Polyp pain

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I'm interested in hearing from anyone who has experienced gallbladder problems (particularly pain) and had a diagnosis of a polyp rather than it being stones in situ.

My appointed surgeon to be ( who looks about 13 & has the bedside manner of a table) says there is no way of knowing if this polyp is causing my probs til he takes out my gallbladder and we see what happens then.

Does seem a bit of a strange way to go about things.

As my polyp was sized at 10mm from ultrasound at end of Jan - with accompanying gallbladder inflammation - I'm aware that the outcome from his point of view is always gallbladder removal. (Have been told there may also be stones that haven't shown up on ultrasound).

I'm having acid reflux problems, feeling sick, pain over right side of my bowel (sort of above my hip...so the docs say bowel) and in my right side as well as under right ribs, in my shoulder etc so I've got to have an endoscopy & colonoscopy this week before he gives me a date for an op. Feeling a bit stressed as a result.

Anyone have a similar history? I'd really be interested in any polyp stories where the polyps have given people pain as apparently they (Drs) don't expect polyps to cause pain!!!I'd assume anything sitting in my gallbladder would aggravate it and cause pain but what would I know? !

Cheers everyone.

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  • Posted

    Hi Jo

    So here's my story and I apologise in advance for any rambling 😊.

    My issues first started just over 4 years ago. Out of nowhere I developed what I can only describe as a deep dull ache in my right loin area. After a couple of days I went to the doctor who initially thought kidney stones. Anyway the pain eventually faded away after about a week and I thought nothing more of it. It flared up again a couple of months later. My gp sent me for an ultrasound and it came back fine apart from a 5mm polyp in my gallbladder. I was referred to a specialist. Lucky for me he happened to be a very experienced professor in heptobillary/pancreatic surgery and a very nice man. I told him my symptoms but he didn't think the polyp was causing the pain. He repeated the ultrasound did a ct scan and endoscopy. Obviously tests like that take time on the NHS so it took a few months. In the meantime my pain kept flaring up, nothing major just this dull ache that lasted around a week and didn't respond to painkillers. All tests came back clear apart from the polyp. The specialist advised monitoring it via a yearly ultrasound and wrote a letter to my gp advising I be refered to the pain clinic.

    Over the next 3 years my pain became more persistent to the point it was 24/7 it affected my whole life. It became more localised under my right rib, I developed indigestion, my bowl movements were all over the place. My anxiety was through the roof. Each time I had my yearly ultrasound the polyp had grown a little bit more. The bigger it got the worst my symptoms became. It got to the point where I was scared to eat. Finally last November the specialist said" it's continuing to grow it really needs to come out. Not because I think it's causing pain but because of the malignant potential."

    Fast forward to 27th Feb when it was finally taken out. I also had an endoscopy whilst I was under which showed gastritis and duodenitis. They found scarring and adhesions but don't know what caused it. Apparently my gallbladder was tiny which makes me think the polyp must've been taking up some room. I haven't had the full histology report but I'm seeing my gp on Wednesday and I'm hoping she will have a copy of it.

    Since removal I do still have some discomfort under my ribs but I'm able to eat and I'm gaining back the weight that I lost (back in December I weighed a measly 7st) my bowl movements are better them ever. I just hope I continue to improve and I can put it all behind me. Chronic pain is the most hideous thing and it took me to some very dark places in my head. You said that I must be strong thank you for that but I wasn't really given much choice. I had to be. I do feel like I lost 4 yrs of my life to it but I'm not resentful. If it wasn't for that pain I would never have known what was growing inside me and who knows what it could've become. My body was telling me something wasn't right.

    Sorry for rambling, I hope it makes sense. Feel free to ask any questions.

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    • Posted

      Forgot to say I also developed right shoulder blade pain too!
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    • Posted

      Katie246 you are simply remarkable never mind strong. I will take the time to read your reply again at my laptop ( hate writing from my phone)! & respond more fully but I just wanted to send a note now to say how affected I am by your story.

      I don't know how you remained in one piece through that amount of time with increasing pain - I am walking in similar shoes but only since October & I am already struggling to cope.

      Thank you for your story - it brought tears at my end. I so feel for you and greatly admire your stance in the face of that lost time, your seeming lack of bitterness.

      "Speak" soon and take care x

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    • Posted

      Thank you Jo, I did cry many tears along the way but I was lucky to have great support around me including my young daughter who would brush my hair when mummy was in pain. Thankfully I never suffered an attack of horrendous pain like people with stones have to deal with. It was more like a nagging pain that never went away.

      Yes we will speak soon. I'm having a night out with friends tonight for the first time in around 8 months. It'll be a sober one though not quite ready to brave the alcohol yet! 😊

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    • Posted

      Hi K,

      ?I hope you had a great time meeting up with your friends - it's nice to hear you are feeling normal enough for things like that! I'll bet it was a pinch me I'm dreaming feeling to be out there with them?

      ?I was touched to read about your little girl taking care of you when you were low. I feel as if my other half wants to strangle me rather than brush my hair (!) but he is keeping me sane most of the time.

      ?I know you said you were back to the GP this Wednesday so just writing to say best of luck with all. The histology report will make for interesting reading and may help you draw a firmer line under things. There's nothing like unanswered questions to keep you prodding away at something is there?

      ?You mentioned your mind visiting dark places and so I know you will understand that I'm struggling. The fact my consultant has me lined up for a colonoscopy because I have right sided pain "not relevant to gallbladder" now has me in bits to be honest. I'm terrified there is something else wrong and has been masked by the gbladder pain.

      You said you experienced bowel problems along the way and I'm taking it that would be the usual loose, discoloured , paler stools etc - do you mind my asking did you get pain lower on your right side too? My Aunt had the whole 9 yards with her gallbladder issue, from orange diarrhoea or constipation and fatty stool to pain all over her abdomen - that knowledge is in part helping me stay a bit more logical about it and not lose it completely.

       

      ?Well, that's enough of that. My Mum used to say Que sera sera (what will be will be) so I guess I need to feel my way forward to Friday and get on with the tests and just take it from there.

      ?Sorry - I seem to have whinged on a bit. I planned to ask you a few questions but I think I'll leave it for now. I could do with distracting myself from all things medical so with us having snow everywhere - I know, crazy isn't it? we're going to watch a film on Netflix.

      ?Once again, very best for Wednesday and take care x        

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    • Posted

      Bless you Jo, the best advice I can give you is try not to Google your symptoms too much. I made this mistake and you always come across worst case scenarios therefore adding to the worry and anxiety. I read some awful horror stories that left me petrified. You consultant is probably doing the camera tests just to rule out other possible causes.

      You're are right to take a break from thinking about it all. I wasted so much time googling and all it did was make me feel worse. Just take each day as it comes and try and find nice distractions from the pain and worry.

      Enjoy your film.

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    • Posted

      Thanks Katie,

      ?yes, distractions are necessary - Friday simply can't come soon enough! I just want this out of the way.

      ?Hope you had a good visit with the GP and came away satisfied with the histology report etc and continue to recover well.

      Best. J     

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    • Posted

      Unfortunately I'm still non the wiser. My GP hasn't received a copy of my histology report and said she may not even get one. I'm kindve annoyed about it because it's a report that surly I have a right to see but it looks like I may need to fight for it.

      Wishing you all the best for friday?

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    • Posted

      Katie! I feel for you...I would want to hear the details too. Can you follow up with your consultant as he sounded like a decent bloke and I'm sure he'd want to put your mind at ease?

      Very best with following it up & hope you are going from strength to strength in recovery. I did mean to ask you if you've had to take a lot of time off work but I've got all stressed about the scans and lost track!

      Anyway, I'll let you know what happens & appreciate the good wishes. Cheers hon.

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    • Posted

      Hi Jo

      I hope yesterday went went okay. Regarding your question about taking time off work it wasn't until last October that the pain started to affect my job. I think by then I'd just had enough of it and it broke me emotionally. I started missing days here and there. Eventually I was signed off for 2wks solid so I could get myself together. Thankfully I had a great support network at work so I was able too carry on up untill my operation but I did drop some hours.

      I go back to work on Monday. I've been off for 6 wks. I work as a teaching assistant in a school so I had 4wks off with a sick note and then 2wks off for Easter holidays. I was planning to go back after 3wks but my daughter went down with the flu!

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    • Posted

      Hi Katie

      All good yesterday thanks. Gastritis ( so a ppi for a month & hopefully that will be that as don't want to stay on one long-term... ).

      Colon completely clear. I watched the whole thing & found it not as bad as I'd imagined by a long shot. Wouldn't worry so much if I had to do it again as the actual procedures weren't at all uncomfortable ( I opted for sedation and you get gas to breathe for any pain )...but oh the massive relief of getting an all clear. I cried.

      The Dr who did the tests wrote up that my back should be checked as he wonders if I've trapped a nerve or some such when I slipped on the ice. He queried grumbling appendix too which I've wondered about.

      Anyway, it's done. I slept for hours and hours last night & now feel a bit more myself. Just (!) the gallbladder to deal with & getting to the bottom of the lower pain via MRI or whatevers decided I guess. Phew.

      Thanks for your support - means a lot. I'm gutted you had to face all that pain and worry in the first place so v touched that you take the trouble to help me out. I think when I'm done with this I shall just sell my house & go live somewhere warm, never to think of pain again!

      Have a lovely wknd and take it steady Monday. It will be nice to get back to normal but watch you don't launch in to it.

      Take care, J x

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    • Posted

      So pleased that you got on okay. I also take a PPI for gastritis and duodenitis. I'm glad I've been able to offer you some support. I never came across many others who had gallbladder problems due to just polyps I felt very alone at times. Best of luck with your surgery. I hope you don't have to wait too long.

      Take care x

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    • Posted

      Hi Katie

      I was thinking about you yesterday & wondered how you were getting on having gone back to work? Hope you are doing well and enjoying the normality.

      Did you manage to track down that histology report too?

      You previously mentioned taking a ppi for gastritis...which one are you on? I've been put on pantoprazole & first 2 weeks were great - I realised it was making a difference straight away - but now I'm feeling sort of churny & a bit off. Almost like I'm gnawingly hungry. Can't describe it well.

      GP on Monday so will ask if can try something else. Having a chat about potential surgery. My GP doesn't understand the need to remove my gbladder as "it's just a polyp". I'm having no pain from it now but who's to say how long that will go on.

      Should be an interesting conversation!

      I have an appointment with the 'teenage surgeon' (!) on Friday & MRI to look at my back on Saturday. I begin to wonder if life will get back to normal anytime soon.

      Well, hope you see this and it finds you well.

      Take good care x

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    • Posted

      Hi Jo

      Well I'm doing okay being back at work and I'm fully healed from the operation. The only trouble is I've still got the same pain as I had before the gallbladder came out😣. It's under my

      right rib, a dull ache which never goes away. Some days it bearable other days it's really quite bothersome.

      I haven't had the histology report but I did receive a letter from my consultant informing me that he found quite a lot of adhesions and scarring in my upper right quadrant consistent with past inflammation. He also found chronic gastritis and duodenitis. He was very surprised to to find all this because I didn't have any stones just the polyp. I'm guessing my continued pain is from the gastritis and the adhesions I still have as he wasn't able to remove all of them.

      I just don't know what to make of it all I've spent over 4 years going back and forth to the doctor's sometimes crying in pain and all I ever got is "It's because you're depressed/You have anxiety" Turns out my symptoms were not all in my head after all.

      I take lanzoprasole for the gastritis which has definitely helped with the burning in my stomach.

      How big is your polyp? From what I was told and from what I've read on the internet they definitely need to be monitored and should definitely come out if 10mm or more.

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    • Posted

      Hi Katie

      Great to hear from you but not so great on your news.....I hope you have the chance of further improvement via the healing process you are still in ( my midwife friend reckons a good few months for any surgery even keyhole) or would there be the consideration of further surgery to try and sort the adhesions? Possibility of more scar tissue with more surgery though so a bit of a vicious circle.

      It's been more than frustrating in your case - I would be so angry at the wasted time & not being listened to.

      My surgeon has told me you never know if the pain problem will solve with removal of gbladder. I found that a bizarre thing to say but now, from reading your message, I see what he's talking about.

      The polyp I have is 10mm so as you rightly say - & from all the reading I've done - standard to just remove gallbladder in case of future growth/malignancy.

      My GP thinks we could watch it for a while...he also thinks polyps are asymptomatic.

      Anyway, I'm not focused on it at the moment as I'm relatively pain free in that area. Just a nague under my rib now and again. Maintaining low fat diet - but managing a treat now and then with no bad effect. Bit of dark chocolate is usually all I want anyway. Couldn't face a "fatty" meal!

      I'm really just wanting to get to the bottom of the other pain I've had since December. Hoping the MRI sheds light. That pain is more worrisome - as any continuous unexplained pain is. Just having answers helps you get a grip on what you can do to help yourself.

      But I'm guessing from seeing what you've been through that my best option is gbladder out before much more time passes...that way I may avoid the adhesions to an extent. Don't really feel I have a choice but I think my GP does. Can't think why unless he's looking at his budget sheet & thinking I'm costing him lots of money!!

      I'll pop back & let you know if I get a surgery date on Friday....or what happens next.

      Well, hang in there Katie - take comfort in knowing that it's gone and you don't have that worry anymore. You sound like a positive person so I'm in no doubt you'll get the better of things as time passes.

      Take good care x Jo

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    • Posted

      Thank you Jo, I am trying to stay positive. I am better then I was before the op because I don't have that worry hanging over me anymore. I'm the biggest wimp going when it comes to anything surgical and I was absolutely terrified about the op itself. Getting through that alone has made me stronger lol.

      I am surprised that your gp thinks that at 10mm your polyp should just be "watched" for a while. Definitely go with your surgeons advice. It needs to come out. You don't want to be taking your chances with malignancy.

      I'm glad to hear you are not getting pain from it though. As for your other pain I hope you get to the bottom of it soon. Chronic pain without a cause being found causes a huge amount of anxiety and worry.

      I hope you don't have to wait too long for surgery.

      Take care,

      Kate

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