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Heartburn, irregular bowl movement, constipated, gallbladder removed

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Gastroenterologist, Surgical
Practicing since : 1989
Answered : 883 Questions
Problem following Gall Bladder removal :

Born: July 12th 1950
Height: 6ft. 3 in
Weight: 154 lbs

I have always been energetic,and have a healthy diet.
My biggest failure was a lifetime of smoking cigarettes.Currently and for the past year, I have managed to limit my intake to three or four per day. Alcohol intake: Two glasses of wine (350cc) each evening with dinner.

In August 2007 I began to suffer a bad case of heartburn.
Over the course of the day,the problem became extremely severe,
and about midnight I collapsed. I was taken to the emergency department and tests revealed that my gall bladder had ruptured.

I was scheduled for surgery to remove the gall bladder. It was performed as open surgery in December 2007.

I appeared to recover but in February 2008, I was readmitted to hospital with a pneumothorax.
I recovered from this in two weeks.

Since then my health has gone downhill, the problems are with my digestive system.

My bowel movements are irregular, I am often constipated.

I feel ‘pressure’ in my bowels and sometimes moderate pain.
Energy levels are low and breathing very poor. I can walk only very short distances.
Late at night and on rising in the morning, my breathing is very bad.

I use a Ventolin inhaler.
I find it difficult to stand upright without some supporting structure, a table or chair.
I am unable to sleep in any position other than on my left side.
I get no exercise whatsoever.

I become unable to breathe if I attempt to sit back in an armchair.

Sitting upright at a table or desk is uncomfortable without using the table surface for support.
Without that support I feel a “weakness” in the chest muscles.

On rising most mornings, I suffer severe nasal discharge. It is always thin and colourless, but lasts for up to two hours. It also happens before and during a bowel movement.

Breathing also becomes particularly difficult before a bowel movement and is usually (but not always) relieved after.

Please feel free to ask for any further information.

Kindest wishes
Posted Thu, 12 Apr 2012 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Ketan Vagholkar 34 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.
From the description of your symptoms, it seems that you had developed perforation following gangrene of the gall bladder for which the gall bladder was removed. Removal of the gall bladder should not cause much of a disturbance as the intestines get acclimatized to the dilute bile coming into their lumen within a period of 6 months. But as you still have occasional bowel symptoms, I would like to suggest that you get an ultrasonography of the abdomen and a liver function profile.
The other symptoms that you have described are due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) caused by smoking cigarettes. That requires detailed evaluation from two specialists namely a chest physician or pulmonologist and a cardiologist. Both together will assess the cardio-respiratory reserves and advise treatment s o as to improve the other symptoms that you are having.
I hope I have answered your query. Please accept my query if you have no further questions.
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