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Developed pain under rib cage, back and shoulder. Should I visit ER?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 364 Questions
I've developed a bad pain in my upper stomach right under rib cage. It's radiating to my back and upper right shoulder. It's managable now but isn't getting any better. At what point do I go to hospital. My pcp is 1.5 hours away.
Mon, 11 Feb 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Enrique Molina 2 hours later
If the pain is not subsiding you should definitely seek medical attention. Your gallbladder and biliary tree need to be checked with either an ultrasound or other imaging study. Any emergency department can get this done. Also your pancreas could be inflammed ("acute pancreatitis"), or you may have a stomach ulcer. Also bloodwork can help to see if the liver enzymes and pancreatic enzymes are abnormal.
You are a female over 50 years old, therefore you are at high risk for gallbladder stones.
Hope that helped
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Follow-up: Developed pain under rib cage, back and shoulder. Should I visit ER? 1 minute later
I had my gallbladder out in 1991 so could it still be gallstones?
I'm wondering if I should go to ER tonight or if I can make it til tomorrow?
Answered by Dr. Enrique Molina 24 hours later
You could still have stones even if you have your gallbladder out, and you should definitely go to the emergency department for further evaluation. Better be safe than sorry.
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