I was fine with my keyhole surgery and all pain and other symptoms had disappeared for only one week. By the time I went back to the surgeon to have my staples removed ( he stapled my keyhole incisions for some reason), I was in severe pain. He told me I had gastritis. Over the next ten YEARS, I was told I had everything under the sun pertaining to MENTAL illness which obviously was causing my intermittent attacks of severe upper right sided abdominal pain. I can’t tell you how many times I was handed a script for Xanax or something of the like to “”cure my anxieties about having something you don’t””.
Finally, in March of 2009, an attack hit that about killed me. I say finally because it took such a severe attack for the doctors to listen to me. I was not only vomiting, I was also vomiting and losing consciousness at the same time. By the time they got the report back on my labs, they admitted me. ( I was darn near in liver failure).
It turned out that when my gallbladder was removed, it was “”crushed””. The crushing caused a huge stenosis to form all up and down my common bile duct completely blocking it. To make problems worse, they found a papillary stenosis at the ampula of vater. The diagnosis was listed as Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction, Type 1 ( which is the type you want!!!) of the common bile duct. Type 1 can be “”cured””, so they said.
While my ERCP and bile duct reconstruction eliminated a majority of my attacks, I still have them. I know deep inside there is still something wrong.
I did want to point out a couple of things though for those of you who seem to be kind of wondering around in no diagnosis/no help land:
1.) If you consistently leaking, you are probably leaking from the cystic duct. This duct is clamped with a plastic or titanium clamp to cut and remove the gallbladder. If you keep leaking, that duct ( now a stump) NEEDS to be reclamped. Period. The cystic duct is connected to the common bile duct. If you are leaking bile, it is getting into your system EITHER through the cystic duct or the hepta duct which ALSO gets clamped. ( and yes, it IS the surgeon’s fault).
2.) No two attorneys are alike. If you cannot find an attorney to take your case, move on. Go to a larger firm. If that doesn’t work, go to a smaller firm. I would generally avoid back country attorneys and hit the cities as someone else said. Unfortunately, many attorneys and firms are now turning away from these types of suits as the damages are now “”capped’ in most states. For example, I live in Pa and I believe the cap is 100,000.00. So, generally— it can take 10 years to actually be awarded 100,000.00 and then the attorneys get a 30-40% fee! If you don’t live in a state that hasn’t been capped yet, enjoy it while you can. If one attorney turns you away, try another. Find out the cap cost in your state. If you get a settlement for 90 grand and the cap is 100- take the settlement!
3.) NO TWO GASTOENTEROLOGISTS ARE THE SAME.
First, the doctor that took out your Gallbladder is probably a general surgeon, and not even a gastro doctor to begin with. Not only that, regular main stream gasto doctors are just that. It took me seven different gasto doctors to find one that specialized IN the liver and bile ducts before I got real help. (Unfortunately an attack hit so severe before he diagnosed me that it made the diagnoses for him- HOWEVER he already had said it was probably sphincter of oddi). You MUST find a doctor that specializes in bile duct issues. Try large hospitals and teaching universities- that is where I found mine. Likewise, if your pancreas is affected, find one that specializes in pancreatic AND bile duct disease. Use the internet. Don’t call up random offices and ask as they will all tell you “”of COURSE we can do this blah blah blah””.
I spent ten years staying with local doctors here in my hometown. I went through SEVEN of them. When I got hospitalized, I come to find out that my county cannot even PERFORM an ercp because my local hospital didn’t have the equipment for it! I just cannot stress to find a specialist. Lucky for me, my specialist is the head of his gastro department and also an ERCP specialist as well as liver and bile duct specialist. He knew his stuff and has worked hard to “”cure me””. I say cure loosely because I still have residual pain, but I will take six attacks in a year as compared to six attacks in six DAYS anytime.
And, generally- just don’t mess with this. If you aren’t getting the help you need, move on to a different doctor. I know how it feels to be told you are nuts- been there, done that. You aren’t nuts.
I sent out letters to every single doctor that misdiagnosed me and called me crazy. I sued the pants off the surgeon that originally hurt me. And I won. I can thank him for the down payment on my new home.
Keep trying! its your health!”