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Question
Posted by: rich n | 2007/03/26

pain in my upper abdomen

Hi, three years ago, I was diagnosed with gallstones and it was recommended that I have my gallbladder removed. After much hesitations (due to nervousness of surgery), I finally had my gallbladder removed-I had no choice has it finally 'went bad' and in fact, the lab diagnosis indicated that it was developing gangrene and prior to my surgery, my white blood cell count had shot up to 23,000. This week marks 4 weeks since the surgery.

The problem I have now is that I on two occasions (last Sunday and yesterday), I developed a pain short in duration (20 minutes) after eating. The pain was in my upper abdomen and was intense enough to nearly take my breath away. I've had these pains in the past while I still had my gallbladder and wondered if they were in fact gallbladder attacks at the time because they weren't on my right side as other attacks had been. Once the pain goes away, it does so quickly, probably in 10 or 20 seconds time. As an aside to all this, last June, I had an upper endoscopic procedure and was diagnosed with acid reflux and the doctor in fact told me some of these attacks I was having could be cause by that. He prescribed omeprozole. From last June until my final gallbladder attack, I did not have any of these attacks. After my surgery, I had temporarily stopped taking that medication-I started up again last Monday after that Sunday's attack. I'm pretty certain that this is the cause of my current pains. But I just wanted to know what type of symptoms I might be experiencing if there was still a gallstone in one of my ducts. To be specific, the pain is up high, just under my chest bone and sometimes seems to spread to each side about 2 or 3 inches.

Thanks for your help

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberDoc

Dear Rich n
You probably won't have any stones in the ducts - they are normally cleaned out with the operation. I wonder if you are not getting esophageal spasms? Remember one can have more than one medical problem at the same time - It surely sounds like the gallbladder really needed removal!
See http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/esophageal-spasms/DS00763

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