Gallbladder Removed/Report Stated No Stones

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Over a year ago, my physician ordered an ultrasound of my abdomen because I was expressing discomfort in my lower right quadrant. It was reported that I had gallstones but nothing in my lower. My doctor recommended I consult with a surgeon to remove my gallbladder because of the stones. After carefully researching the whole gallbladder like a crackhead, I decided to see a surgeon. However, I never experienced gallstone attacks as others have to justify the removal of their gallbladder so I was a little apprehensive. She walked in and stated I didn't need to have it removed but to positive she ordered for me to have a ct scan with contrast. My next meeting with her, she revealed that I needed to have my gallbladder removed because they found stones. However, when I did eat especially something that I shouldn't have or too fatty, I did feel some discomfort in that area. The whole ordeal stressed me out and I decided to consult with a new physician and a gastroenterologist. At my first meeting with the gastroenterologist, he stated after reviewing my medical reports that I did not need to have it removed. Fine but I still am in discomfort in my lower right quadrant. So he refers me to a gynocologist to see if it's a "woman" thing. She orders a pelvic ultrasound and finds nothing. The discomfort is real so she suggests that it may be two nerves that crossed each other and gave me some pills. Took them for a few months, said goodbye to them because they are low dose anti-depressants that help with chronic pain. I'll take the pain over pills now. Through all this, the discomfort after eating certain foods is getting more pronounced but nothing remotely close to what I hear/read about a possible gallstone attack. A few months ago my gastroenterologist orders another ultrasound of my abdomen and it states evidence of a small 5mm stone or polyp. He suggests given my discomfort that I see a surgeon and get my gallbladder removed. I tell him I will have to think about it since I never had an type of surgery. After consulting with my physician, she weighed in and said I should have it removed too because that small polyp might turn into something more complicated, to basically nip it in the butt now. I consult with a another surgeon and we set up a date. I expressed to him about the pain in my lower right quadrant and he stated that the day of the surgery he will look all over my right side to see if there is anything. It's been a week since my laparoscopic cholecystectomy and so far I'm healing as expected but it was rough. It's still rough but day by day I'm getting better. The day of the surgery while I was recovering, he told my husband that after looking through my lower right quadrant, he didn't find anything that could be causing me the discomfort. Today I had my follow-up with the surgeon and he tells me what went on during my surgery. I asked him for a copy of the operative report and surgical tissue report. To my disbelief, the tissue report states that no stones were identified within the lumen or in the accompanying container. How can 2 reports state I have gallstones and in a tissue report say otherwise. I'm dumbfounded, ready to explode. I have a follow-up with my physician in two weeks and I cannot hardly wait. Has anybody experienced this, if so, your thoughts?

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  • Posted

    Hi, as yourself I've done lots of research while I've been having problems too. Gallstones can move naturally out of your system without causing any pain, so if it was a gallstone then luckily your body expelled it before surgery but if it was a polyp then you needed to have it removed to save you problems later on. Don't forget women are more prone to having gallstones than men and if you're in a certain age group and if you've had one that has caused problems before then any new stones forming are likely to cause problems which is why they take the gallbladder out.

    I use to get lower right abdominal pain for several years, I had loads of tests but they all came up as normal, I ended up in hospital for 11 days with it, I even had a diagnostic laparoscopy as I'd had cysts on my ovaries and even that came back as normal so I was give the diagnosis of ibs and had to learn to live with it, which I did.

    I hope this helps. 

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    • Posted

      Hello, thanks for your reply. My gastroenterologist explained that 20% of people who had their gallbladders removed have normal scans. Mine was removed because of the discomfort I was having in my RUQ and the polyp. I already knew this but sort of worried when I read the reports. As for the discomfort in my RLQ, I'm guessing I'll have to live with it as well.

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    • Posted

      Hi Deb, if you have normal tests except HIDA scan they call it biliary dyskinesia which covers 3 conditions which cause the same symptoms as gallstones in the gallbladder hence they take the gallbladder out initially then see what happens. 

      How long are you post op? If you have continued upper right pain then you should go back to your gastro. 

      There are a few of us on here that are looking into sphincter of oddi dysfunction and the treatment of it, so keep a look out for those discussions. But if you continue to have this pain then please go back to your gastro. Let me know how you get on ? xx

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    • Posted

      Hello Kat, I am almost 3 weeks postop and I have been recovering quite nicely without any discomfort other than the dreaded first week. I have not experienced any nausea, fever or diarrhea like some folks I read up on here. To be fair, I never had any gallstone attacks only a mild discomfort whenever I ate foods that were too fatty or spicy and the polyp they discovered. My bellybutton still aches a bit and when I sneeze, oh boy! I feel like my bellybutton is going to explode but day by day, I'm feeling much better. I just did lab for an upcoming appointment with my regular physician and we will discuss my surgery and so on. I actually lost 3 lbs but I attribute that to watching what I eat and not going crazy stuffing my face now that I got the green light to pretty much eat whatever I want. As for the pain in my RLQ, my gastro, surgeon and gyno all conclude that it must be 2 nerves crossing causing my discomfort. Some things can't be explained but I am not going to take low dose anti-depressants for chronic pain as prescribed before. They worked somewhat but my goal is to get off pills and not add on to my already full plate. As long as I know the discomfort is not something serious, I can handle it but it does suck. 

      Thanks for your concern, I appreciate it very much and will keep you posted on any new developments. Hope all is well with you.

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    • Posted

      Hi Deb, Its good that you're improving just keep an eye on those pains. If they increase for any reason then they do need to be looked into and may not be down to nerves and if it continues then your body is reacting to something thats wrong.  Its still early days at 3 weeks and hopefully its your body recovering from surgery which will take a few weeks more.

      Yes I tried getting off the pain killers but then it increases and I have no choice but I only take them when I need to.

      Let me know when you see your physician, take care. x

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