Severe Pain in Diaphragm and Chest after Laparoscopic Gallbladder Removal

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I had my gallbladder removed last Friday using keyhole surgery.  All was going really well till Monday when I suddenly started having severe (literally breathtaking) pain under my diaphragm.  The pain radiates right through my chest into my shoulders, neck and back and I'm sweating and literally have to breathe through it.  I honestly have only ever experienced similar severity of pain when I was in labour. It is horrendous and all the walking about and rocking, I've tried everything, doesn't do anything.  It lasts for an hour or two and twice I've been close to calling an ambulance because I don't think I can cope another second and I feel like I'm having a heart attack. Is it normal for the pain to be so severe? Has anyone else experienced it to this level before? Everything I read says the wind pain is bad but no one seems to describe it with the severity I do! I just hope it is the wind and nothing more serious. Would appreciate any input from anyone else and what you did to help disperse the gas. Thanks! 

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  • Posted

    Hello,

    You poor thing, it sounds awful.. it sounds like gas pain but this should have dispersed by now... I had awful pain from the gas right after the surgery and it did take a few days to go... I found that lots of peppermint tea (or just tea in general helps but p.mint is good for the stomach) as well as a gentle walk around the house and someone to rub your back gently around the shoulder blade area really helped me.

    I don't know if it is gas in your case but this might help if it is...

    I think if you're concerned though you should really go to your GP just to check, better be on the safe side.

    Hope you're on the mend soon.

    Anna

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  • Posted

    Hi Bev,

    So sorry to learn you're suffering like this. The pain from the gas that they pump into you during surgery can be very uncomfortable--but I'm not sure that the pain you're experiencing is from that.

    I would suggest that you go to the ER or, if you're in the UK to A&E to get some assistance.  This is something you probably should get treated for.  If it is just wind pain, well and good, but if it's not you need to be seen!!

    Best of luck to you!  Please let me know how you get on! xx

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  • Posted

    Bless you the gas is terrible as the ladies have said peppermint tea & walking around to move the gas out,

    If it goes on much longer or gets worse go get checked don't suffer xx

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  • Posted

    Hi Bev,

    Hopefully it is just air, but the pain sounds a bit extreme to be that.

    In 2011, I had the same procedure done, along with deroofing of some liver cysts caused by polycystic liver disease. I too seemed fine. Was home from the hospital a few days, and started noticing an abnormal amount of fluid building up in my groin area and started running a low grade temp. I went into the ER, and after 12 or so hours of waiting, a CT scan revealed a huge bile leak throughout my entire abdomen, along with a collapsed lung. 5 years later, and I am still suffering from those complications.

    As I said, hopefully you are just dealing with the effects of the air...but it's always better to be safe. I suggest you go in and see either your GI doc, or to the ER and have them do a CT scan...just to rule out anything serious.

    I hope I didn't scare you. I just would hate for anyone to have to go through what I have.

    Good luck...and good health to you.

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  • Posted

    It could be the gas, but given how you've described it, get advice from the hospital and do that before asking here.

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  • Posted

    Thank you everyone for your kind words and advice.  It only happens first thing in the morning and usually after a bowel movement (sorry!), so I'm assuming the contracting bowel is shifting the gas up to the diaphragm. I did call the hospital and spoke to the doctor and he was satisfied it sounded like the after effects of the operation and all the gas they pump in.  I've also spoken to friends who've had similar operations and they all had extremely varying after effects and lengths of time it took for the gas to disperse.  So that, together with it's not all the time, just once a day in the morning for an hour or two does make me think it can't be too serious.  The good news is, so far this morning I've not had any problems. So really hoping its the end of it! Thanks again everyone for your concern.  I will definitely get it checked out in the ER if I'm worried.

    Bev xx

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    • Posted

      Ok, that's good you've called the hospital. The gas pain shouldn't last too long. Mine hit me a couple of times on a couple of days. Surprisingly painful, but only lasted half an hour. With any luck yours will now be over and done with.

      Now you need to tell people how you're feeling otherwise and if you're eating well etc.

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    • Posted

      Thanks robax

      Yes I feel very well today, it's now 6 days post surgery.  Eating completely normally again and so far not had any more of the unbearable gas pain. Such a relief and really hoping that's it now. Also such a relief to be able to eat normally again and not have any gallbladder pain anymore.  Thanks for your advice I really appreciate it.

      Bev x

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    • Posted

      That's great news. I hadn't eaten normal food in a normal manner for years, long before I had the problems. I just thought the queasiness and acid were normal. It's a total luxury just to be like anyone now.

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  • Posted

    Hi there, I had my gallbladder removed by keyhole on the 13th March so now 6 weeks down the line.

    Two weeks after the surgery I started to get breathless and then developed pain in my chest which goes through to my back so I know exactly how you feel. I have been to my doctor 3 times and have had a chest x-ray, blood test and been given a course of antibiotics incase it was an infection. They even gave me in inhaler on one visit. I ended up going to A&E on Monday as I wanted to rule out a blood clot. Their verdict was it's just my body still recovering internally where they have moved organs to get to the gallbladder so there may be some internal swelling preventing the lungs from expanding fully. Because I have MS I may not recover as quickly as someone without. So that's the point I am at, I would suggest getting checked out even if you don't get any answers. I just don't understand how you can feel worse as time goes on if you should be recovering. How are you now?

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    • Posted

      Hi , im post opp 6 weeks and ive also developed the severe chest shoulder and back pain , its quite bad ive been back to hospital several times but they cannot find anything im worried this might be permanant has yours eased ?
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  • Posted

    Bev, how are you getting on after your issues?

    I came across your post because I've suddenly fallen in the same boat. I'm about 4 months post op. Everything has generally been fine since then...a little bloating and stiffness around the area but otherwise I'm great if I eat mindfully.

    However the last week or so has given me some truly terrible pain similar to what you describe. It's happened 3 times since. It's a deep, heavy pain starting around my chest and stretching to my right side as well as down to my stomach. It takes my breathe away, and becomes very painful to move or stand. Some say it sounds like a heart attack but that definitely not it. It settles down after a while, taking some Buscopan also helps relieve some pain. I'm trying to get to the bottom of this though. I just got out of the ER a few days ago after rushing one night due to the pain. It seems to be under control now.

    The only thing I've found to relate to the pain is eating too many carbs. All 3 attacks have been bought up by carb overloads. Once it was too many potatoes. Another time it was too many beans. The last time was from too much sweet fruit at once. This could be a coincidence but carbs can definitely give some people problems, especially post gallbladder removal. Try cutting out high doses of carbs and keeping your daily intake moderate (say up to 100 grams a day). Fuel yourself with day instead, which I know is even harder for people without gallbladders but give it a go.

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    • Posted

      Near the same situation with Me. It's been 12 weeks since my gallbladder surgery, been best I could ever be life back on track then three weeks ago Friday I woke up with chest pain and if I ate food it would get worst and burn where my gallbladder once was and it hurts more when I breath in, I was in hospital 8 days had scans to b told my bile duct is swollen but was sent home because they needed the bed, I had anti biotics of my GP who said I had an infection but they have done nothing I've been in bed because I really don't feel well, I had a temperature that isn't going down I have an appointment with my GP again a week Friday. I feel I'm not getting anywhere. Fed up of being told my symptoms don't add up basically it's a vicious circle, a tiring one only so much you can smile and pretend all is OK why you have had enough, just want to get back to normal it's so annoying! Blood tests come back normal constantly have a scan on 15th July again but I can't see that shoeing up a lot again...

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