Upper abdominal swelling, right upper quadrant pain

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I have upper abdominal swelling that occurs every few days thats tender and sore, pain significant on right side under rib cage.

This all started with a pain under my upper right rib cage. I had an ultrasound done that showed enlarged liver. CT of theabdoment showed showed one large hemangioma and 2 smallers ones on liver. kidney, pancreas, esophogas showed unremarkable. After I had CT done it appeared that my abdomen swelled up - the swelling went from lower abdomen to upper abdomen. Had gallbladder hida scan done came back negative - number was 40, still was experiencing pain. Surgeon indicated he doubt that the pain was from hemangioma. Blood work came back fine. Still having pain every other day under right rib cage, and swelling only in upper abdomen area. GI indicated scope was not necessary. Only other thing is I'm going through menopause. Anyone experiencing this - please help. this has been going on for 2 months. Surgeon indicated hida scan was done by me drinking ensure, need to repeat with nuclear med. Let me know if you are experiencing any of this. Thank in Advance.

3 likes, 50 replies

50 Replies

  • Posted

    This is exactly what I've been going through as well, the only difference being that my liver is not enlarged and I am not going through menopause. I have had multiple blood tests run to check my liver (because pain, tenderness, and bloating is on right side just under my ribs) and everything comes back normal. Xrays and ultrasound showed "normal" diffuse fatty infiltration of the liver, which the doctors assurred me is not unusual and call it non-specific. Hida scan came back showing 76% functionality of gallbladder. What could this be, that would not show up on a CT scan?? sad
  • Posted

    Hi, sorry for your pain and frustration. I started with a similar pain several years ago. Family doctor said it was a pinched nerve from the back. Then it just got worse and worse. Some days not so bad others horrible. But it was always there. Had hidascan done as you did. They said it was nothing, only to find out 2 long years later the scan was miss read by a doctor who actually looked at the scan not just the written published result on paper. Now 2 years later after gallbladder surgery area is still swollen and very sore. Lots of pain. Now I am thinking liver issues. I hate these doctors that don't help. It is like I have to play doctor to figure things out then they act as though I have no clue what I am talking about. My general doctor calls it playiny internet doctor. Can't win for losing. It is scary and frustrating along with the suffering of pain to boot. Best wishes I hope we both figure this out or find a doctor that actually knows what to do.
    • Posted

      My gallbladder was removed via laparoscopy in 1998.  Eighteen years later I'm still in periodic pain.  My right side routinely swells and causes me considerable discomfort, as I'm sure you well know.  I've seen several doctors and had abdominal scans, etc., but no one has been able to solve my problem. One explained that a "stalk" of the gall bladder was left behind (the fault of a hurried surgeon, no doubt--I was lined up with other pre-surgical patients like we were on a conveyer belt $$$$$).  That gall bladder stalk still fills with bile, as when the whole organ was there, hence the chronic pain, which I have learned has a name: Post-cholecystectomy Syndrome. I ordered a Biotherapy powder called Genuine Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad) Thermal Spring Salt. You dissolve 1 tsp in warm water and drink 1-1/2 cup of before a meal, which is purported to help this problem.  I tried it only once so far, and it seemed to help some.  You have to be careful what you eat.  I find I can no longer digest fats, nuts or nut butters, and there are special diets if you have no gall bladder that may help.

      As with the routine removal of children's tonsils in the '50s, I think some doctors are too quick to turn to surgery when other options might first be tried, but those don't usually make the big bucks.  Even the littlest organs in our bodies, like tonsils and gall bladders, perform important functions.  IMO, doctors who dismiss a desperate patient's search for answers to their problems on the Internet when doctors have none to offer should be stripped of their right to practice medicine or at least sent to a sensitivity training course. 

    • Posted

      Id get a different doc. If you paid a plumber to fix a leak and he did a half baked job.... leaving you to buy tools parts and putty to fix a pipe he didn't completely fix....do you think he would have the nerve to take your money and ridicule you for trying to finish the job he didn't know how to do correctly?

    • Posted

      Hi Lorraine, life is interesting...sorry for the inconsistencies of the medical field and your pain and frustration with it that we all face, right. It is true, WE do need to do our homework as we know our bodies best, not them. And remember they are Practicing Physicians. Yes, and they are practicing on us, so your knowledge and voice is important.

  • Posted

    This is exactly what I have been going through! 2 years ago I had a hidascan done as well, "normal".   I am an EMT and know this pain is not normal, and it came quite acutely, but has lingiered.

    My RUQ is very swollen and tender.  It hurts, some days it feel like it is going to explode, some if feels as if something is moving just under my skin in that area. It is very aggravating!    

    new doc just got labs back and said all is normal, except cholesterol is slightly elevated.

    I would LOVE answers.  : (

    • Posted

      I am going thru the same thing with the swelling and I was thinking it was my liver but I had ultrasound done and the liver and gall bladder are fine. However they did fine multiple renal stones in my ureter with mild hydronephrosis... I'm curious did u ever find out the cause of all this

  • Posted

    I have much of the same going on. I have URC pain, swelling that moves from my lower to middle then upper abdomen. I get shooting pains under my ribs and sometimes the "squeezing" feeling from the bloating that I vomit. It is totally awful. I've had 4 CAT scans, ultrasounds, Hida scan with contrast, blood work out the wazoo. I also had a colonoscopy, endoscopy and had the bacterial levels checked. NOTHING! The swelling sometimes is so bad that people can actually see it getting bigger and the pain wakes me nearly every night. I'm looking for anyone that has had the same thing and found this forum. I don't see that anyone had a physcian or any other indication of what this could be?


    • Posted

      Wow! Finally someone who is experiencing the same exact symptoms. I have all the things you've been diagnosed with too. The bloating & pain in my ribs can be so uncomfortable. Doc told me just poop more. Lol. I switch from diarrhea to constipation all the time. I gain about 30 pounds in 2 months. And thought, ok so is this what fat feels like? I have hashimotos & RA, OA .lots of Gass and autoimmune & just found out I've had 2 strokes that Doc NEVER TOLD ME ABOUT. Now a blood clot in right groin. I'm really sick of all this.

      But glad I'm not alone

      Anybody finds out what this is PLZ POST!


    • Posted

      Have you had any other symptoms Misty67151? Or found out anything new?

      I am having some strange systems, I went to the Dr the first time BC my ears were ringing, I was spiking fevers often, I was extremely fatigued, felt dizzy, headaches and overall just feeling bad. I have Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Arthritis so I have bad days but this has turned into bad 3 months. Also I've been taking fluid meds for years, I swell normally in my fingers, legs feet and if it gets bad my stomach and all over but I told the I have swollen up bad especially in my upper abdomen. I also told her I've gained 45lbs in less than 3 months mostly in stomach which is very odd for me bc I'm usually a size 4 and can't gain weight even when I try. I just turned 40 but this isn't just middle aged spread especially since I've cut my calories to 1200 daily I eat hardly any sodium plenty of fiber. Anyway, BP is perfect,they tested mythyroid is goodand other blood work came back good they gave me a round of antibiotics and Prednisone bc if they don't know what it is it must be a Lupus flare but I've had Lupus 10 years this is not normal. I got the fluid down and everywhere and now I see it's not my usual fluid that my upper abdomen is swollen and it hurts if I press on it. My stomach muscles have been sore in a weird way not from exercising deeper but feels like muscle aches. It swells worse at night every night. I don't have any stomach problems, no indigestion, gas or anything but I do feel uncomfortable after I eat like it swells more my head hurts and just feel funny and I don't overeat ex: 1 small wrap with her chicken Lett, tomato if I finish that. Im miserable, none of my tops fit my stomach just feels like a hard ball. I just moved from Alabama to TN so I'm having to find new Dr. I had same Dr for over 10 years he would have tested til he found out WTH is wrong. I've been to 2 Urgent Care Drs and now have a New Primary Care but she didn't do much and I still feel horrible. I have enough health issues that cause alot of pain to deal with new ones. Does anyone have any other symptoms like fever headaches dizzy? I did try an ACAI Berry Cleanse for 5 days I got at Walmart it helped alot temp. The swelling went down for a couple days and some discomfort. It's all natural and actually good for you to do occasionally. If anyone has any advice or finds out any new news please let us know. Thanks!

    • Posted

      I've had this pain for over 40 years. Seen many GI specialists and many more test over the years than any have mentioned on site.

      I have had my gallbladder removed about 20 years ago, I have gastritis and IBS. My condition has only gotten worse over the years despite any treatment tried.

      My abdomen swells all the time and pain is severe most of the time. I like all others with this problem deserve an answer and hopefully some solution that can at least help us to the point were not in agony.

      I've searched high and low for answers and haven't seen any.

      It appears the medical community is stumped by our problems.

      I wish they had some clinical trials that address our particular problem.

      I can't blame Doctors if their is no research or investment in this particular area of suffering by what appears to be many individuals.

      I'm righting not just because I've suffered for so long with no answers but because I appear to be the only male writing about this issue.

      I hope other males who face these symptoms will come forward also.

      Maybe if enough of us complain some medical clinic will take on our plight and look for real answers.

      Its obvious its not in our heads and we deserve the same attention as any other debilitating medical problems people are finding answers to.

      I wish you and every suffering from any medical problems find relief and have people in your lives that understand and help you whenever possible.

      Many blessings to you and everyone always from my soul to all of yours.

    • Posted

      Hello, I recently started to have pain, and I was thinking It was due to my acid reflux. I started to take some natural remedies for those problems, but the pain would come off and on.

      Then I though i had a bacteria infection (h-pylori), so my doctor recommended a ultrasound . Test results came back, indicating that I have a spot on liver they're assuming it's homangeno and rule out cancer of the liver. But in so much in pain and feeling terrible. And in a male, I need help.

    • Posted

      I have the exact same issue as you I believe. Last 2 doctors I've seen think I have mental issues now too.  Just seen a internal medicine specialist tested me for everything said my blood work all came back normal. Been over a year for me now and I'm back at stage 1

    • Posted

      Did the ringing in the ears go away? I do not have problems with fevers, but the ringing in my ears I always dismissed as damage from loud noises.  Turns out it was from a benign brain tumor, an acoustic neuroma.  I also have a slew of things wrong with me and came here due to recent weight gain and pain up high but on the right side of my ribs. Initially this began as what seemed like a hiatal  hernia but has me wondering with the weight gain, pregnant looking abdomen etc if it's not something else. I too am about the same age, 39, and was always small and am now squeezing into my jeans and looking for big shirts.  Came on suddenly, does not seem age related. I do however  have an under-active thyroid,(a lot of Dr.s do not do the complete testing they need to do to be certain a thyroid problem does not exist) but it has never caused any weight issue and definitely not a pregnant abdomen. I have been busy with changing insurances, children's needs and the tumor, but I will begin trying to figure this new issue(s) out. 

    • Posted

      Hi misty.

      My best friend shes 59. She has almost same symptoms as you. Shes had this for over a year now. Where under her right breast is hard and swollen. Its like you watch it swelling after she has finished eating. Causes her a great deal of pain. She has had about CT scans done. Then had another CT scan that was more advance. Her blood test always come back really good. 3 days ago the pain was so bad she ended up in hospital. Of course they checked her over and more blood test done that came back good once again so they let her come home. I live with her i see this everyday how uncomfortable she is. Its really sad. The last test to have done CV is a camera done her throat to see whats going on. When you touch her tummy under her bra line you can feel its hard its almost like something is growing over the last 12 months it is getting worse. She feels better when laying down. Hurts more when walking around. Would love to hear more stories.

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