Pain in old gallbladder surgery site

Posted by mikehow @mikehow, Jan 22, 2017

I had my gall bladder out 40 years ago, the old major abdominal surgery way, with an 8 inch scar and a 1 week hospital stay. I have had no problems for 40 years,but now, right along the scar line, I get occasional sharp pains, almost stabbing. It feels like it is right under the skin line. Could it be that the internal staples are shifting after all these years?

@rosemarya

@dodgerblu818311, I want to welcome you to Connect. And thank you for the encouragement that you have offered.
I am sorry that you are experiencing some harsh pain. Has your pain recently developed, or has it been ongoing and gradually increasing?
Rosemary

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Thank You for welcoming me to this discussion. It was very streesfull and traumatic for me because I almost didn’t make it when they were doing the gall bladder surgery. I stopped breathing for a bit. Then as few days after the surgery I was informed by my doctor that I had developed a very bad infection called C.diff. So I was in the hospital for a month and I couldn’t even see my daughter.

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That must have been so scary!
Clostridium difficile or C. diff, is a bacteria that can cause symptoms ranging from diarrhea to severe abdominal cramping and inflammation of the colon; it typically occurs after the use of antibiotics.
Here is some information from Mayo Clinic: http://mayocl.in/2dMcY4F, and I’m tagging @concernedmtnmom, @momochan @kyjeanne, @kathymeyers @tedjoanie, who may have some thoughts for you.

@dodgerblu818311, C. Diff. is notoriously difficult to get rid of; have you been tested for it recently?

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@dodgerblu818311 Let me add my welcome to those that have already been expressed. We are glad that you have joined our online patient support group at Mayo Connect. This is a great place to share your experiences and most of all your feelings. I am so sorry to hear of your difficult surgery experience the the infection that took you away from your daughter for a month, that must have been very hard on you both! Keep sharing with us. Here at Mayo Connect we seek to support and encourage our members. Teresa

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@kanaazpereira

That must have been so scary!
Clostridium difficile or C. diff, is a bacteria that can cause symptoms ranging from diarrhea to severe abdominal cramping and inflammation of the colon; it typically occurs after the use of antibiotics.
Here is some information from Mayo Clinic: http://mayocl.in/2dMcY4F, and I’m tagging @concernedmtnmom, @momochan @kyjeanne, @kathymeyers @tedjoanie, who may have some thoughts for you.

@dodgerblu818311, C. Diff. is notoriously difficult to get rid of; have you been tested for it recently?

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@dodgerblu818311, I have no gall bladder, but I do not have the usual incision site, since mine was removed during process of liver transplant surgery. I do, however, experience some sudden pains I the abdomen. I have realized that these are due to change in my eating habits, for example, if I allow myself to eat fried foods (not often) I know I will suffer later. I was also diagnosed with mild diverticulosis, as a result of my early inquiries to my doctors.
So I wonder if you have made any dietary changes, recently.
Having said that, I would encourage a phone call to your doctor, to be sure. If this is being caused by something that requires treatment, you are best to get it diagnosed early.
I hope you can find a resolution, soon.
Keep in touch.
Rosemary

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I too have started feeling EXACTLY what you have been experiencing, my surgery was 32 years ago, 3 weeks after emergency C-section. I was worried about my internal “zipper” had come undone and was poking me. I have no other symptoms other then that sharp little pain, that brings back all the horrible memories of my gall-bladder operation. I do have a TEETER Hang-up, maybe I over stretched, not sure. It is nice to see I am not alone, will see what happens, and if it get worse. I am hoping for better………So glad this site is here, THANK YOU!!

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Hello @angryblonde. Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect! This community has so much to offer- it’s a place of sharing, learning, connecting and most important- support. If you have questions on navigating connect- just let us know and we can help!

Can you tell us a little more about yourself? Have you noticed any activity that makes your pain worse or anything that makes it better? I look forward to hearing an update from you to let us know how you’re doing. Wishing you peace and a pain free holiday! 🙂

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@dawn_giacabazi

@mikehow
Sorry for the disconnected response.
With my gallbladder I develope Abdominal Adhesions which are bands of scar tissue that form between organs. Adhesions cause pain by pulling nerves, either within an organ tied down by an adhesion or within the adhesion itself. Some people have no symptoms.

If symptoms don’t go away quickly might be time to see the doc!
Dawn

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Hi Dawn, I know it’s been awhile since your post so hopefully you get this message. I had my gallbladder out almost 4 months ago and have developed pain and it gets severe in my side under the ribs and the pain goes across my abdomen and can be on the left under the ribs too. It has been a constant pain for 3 weeks. The pain developed 3 months after surgery. I’ve several tests all come back normal. Thinking it could be adhesions. I had laparoscopic gallbladder surgery. If you don’t me asking what was your experience with adhesions? Where was your pain, when did it start, was the pain constant? Any information you can give would be helpful. I hope you are feeling better now.

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@dawn_giacabazi

@mikehow
Sorry for the disconnected response.
With my gallbladder I develope Abdominal Adhesions which are bands of scar tissue that form between organs. Adhesions cause pain by pulling nerves, either within an organ tied down by an adhesion or within the adhesion itself. Some people have no symptoms.

If symptoms don’t go away quickly might be time to see the doc!
Dawn

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Hi. I’ve been suffering from right sided pain where my ribs are and upper abdominal pain 3 months after having my gallbladder was removed. I’ve also had a loss of appetite and nausea. I’ve had all sorts of tests and everything is coming back ok. If you wouldn’t mind sharing what was your experience with adhesions after having your gallbladder removed and what were your symptoms?

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MY gall bladder surgery was 63 years ago. I have had six pregnancies and only now am experiencing adhesion type pain in the scar. It was an open cholecystectomy. I have severe IBS. Is there a relationship?

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It has been 7 years since my gall bladder surgery. Right under one of the incisions (lapriscopic) on my side I get horrible cramping when the muscle is strained in a certain position. When in a "crunch" position such as sitting on my office chair and having to bend down to pick up something that fell under my chair. Any kind of strain that would go beyond a regular situp for any sustained amount of time it feels like the muscles on that side, the closest muscle group name I could put a name to is the one in the title of this post, are twisting inside my body. The only relief I have once the flipping and twisting feeling has started (which is accompanied with extreme pain) is to straighten out as far as possible and stretch that muscle to the utmost, and even then, once the cramp has subsided, the muscle remains sore for days afterwards. I have spoken to my nurse practitioner (I am in the Canadian Military, we dont have regular doctors like they do in civi land. We dont have family doctors, we have nurses and then if you are deemed sick enough, you get to see a Medical Officer) about it and she thinks it is just scar tissue that attached to the muscle from the wall of the scar and there is nothing to do about it. I cant imagine living the rest of my life the way I have the last few years, terrified if I have to pick anything up, go to the bathroom, or have an orgasm (Yes, its happened then too, which adds yet another component of fear to it) that I'll be in crippling pain. Any help, or anyone who might be experiencing the same thing who might have some idea's would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for reading.

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Welcome to Connect, @cls2003 and @ryanrayna1.

@ryanrayna1, you may notice that I moved your message to this existing discussion as I thought it would be beneficial for you to be introduced to a few other members who’ve discussed similar symptoms. Simply click VIEW & REPLY in your email notification to find your post.

I’d like to invite @missdraggunn @claytamos @tona @shannanpruett57 @bship63 @eeklady @snoel @maryschaffler and others, so that they can share their experiences and insights which might help you.

You might also be interested in viewing these conversations on Connect, where @msb18 @christina315 @jelmo @woodsiechris @psepski and others are talking about similar symptoms related to the gallbladder:
– Post cholesectomy (gallbladder removal) chronic back pain https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/post-cholesectomy-gallbladder-removal-chronic-back-pain/
– Gallbladder surgery https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/gallbladder-surgery/

@cls2003, it’s not unusual to develop diarrhea following gallbladder surgery, but there is not a lot of clinical research showing a link between gallbladder removal and IBS. However, a condition called bile acid malabsorption (BAM) can cause chronic diarrhea. https://www.mayoclinic.org/medical-professionals/digestive-diseases/news/identifying-diarrhea-caused-by-bile-acid-malabsorption/mac-20430098

How are you managing your symptoms, @cls2003? Did you make significant changes to your diet?
@ryanrayna1, I cannot imagine how you go through your day with such crippling pain! Have you found anything that offers some relief?

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@kanaazpereira

Welcome to Connect, @cls2003 and @ryanrayna1.

@ryanrayna1, you may notice that I moved your message to this existing discussion as I thought it would be beneficial for you to be introduced to a few other members who’ve discussed similar symptoms. Simply click VIEW & REPLY in your email notification to find your post.

I’d like to invite @missdraggunn @claytamos @tona @shannanpruett57 @bship63 @eeklady @snoel @maryschaffler and others, so that they can share their experiences and insights which might help you.

You might also be interested in viewing these conversations on Connect, where @msb18 @christina315 @jelmo @woodsiechris @psepski and others are talking about similar symptoms related to the gallbladder:
– Post cholesectomy (gallbladder removal) chronic back pain https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/post-cholesectomy-gallbladder-removal-chronic-back-pain/
– Gallbladder surgery https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/gallbladder-surgery/

@cls2003, it’s not unusual to develop diarrhea following gallbladder surgery, but there is not a lot of clinical research showing a link between gallbladder removal and IBS. However, a condition called bile acid malabsorption (BAM) can cause chronic diarrhea. https://www.mayoclinic.org/medical-professionals/digestive-diseases/news/identifying-diarrhea-caused-by-bile-acid-malabsorption/mac-20430098

How are you managing your symptoms, @cls2003? Did you make significant changes to your diet?
@ryanrayna1, I cannot imagine how you go through your day with such crippling pain! Have you found anything that offers some relief?

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@cls2003 & @ryanrayna1, To help control your diarrhea & pain accompanied by it, ask your gastroenterologist to prescribe you Cholestyramine Powder packets. Mix a packet with 1/4 cup of orange or apple juice & drink it immediately before eating anything. This will help bind the bile acids & stools. It worked for me.

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@kanaazpereira

Welcome to Connect, @cls2003 and @ryanrayna1.

@ryanrayna1, you may notice that I moved your message to this existing discussion as I thought it would be beneficial for you to be introduced to a few other members who’ve discussed similar symptoms. Simply click VIEW & REPLY in your email notification to find your post.

I’d like to invite @missdraggunn @claytamos @tona @shannanpruett57 @bship63 @eeklady @snoel @maryschaffler and others, so that they can share their experiences and insights which might help you.

You might also be interested in viewing these conversations on Connect, where @msb18 @christina315 @jelmo @woodsiechris @psepski and others are talking about similar symptoms related to the gallbladder:
– Post cholesectomy (gallbladder removal) chronic back pain https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/post-cholesectomy-gallbladder-removal-chronic-back-pain/
– Gallbladder surgery https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/gallbladder-surgery/

@cls2003, it’s not unusual to develop diarrhea following gallbladder surgery, but there is not a lot of clinical research showing a link between gallbladder removal and IBS. However, a condition called bile acid malabsorption (BAM) can cause chronic diarrhea. https://www.mayoclinic.org/medical-professionals/digestive-diseases/news/identifying-diarrhea-caused-by-bile-acid-malabsorption/mac-20430098

How are you managing your symptoms, @cls2003? Did you make significant changes to your diet?
@ryanrayna1, I cannot imagine how you go through your day with such crippling pain! Have you found anything that offers some relief?

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Bowl movement habits after gallbladder removal will change due to diet. How long has it been since the surgery? The closer to the surgery the more sensitive your digestive system will be.

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@ryanrayna1

It has been 7 years since my gall bladder surgery. Right under one of the incisions (lapriscopic) on my side I get horrible cramping when the muscle is strained in a certain position. When in a "crunch" position such as sitting on my office chair and having to bend down to pick up something that fell under my chair. Any kind of strain that would go beyond a regular situp for any sustained amount of time it feels like the muscles on that side, the closest muscle group name I could put a name to is the one in the title of this post, are twisting inside my body. The only relief I have once the flipping and twisting feeling has started (which is accompanied with extreme pain) is to straighten out as far as possible and stretch that muscle to the utmost, and even then, once the cramp has subsided, the muscle remains sore for days afterwards. I have spoken to my nurse practitioner (I am in the Canadian Military, we dont have regular doctors like they do in civi land. We dont have family doctors, we have nurses and then if you are deemed sick enough, you get to see a Medical Officer) about it and she thinks it is just scar tissue that attached to the muscle from the wall of the scar and there is nothing to do about it. I cant imagine living the rest of my life the way I have the last few years, terrified if I have to pick anything up, go to the bathroom, or have an orgasm (Yes, its happened then too, which adds yet another component of fear to it) that I'll be in crippling pain. Any help, or anyone who might be experiencing the same thing who might have some idea's would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for reading.

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@ryanrayna1 It could very well be an adhesion. It's a type of scar tissue that can attach organ to organ, organ to abdominal wall. My first one was found when my gallbladder was removed. It was sitting on top of the organ which had suffered acute attacks for 7 years before anyone realized what was wrong. That adhesion was removed, then the gallbladder. Six months later, I developed nauseating pain in my upper left abdominal quadrant. Test after test was run. Another adhesion formed (once you get one, you'll be prone to more any time trauma occurs, especially surgery). At times, it feels like a sharp knife, other times, like something is tearing. It can be palated because it's close to the surface. It presses on my stomach (the organ) and my diaphragm. Unfortunately, unless an adhesion is causing more than pain, it will be left alone. This is because, as of now, there is no technique or mechanism to prevent a new adhesion from forming. There is a powder that can be sprinkled which I believe forms a temporary layer meant to prevent an adhesion from forming but, the statistics the last time I looked weren't great. Early on, when I had my surgery, statistics regarding cholesectomy adverse events were very much lacking. Within the recent years, an updated, very detailed list was released.

Unfortunately, the only certain way to diagnose an adhesion is to open the body. That, of course, creates a possiblity of another adhesion occurring. Based on location, it can be felt. But in terms of scans (eg sonograms), not much is particularly useful.

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@ryanrayna1

It has been 7 years since my gall bladder surgery. Right under one of the incisions (lapriscopic) on my side I get horrible cramping when the muscle is strained in a certain position. When in a "crunch" position such as sitting on my office chair and having to bend down to pick up something that fell under my chair. Any kind of strain that would go beyond a regular situp for any sustained amount of time it feels like the muscles on that side, the closest muscle group name I could put a name to is the one in the title of this post, are twisting inside my body. The only relief I have once the flipping and twisting feeling has started (which is accompanied with extreme pain) is to straighten out as far as possible and stretch that muscle to the utmost, and even then, once the cramp has subsided, the muscle remains sore for days afterwards. I have spoken to my nurse practitioner (I am in the Canadian Military, we dont have regular doctors like they do in civi land. We dont have family doctors, we have nurses and then if you are deemed sick enough, you get to see a Medical Officer) about it and she thinks it is just scar tissue that attached to the muscle from the wall of the scar and there is nothing to do about it. I cant imagine living the rest of my life the way I have the last few years, terrified if I have to pick anything up, go to the bathroom, or have an orgasm (Yes, its happened then too, which adds yet another component of fear to it) that I'll be in crippling pain. Any help, or anyone who might be experiencing the same thing who might have some idea's would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for reading.

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LavenderRaven my gall bladder surgery was done 11 years ago and I have exactly the same symptoms as you. I couldn’t have explained the symptoms and remedy any better. I have seen my general doctor and he has no idea what it is. I’ve been dealing with this for the past two years and it is getting progressively worse. I’m afraid to even twist and bend down to put socks on. Once the twisting/cramping feeling starts, I have to almost knead the area like I’m pushing things back in place and stand up and stretch. And then yes, I’m sore for days afterward. I had my surgery done originally at the Mayo by Dr Kendrick who is a fabulous surgeon. My local docs have no other answers for me other than laparoscopic surgery. I did have an ultra sound performed and it was inconclusive. My doc did say it could be adhesions but surgery sometimes makes that worse as more adhesions can grow. I wish I had more answers for you. I find myself in the same quandary.

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