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Have severe stomach pain radiating through chest and arm pit. Should I go to ER?

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General Surgeon
Practicing since : 2008
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Severe stomach pain for 4 - 5 days, went to ER they checked by gallbladder, kidneys etc with ultrasound - sent me hmoe with pain meds and have an endoscopy? on Thursday. In the meantime the pain is worse and now radiates through my checst and arm pits. Can't decide whether to go back to the ER or try to hang until Thursday. Any thoughts?
Posted Mon, 25 Nov 2013 in Abdominal Pain
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 20 minutes later
Brief Answer: Detailed below. Detailed Answer: Hello! Thank you for the query. It all depends if the pain is caused by stomach or not. Upper abdominal pain, chest pain radiating to left armpit or jaw can be caused by heart issue and does not have to be related to stomach problem. With heart problem, the pain is usually squeezing or burning like. Shortness of breath and dizziness can be present as well. Stomach pain does not cause any squeezing or breathing problems, does not radiate to the arm. It rather causes nausea and vomiting. In some cases upper middle abdominal pain radiating to the back is also caused by pancreas inflammation. With this condition abdomen gets hard and painful. Vomiting is almost always present. In case of heart issue or pancreas inflammation you should visit ER. If you are certain that this is more stomach, no ER visit is necessary. You may try to ease the pain with hot bath, warm tea. Please avoid most of the foods, especially fatty foods, spicy foods, alcohol and coffee until the gastroscopy. Hope this will help. Feel free to ask further questions. Regards.
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Follow-up: Have severe stomach pain radiating through chest and arm pit. Should I go to ER? 4 minutes later
the pain is ever present in the upper stomach area but the severity and radiating comes and goes. Does that lend to one option rather than another?
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 4 minutes later
Brief Answer: Detailed below. Detailed Answer: This sounds like a stomach issue for 90%. Especially if blood work and abdominal ultrasound hasnt revealed any other problem. This is quite common and only endoscopy can find the reason. So if no shortness of breath and squeezing in the heart area, stomach issue (peptic ulcer most likely) is the reason. Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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