“Hi. I’m a 31-year-old female with continued pain five months after a laproscopic cholecystectomy. This is the deal…

After several years of increasingly severe and frequent attacks, a frantic trip to the emergency room resulted in the removal of my gallbladder in August 2007, at which time it was also discovered that I had pancreatitis second to the gallbladder trouble.

Following the surgery, the surgeons told me that my gallbladder was so inflamed it was — and I quote — “”almost comical.”” Apparently, once inside, it was much worse than the ultrasound had predicted; they told me that there were dozens of stones, all of which were amongst the largest they’d ever seen. To that end, they had to make the hole in my belly button larger in order to get everything out.

I was in the hospital for four nights (if you count the first night in the E.R., and three nights post-op) because they wanted to make sure my pancreatitis improved. Once home, I immediately came down with a sinus infection (poor timing, I know) and developed a horrible, unrelenting cough. At my two-week post surgical follow-up, I told the doctors that I was still having flank pain and, after examining me, they said they believed I’d developed a couple of hernias, probably due to the excessive coughing. They sent me home to rest, and told me to go to the E.R. if the pain or my symptoms got worse, otherwise they’d check back with me again in two more weeks.

In the interim, I went to see my primary physician about the cough and he, too, felt what he believed to be a hernia.

Two weeks later, I returned to the surgical clinic — still in pain — and was told that they no longer felt a hernia but that the lingering pain might be caused by adhesions which, according to them, can begin forming right after surgery. They scheduled me for a CT scan to rule out the hernia(s) and once again told me to come back — this time in four weeks.

Four weeks later, I returned — yes, STILL having pain — and was told that the CT scan showed nothing at all. However, they advised me that adhesions wouldn’t show up on a CT scan or MRI anyway. Their solution was to have me wait a bit longer (i.e. another month or two) to make sure the pain wasn’t simply due to the fact that I hadn’t healed completely from the surgery (even though two months had already elapsed at that point), since diagnosis of adhesions requires another surgery and should be a last resort.

Well, at my last visit, the doctors (whom, by the way, have never been the same people at any of my visits, as they’re a team that does rotations) told me that adhesions took a long time to form (which contradicted what their colleagues had told me) so it was unlikely to be that, and that they were basically washing their hands of me.

I’m so disgusted! Here it is, five months post-surgery and I’m still having major flank pain — yet I’m getting conflicting information, and dismissals. I’m not having signs of obstructions or anything like that — but I’m in pain almost all the time, and it’s getting worse. I don’t know what else to do. I would like to get a second opinion at another hospital, but I’m told that surgeons very rarely will agree to see other surgeons’ patients. If that’s so, then what’s next? I didn’t have this pain prior to my surgery and I want it gone.

The pain, incidentally, involves major tenderness, the sensation that something is getting “”caught”” when I bend, and a feeling of being poked very hard. The location of the pain is my right flank, including my rib area, and my sub-sternum, very near one of the incisions.

Anyway, does anyone have suggestions on what to do next?? I’m stuck. 🙁

Thanks in advance.”