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Chest pain, abdominal pain, 6 months after gallbladder removal

(13 Posts)
TTFAL Wed 17-Apr-19 08:16:22

Hello! I’m at my wits end and just wondering if there’s anyone else in my position. I had my gallbladder out 6 months ago. Now, I have so much abdominal pain, I’m really down about it. It can be so bad, it wakes me up at night. I’ve ended up on my knees panting & breathing through the pain. I just get told to take buscopan by the GP as it’s an anti spasmodic. Thing is though, that doesn’t tell me why it’s happening.
Plus, 2 weeks ago, I had an awful attack but this time with severe, crushing central chest pain. I’ve never felt pain like it, absolutely awful. I keep getting fobbed off at the doctors and am just so fed up of being in pain ☹️
The other problem is that since surgery I cannot tolerate painkillers anymore. If I take codeine/tramadol, within 2/3 hours I will be in agony with an attack. Just like a gallbladder attack but I don’t even have one anymore. In a bit of a state with it all x

OP’s posts: |
Fairylea Wed 17-Apr-19 08:20:12

Have you been to a and e with the chest pain? That would be what I would do to be honest. They can do ecgs, echos and heart blood tests to rule out anything cardiac. That should be a priority.

Sometimes reflux / acid does cause chest pain and severe abdominal pain. I suffer with both dreadfully due to the daily steroids I take for Addison’s disease. I take Nexium 40mg daily on prescription only and Gaviscon on top of that. It does help a lot. But you need to rule out cardiac problems first.

outnumbered4 Wed 17-Apr-19 08:27:27

I had my gallbladder out last september and have recently been having chest and abdominal pains again.

I've worked out that mine is related to what I've eaten, there's some foods that don't agree with me now and cause horrendous trapped wind and heartburn which seems to feel exactly like a gallbladder attack, is that a possibility?

I have been drinking peppermint tea and using the trapped wind Rennies (can't remember the name off the top of my head) and this generally settles it after a while. I am also keeping a diary of what I've eaten to try to establish which foods cause it.

junebirthdaygirl Wed 17-Apr-19 08:30:59

2 things that don't agree with me since fall bladder removal are coffee and cream. Make me nauseous but l don't get a dreadful pain. Try and pinpoint if it's one thing setting it off. Watch for coffee.
Also agree that you need to go to A& E when pain is actually there.

AnnaMagnani Wed 17-Apr-19 08:35:25

It sounds like you have post-cholecystectomy syndrome.

Not being able to tolerate codeine like painkillers is classic - I have this and taking codeine will bring on the exact gallbladder type pain within half an hour. This is due to it triggering your bile duct to close so it gets dilated, just like it would be if it was blocked by a stone. It's called Sphincter of Oddi dysfunction.

I found this out the hard way too - I can't take codeine anymore either.

Given it's 6 months and you are so symptomatic, I'd have thought it was reasonable for you to see your surgeon again for further investigations as it isn't settling down by itself.

HildaAlida Wed 17-Apr-19 08:39:44

I had mine out 18 months ago and I've been absolutely fine, however - a week ago I had exactly the pain you describe. I even posted about it!

Based on a little internet research, I understand it is possible for small stones to either develop, or be left behind, in the bile duct after gallbladder removal. That could be the pain we are feeling.

So far it's only been excruciating for a short spell - so only on all fours panting for a few minutes - and has happened after I've taken a painkiller with codeine in it.

Yesterday it happened when I was working at a clients office, I had a headache building but only had Paramol in my bag. I daren't drop to my knees there so I just did some deep breathing where I was sitting, and luckily it passed before anyone could ask me any questions!

I hope you feel better...if I get a repeat performance too frequently or for longer spells, I'll mention it to the GP, but yours definitely sounds worse than mine. Worth another ultrasound?

HildaAlida Wed 17-Apr-19 08:40:59

Cross posted with you Anna, that's interesting!

TTFAL Wed 17-Apr-19 08:46:53

Thanks everyone for your replies xx I haven’t been to a&e because I just felt a bit silly to be honest. I’d have felt daft going saying I was having gallbladder attack pain even though I don’t have a gallbladder. I was worried they’d just send me home, (stupid of me I know). But, the chest pain, I probably should have gone. That was actually really scary ☹️
I have yet another GP appointment this afternoon. Although I feel like I’m always there & they’ll be getting fed up of me, I’m going to keep going and making a fuss. It’s just not right I should still be like this.
Thankyou all so much xx

OP’s posts: |
AnnaMagnani Wed 17-Apr-19 09:27:18

Other thing is what is your diet like?

Apart from the codeine thing, I have been fairly lucky after my gallbladder but if I eat anything high fat, it really disagrees with me, especially if it is dairy - no more double cream! Some of my friends minus gallbladders have had to even more careful.

TTFAL Wed 17-Apr-19 09:30:32

My diet is very low fat. I lost 6 stone last year and am still losing now. Dairy is a definite no go for me too, I can’t tolerate it. I can’t digest red meat anymore or eat anything spicy. Previous to all my health issues, I ate a lot of red meat & loved curries so it’s been a big change for me!! X

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Jins Wed 17-Apr-19 09:32:23

It sounds like my experience post cholecystectomy and mine has been called sphincter of oddi dysfunction.

Codeine (well all opiates actually) are massive triggers but mine is also triggered by wheat/gluten. I’m fine with fats though.

It can be tested. Ask for referral back to your consultant

freyia Wed 17-Apr-19 16:44:56

Not sure if it's the same.

I had my gallbladder removed this time last year. Christmas Eve I started getting what I can only describe as gallbladder attacks again, and since then I have pain most nights.

Went to GP who who got me booked it for a scan. It turned out not all my gallbladder was removed and the surgeon had left a gallstone in the remaining part of the gallbladder. Due to have another op in May to have the rest removed.

So if it does feel like it's a gallbladder attack it might be worth asking GP for an ultrasound.

TTFAL Wed 17-Apr-19 17:47:04

Oh my god! They left some of yours behind??? That’s awful 😱😱
I’ve just been to the docs this afternoon and I’ve been referred to scans to check for stray stones in my bile ducts xxx

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