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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Epigastric pain going into back and shoulders, nausea, vomiting, rib cage pain. Had gall bladder removed. Any idea?

I had my gallbladder removed in May 2012 and I felt great afterwards. Now a few months later, I started getting severe epigastric pain that goes into my back and shoulder blades. It is so painful that it stops me in my tracks. It will usually last from 15 minutes to half an hour. I get this usually a few times a week. I feel nauseous when it is happening and sometimes vomiting makes it feel a bit better. I know I am about to get it as I usually feel a pain in my lower left ribcage or lower right ribcage before it happens. Any idea what this could be?
Mon, 3 Sep 2012
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hello c. Welcome to There are many causes of epigastric pain, but due to your symptoms, which appear to be similar to gallbladder-related pain, I am going to take this answer in that direction. If you had your gallbladder removed due to gallstones, there may be a retained gallstone that can cause symptoms that make you think you have a gallbladder again. This would be the first route that I would investigate if you were walking into my office with this complaint. I would advise that you need to talk to your physician and both of you need to decide further steps to be taken.

I want you to keep a journal of the foods eaten, the time of the attack related to food intake, record any foods that seem to make the attacks worse, and make note of any other associated symptoms like heartburn or diarrhea. Take this journal with you to your physician when you see them. I hope that this helps.

Be well, Dr. Kimberly
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