gall bladder problems? or a twisted stomach?

SoonSkinnyDonna
on 11/22/09 8:38 pm - Dana Point, CA
 Hi everyone - long time no post - been super busy with getting new house together in Cabo - but my husband had a really bad attack of intense pain yesterday and we are trying to determine if it was gall bladder or else a twisted stomach?  He had his surgery 2 & 1/2 months ago and has been doing fine - down 60 pounds - but this thing really threw him - he woke up around 4:30 am after sleeping on his side and the pain continued until I convinced him to take a Vicodin I had left over from a skin cancer surgery.  The vicadin worked - he felt fine within 30 minutes and no recurrence.  He had his surgery in Mexicali with Dr. Aceves, and so he emailed them for advise....we were just there last week for followup blood work and a scan of his upper GI and everything seemed ok, so didn't know what it could be.....Dr. A's nurse said it could be a possible gall bladder problem, but if so, would it have gone away with just taking one vicadin?  If it is a bad gall bladder, will it show up sporadically?  Will it eventually need to be surgically removed?  Can it be done through the same little holes that were made for the VSG?

I remember reading on this forum awhile back about tall people having their stomachs get twisted since they are so long and skinny - anyone know about this or remember reading it?  I wonder if that was the problem since there wasn't any fever or anything - just a painful spot right where the stomach meets the intestine on his right side.  Don's 6'3 and has always been a big & tall guy....maybe the skinny long stomach got twisted while he slept on his side?  I know it sounds silly, but I did read about it happening to people on this site.....

Any and all feed back will be appreciated!  

BTW - I have continued to slowly lose - after hitting a stall for 2-3 months I am now down another ten pounds since June.  
 


SoonSkinnyDonna

HW 255 SW 240 CW 158
-- & lookin good! next goal - no flabby skin?
    
(deactivated member)
on 11/22/09 8:54 pm
VSG on 08/22/08 with
Donna,

It's been a long time since I've heard from you.

I can't speak to the twisted stomach/intestine, but I have had gallbladder removed.  I remember the pain so vividly.  It started in middle of stomach and radiated to my back for me but I read earlier on here about some people that had it lower.  Gallbladder pain can come and go.  IF there are gallstones, they can move and block the bile duct and that's what causes the pain usually.  It can be caused by certain foods.  First time I had an attack, I had eaten home made ham salad......

I don't think they actually go back in hte same openings for additional surgeries.  They would have started healing and would have more tissue around them, but gallbladder surgery, unless it's emergency surgery can be done lap also.

Good luck to you and your hubby.

Kat
SoonSkinnyDonna
on 11/24/09 8:06 am - Dana Point, CA
 Hi Kat - thanks for your response - good to hear from you as always - we are off to get the ultrasound test and see if he needs surgery - we were planning on driving down to Cabo - 3 day drive  through Baja - and leaving on Sunday...now I guess we will be sticking around and possibly getting surgery instead - and t hen maybe flying  down instead....plans are always shifting it  seems ...I am always trying to organize and plan things out but have learned to be able to adapt to change quickly - especially with anything concerning the house in Mexico or health matters!  Patience Patience....Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
SoonSkinnyDonna

HW 255 SW 240 CW 158
-- & lookin good! next goal - no flabby skin?
    
(deactivated member)
on 11/24/09 4:07 pm
VSG on 08/22/08 with

No fun at Thanksgiving...you have a house in Mexico??  So let us know what you all found out today.  Hope it was all good!

Kat

Mack
on 11/22/09 9:34 pm - Logan, OH
VSG on 07/16/09 with
I had my gall bladder removed via lap in 06 (well before my vsg). This is almost exactly what my symptoms were. I felt exactly like I had been run through with a sword from the front through to my back near the center of my stomach, just below my sternum and rib cage, and out through my backbone.

Had had a specialty high fat ice cream, and about 1 am one of the worst pains I had ever had. Went to the emergency room and they gave me a pain med, and did an ultrasound and saw the gallstones.

Was on a NO fat of any kind diet for a few days until surgery.  Fat causes the production of bile into the gall bladder and can trigger the attack.  Was able to get the surgery scheduled pretty quickly.  Lap surgery in to the hospital in the AM, and out that Afternoon. Similar recovery to VSG actually. Light meals and lots of walking for about a week. Same lifting restrictions.

Twisting is possible, but more likely in a revision. But I also had an uncle who had one of his intestines get twisted in his 50's too. The sleeve does make the stomach skinny like the intestines so I guess it is possible. 

But lots of people have gall bladder problems after VSG. That would be the #1 thing to make sure they check for.

Hope this helps - Mack

CAUTION: Make sure Brain is engaged before putting Mouth into gear!!

Starting Weight 354/  PreOP 335/  Current 249/  Goal 195

SoonSkinnyDonna
on 11/23/09 4:38 pm - Dana Point, CA
 Thanks Mack - we have an ultrasound & Dr;s appt scheduled for tomorrow morning....hope it doesn't need surgery, but if so...guess better to know about it and take care of it before it gets worse...
SoonSkinnyDonna

HW 255 SW 240 CW 158
-- & lookin good! next goal - no flabby skin?
    
KissTheSky
on 11/22/09 9:42 pm - Narara, Australia
VSG on 04/15/09 with
a couple of things...... yes, if it were a gall bladder problem, thhe meds would elp. They often fail after wls so it's not uncommon...usually caused when diseased or a stone gets lodged in the bile duct... bit ouchy but passes.

If it were a twisted tummy, he would not be able to get anyting down...so no vicdin down go down....

sounds like gall bladder and it's not a big drama..... my sis lost hers, and mine rumbles like your husband from time to time....usually triggered by fattier foods.....

Mine is ok for now..it just rumbles sometimes but settles with some pain relief... if it gets worse then it will be bye bye gall bladder.... no big deal.


sassyscorpio
on 11/22/09 11:54 pm, edited 11/22/09 11:54 pm
VSG on 04/29/09 with
I just had my gall bladder removed last Wed. I kept ignoring the symptoms thinking it would just go away. Last Mon. I was in so much pain I could not ignore it. It turns out I got pancreatitis from not having my gall bladder removed when it needed to be. I had to sit in the hospital  and wait for my pancreas to calm down. I am sure this ended up costing me extra money cause I have lousy insurance.  All day Tuesday I felt fine but could not have the surgery I needed because my pancreas was resting.

My labs came back and showed I could have surgery Wed. and I got out of the hospital on Thursday.

Tell your husband to go and have an ultra sound and see if it's his gall bladder. It's very common for people who have had WLS to need their gall bladder out later.

SoonSkinnyDonna
on 11/23/09 4:49 pm - Dana Point, CA
 Sorry you had to go through all that - pancreas problems sound awful...did you have high fever with it?  It seems like you should try and live with the gall bladder for awhile to see if it clears up on its own rather than running to surgery first thing....but hearing your story makes me think twice about that....we do have an appt for tomorrow morning for the ultrasound & will see what the doc says then....it's always something!!!  
SoonSkinnyDonna

HW 255 SW 240 CW 158
-- & lookin good! next goal - no flabby skin?
    
SoonSkinnyDonna
on 11/23/09 4:40 pm - Dana Point, CA
 thanks for the reply - interesting that yours was just a bit ouchy and others say it's the worst pain ever....going to get ultrasound test w/dr tomorrow & will see what he says  then ....hate to do surgery if can be avoided without further problems

SoonSkinnyDonna

HW 255 SW 240 CW 158
-- & lookin good! next goal - no flabby skin?
    
OldMedic
on 11/23/09 7:28 am - Alvaton, KY
To put it mildly, it would be extremely unusual for a stomach to twist that far post-op.

Has your husband not been on actigall?  All wls patients that still have their gall bladders should be on it for at least the first 6 months.  Any surgeon that does NOT prescribe it for their patients is really playing with fire.



A former Army Medic (1959-1969), Registered Nurse (1969-2000), College Instructor (1984-1989) and a retired Rehabilitation Counselor.  I am also a dual citizen of the USA and Canada.

High Weight 412 lbs.                    Date of Surgery 360.5                                 Present  170 lbs   

        
SoonSkinnyDonna
on 11/23/09 4:41 pm - Dana Point, CA
 He was not prescribed actigall...just nexium for six months.....
SoonSkinnyDonna

HW 255 SW 240 CW 158
-- & lookin good! next goal - no flabby skin?
    
misseye
on 11/23/09 7:41 am
you really ought not to give someone visodin for stomach trouble.  It can mask pain, so unless it is given by a doctor who is comfortable doing so, its really a bad idea.  On top of that, vicodin can make gall bladder pain much worse. 

The pain could be gas even.  Really should see a doc
Missy




SoonSkinnyDonna
on 11/23/09 4:45 pm - Dana Point, CA
 hmmm - both the Mexican surgeon and the local PCP said it was good to have the pain med available for him and if it happened again to give it to him again.  He just took one and hasn't needed it since...but I understand what you mean about not masking something serious - we are scheduled for ultrasound with PCP in the morning....I kept saying probably gas, but evidently he thought it was much more severe than that....thanks for your input!
SoonSkinnyDonna

HW 255 SW 240 CW 158
-- & lookin good! next goal - no flabby skin?
    
sassyscorpio
on 11/23/09 5:12 pm, edited 11/23/09 5:12 pm
VSG on 04/29/09 with
Apparenty you did not read my post.
 
I tried to ignore the symtoms instead of running to have surgery. That is what messed up my pancreas. After my pancreas was back to normal, I had my  gall bladder out. The surgeon said  it  was really infected and I should have had it out long ago instead of trying to go without  surgery.
SoonSkinnyDonna
on 11/23/09 5:37 pm - Dana Point, CA
 hi - I got it and understand - just hard to decide to have surgery if there is a chance of it going away...guess we will see what the test shows tomorrow.
SoonSkinnyDonna

HW 255 SW 240 CW 158
-- & lookin good! next goal - no flabby skin?
    
misseye
on 11/23/09 6:29 pm
a real doctor supported self treating belly pain with narcotics prescribed for other uses.  Thats alarming...highly alarming...
Missy




misseye
on 11/23/09 6:34 pm
I'm sorry, but I am shocked.  Its nursing 101...medschool 101.  I have several times been in the HOSPITAL ER with belly pain and not once have they treated it with narcotics.  I was even scheduled for a emergency gall bladder op and had to suffer with the pain until the gall bladder was out.

My husband is a physician and I had to run this past him.  He said :there is no conceivable situation where you would do that".  He reiterated that you would just never do that, not in the ER, not EMS...and never sugest it for home.
Missy




SoonSkinnyDonna
on 11/24/09 7:56 am - Dana Point, CA
 Well they didn't prescribe it originally - we just told them that that's what we had done and it worked - they said get the ultrasound done with your local PCP but did say if needed in the meantime to go ahead and take the vicodin again....I am surprised you were not given anything for your intense pain in the ER when you went in - especially if they already knew it was a bad gall bladder and were not trying to isolate the problem - that seems almost diabolic....I think the medical community in Mexico is more lenient with pain reduction than in the US - anyhow - I really appreciate your concerns and feedback .  We are seeing the PCP this morning and doing the ultrasound - husband is nervous about getting another surgery but will do whatever is recommended.
SoonSkinnyDonna

HW 255 SW 240 CW 158
-- & lookin good! next goal - no flabby skin?
    
TeriJ
on 11/24/09 10:26 am
How did the ultrasound go?