27 answers

I Had My Gallbladder Taken Out and I'm Having Major Pain

A few months ago I had emergency gallbladder surgery and I'm still having major pains. I've had an MRI, catscan, sonograms from a few different specialist and none
of them can figure it out. I've had my blood taken a bunch and all they can say is,
"YOUR PERFECTLY HEALTHY".
I'm excited to know I'm healthy, BUT something is wrong and I wanted to ask other mom's who has the same thing.
I've met a few moms in the past months who has this, but thought it was normal. It can't be normal.
What happens is, let's say I eat something FRIED, (which I'm not), but there are a few foods that trigger it. Then I start to feel this burning pain in my sturum (mispelling). then it moves all through my lower stomach. My upper back is in major pain and this last from 15 min. to an hour.

I know this is a lot of info. but I know there has to be something out there that can help.
Thanks

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I received a response from another mom and she recommende Alka-Seltzer. I saw that and thought, that prob. wouldn't work.
Until yesterday I started to feel an attack coming on and I was praying I had Alka-Seltzers. I took two and I'm telling you, with in a matter of a couple of minutes, it all went away.
Thanks Erin and everybody for your responses.

L.

Featured Answers

Hi L.,

I am sorry to read about the pain you are suffering. I also had to have my gallbladder removed and the doctor actually told me in advance that I would probably continue to have what they call phantom gall bladder attacks for a time afterwards. It's kind of like when someone looses a limb and yet they still feel pain in that limb even though it doesn't exist. Anyway, I think the only relief is really to know that this WILL pass eventually. You might look up on WebMD to read a bit more about this phenomenom and it might give you more of a time frame. I actually didn't have the attacks afterwards like expected - but what you describe is exactly what I was experiencing before hand with the gallbladder attacks. I hope they go away soon. I found them worse than birth pains!

Blessings,
D.

More Answers

Lori~
I too suffered the wrath of gall bladder pain. It sounds like your symptoms are a "gall bladder attack". 40% of people who have their gall bladders removed still suffer gall bladder attack symptoms because although you removed the gall bladder full of stones, you didn't remove any stranded stones which had already left the gallbladder and are in the pancreas and liver (I could be wrong on which organs they can get into). So although the main cause is gone they're not all gone, and can still trigger the same symptoms as if you had a sluggish gallbladder. After suffering several painful attacks myself I looked into alt. and homeopathic remedies to avoid surgery. I have had much success with a common gall bladder flush I found online. I've done 3 flushes (ingredients of organic lemon juice, olive oil, and an epsom salt laxative; you can get the exact recipe online)and had results with the second two. Combined if I had to guess I would say I've passed over 100 gallstones. The flushes have been said to help people who have already had surgery and are still suffering the symptoms as well. It changed my life...I would look into it. Hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful

Dear L.:

My mother also had her gallbladder removed and had the same symptoms you have described. She had an ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography) done a few months after the gallbladder removal, which showed some very small gallstones were left behind.

What we learned is sometimes small gallstones are left behind and that can continue to give symptoms. Ultrasound, et cetera, can miss this.

The ERCP is a day surgery, general anesthetic procedure that is done in under an hour. The doctor can visualize what's going on, even take out any small stones left behind.

L. F., Mom of a 13-year-old, married to my best friend for almost 22 years

Do keep checking to make sure it is not something else but you need to remember that your situation was pretty dire when you got to the hospital. Emergency gallbladder surgery is more complicated than the same in a non-emergent situation just like an appendix is safer to take out, recovery quicker, when it is merely badly inflamed versus perforated or about to rupture.

I contracted pneumonia and was in a coma about 21 months ago and the place where they inserted the drain in my lung, between ribs, probably going through muscle, still hurts on a fairly regular basis, nothing major, but I find myself thinking that it has been so long it shouldn't be hurting. I forget that I nearly died and that apparently takes a lot out of you physically, lol.

Our bodies are very complex organisms and more importantly they function as a system. We are so accustomed to our bodies working properly that when they don't we are confused and angry and because of our culture, expect to pop a pill and instantaneously feel better. While the gallbladder is not essential to survival, it does serve a purpose and you must recognize that without it, your life has and will always be different.

The gallbladder stores bile because the liver does not always produce enough to do the digestive work or it produces more than the individual needs at that moment. As we age in general, these organs function less efficiently which is why I have problems now and need to keep Tagamet handy, when in the past the only time I experienced heartburn was during pregnacy.

Again, keep checking to see if there is an unrelated cause to your current situation but recognize that your body is still recovering from this trauma and it is just going to take time. Also, keep a diary of the things you eat and what gives you the most trouble. These are things that you may never really be able to eat again or that you know, if you like them, you are eating at your own risk so-to-speak. If you are going to eat something that will aggravate your system, you can take a product like Tagamet before you eat and that may help to reduce the effects.

At the whopping age of 44, I can no longer eat sweet corn without my stomach going whacko, and lettuce is quickly catching up in terms of the ability to make me horribly ill. Our bodies change over time and we can either roll with the changes, avoiding the things that seem to aggravate our system, or ignoring them and literally suffering with the consequences.

Try to focus on what you can do instead of lamenting the things you are going to have to change; the latter is going to happen anyway and you can either do it gracefully or fighting the inevitable. In addition to the lingering effects of my situation I also have arthritis in my back, scoliosis, and allergies and asthma to contend with. When I get down, I remember that I have no truly debilitating disease that threatens my mobility or other quality of life issues and alive is certainly a heck of a lot better than not being here to raise my children.

Hello L.,

I'm sorry to hear you're in so much pain. Have you ever tried taking complete enzymes at meal time? that may help your GI track to digest the foods better and not have so much pain. here is a link (for information only - if you decide to buy it, you can get it at sprouts, wholefoods, flower mound pharmacy, etc) to NOW super enzymes:
http://www.nowfoods.com/?action=itemdetail&item_id=3112

(By the way, Sorry I might sound like an advertisement I don't sell it) I've used it and friends w/ GI track issues use it and are having very good results.

Good luck! ~C.~

Hi L.!

I am sooo sorry that you are going through this! My son had his gall bladder taken out as well and he suffers the same symptoms! All we were told by the Drs were that the pain was a combination of gas and scar tissue, especially around the area where the gall bladder used to be. Like you, certain foods seem to trigger it as well. It definitely will be interesting to find out what everyone here says!

Here's to feeling better! :)
M.

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The first year after mine was taken out was the worst. Lettuce was horrible, corn, fruit and of course fatty foods. Nausea, cramping, close to passing out, and restroom for 30min. while things pass. Your body can't regulate the bile dump well without the gallbladder doing its job. There is a powder that can be taken to help, your interologist should be able to prescribe something. Over the past years it has gotten better, but I definately recognize there are still triggers just not as often or as long lasting.

Also, I was having pain not associated with eating, but with my cycle or intercourse, and I wasn't getting pregnant. So they did exploratory surgery thinking it was endometryosis. Found out that it was adhesions (scar tissue) from the surgery that was fusing my bladder and uterus.

I would definately be speaking with a specialist, who has had many gallbladder patients that will know where to go with your pain.

Hello L.,

I can't say I been there or have any problems that relate to what you went through BUT, I can say I know my mother had her removed. Now I when I tell you her story I don't want you to get freaked out cause this maybe a long shot. You may not even be close to what happen to her. In 95 my mother went in for the same surgery you had. She was in post term surgery afterwards for an hour (I think she should have been there longer, what they call recovery) anyhow they released her to go home an hour later. I watched her mope around for two weeks and then she went back to the doctor and they told her she had what they call walking pneumonia. They gave her medication for it which I believe it didn't do a bit of good; cause she would walk around with a pillow on her chest and one on her back to comfort the pain they TOLD her she would have. Well I have to say she is no longer in any pain cause 6 weeks after her surgery she passed away from a blood clot that was from her surgery. They treated her for phenomena instead of a lodged blood clot. I can't say she would be here today if things were different but, I would insist that your doctor check for a clot if they haven't yet. Good luck

T.

I, too, had my gallbladder removed and I have nothing but trouble with my stomach since. I have had every kind of test there is and my GI doctor finally said that it is probably a stone or stones in the ducting from the gallbladder to the stomach. He told me the only way to find out is to go back in to see if there are stones there. There is no test that can tell you if there are stones there or not according to him. Never had acid relux before but I have it "big time" now and also IBS. I was not told anything about anything except that I needed my gallbladder out. I have had to learn everything by the "school of hard knocks"!!! My daughter-in-law had to have her gallbladder removed three weeks before her wedding (11 years ago) and she still has major problems. I hope that you soon discover what might be causing your pain.

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