctor but you may well need a referral to the pain clinic but you may need other tests to make sure that it isn't anything else but it is worth thinking about it. 

    Keep me updated with what you find out. Take care.


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    • Posted

      Were your pains accompanied by the gastric upset symptoms? I have an appt in the pancreatic clinic in mid- June. I do find that buscopan helps, so there must be an element of spasm somewhere. Honestly, I would try anything.

      Thank you for taking the time to reply, mind.

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    • Posted

      I forgot to say the gastro did arrange for a test to check the emptying of my stomach as apparently it is quite common for the stomach to have problems if the gallbladder has issues and they also did an mri to check for nerve entrapment in the spine as well luckily both were clear.

      I did have some stomach upset but I think some of it is down to the lack of gallbladder.

      This abdominal cutaneous nerve entrapment is worth keeping in mind as apparently alot of people go through lots of tests and surgery when its actually this. When the pain is really bad its like my gallbladder is still there so the pains are so similar and just as debilitating.

      I'm glad I haven't got sphincter of oddi disorder and I really hope you don't either as there isn't much that can be done.

      Keep me updated with how things go. 

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