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Chronic pain in left side post 7 years after MGB



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I'm having chronic pain in my left side since 6 years after my MGB surgery; especially when I lay down in any position, back or side. I have to sleep sitting up. The pain is located from just to the left and above my navel, to the far left side of my abdomen, to under my left side rib cage. The pain can become very severe and can radiate to my chest, back and has shot pain suddenly into my left collar bone area. It feels like it's stabbing or burning or like a really bad runner's cramp. It's been intermittent for over a year. I've seen my MGB Dr. and he says it's not due to my surgery, but I've also seen 2 gastroenterologists and they suspect it is. I've had several tests including CTscans, endoscopy, abdominal and pelvic ultrasound, upper GI, colonoscopy and a cancer screening. Everything has come back "normal". The Dr's can't find the cause. I had an unrelated female surgery recently and the general surgeon inspected all organs and the bowel and did not find any masses. It is just pain, no other symptoms meaning I'm never sick. Until now I've never had a complication from my surgery and have been very happy with the results. Has anyone else had anything like this on your left side years after MGB surgery? Help please! I'm desperate to find an answer. Thx!!

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Off hand I would tend to agree with the doctors. Since you are 7 years out, I would have a hard time believing that a symptom would show up suddenly after 7 years.

I consulted my hospital discharge papers for symptoms that require contacting the surgeon after surgery. One symptom struck me as possible relevant. This was:

New onset of upper back or left shoulder pain.

You indicated that "The pain can become very severe and can radiate to my chest, back and has shot pain suddenly into my left collar bone area." Which is similar to the hospital discharge directions.

The reason why these symptoms are important is because they can be caused by blood clots and blood clots can turn very deadly. Now it seems like you mentioned that you had several surgeries. If any of these surgeries were recent, I think it might be important to let that surgeon know you are experiencing these symptoms.

These pains can also be associated with heart attacks. Angina is discomfort or pain felt when the heart is getting less oxygen than it needs. Along with left arm pain, symptoms might occur in the shoulders, neck, back, or jaw. Angina is not a heart attack, but a sign of a heartproblem. Mostly, it results from the coronary arteries being clogged or narrowed.

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Have you tired other things. Just curious if you asked for a referral to see a physical therapist to rule our a pinched nerve from your back or rib cage. I would suggest keeping a journal to see what you do to make the pain come on. Is it after eating, 1 hour after eating. Can you make it hurt in certain positions consistently? Any pins an needles, that would indicate a nerve issue?

Do you have a blood pressure cuff to see if your pressure is high during the pain? Can you maybe see a cardiologist to rule out heart issues. They may put you on a home monitor to see if your heart beat is off. I too would guess gastro stuff but if they can't find anything maybe look at other body systems.

Good luck

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I had the MGB in 2008. About 2 years after my surgery, I started having the same pain you are describing. My dr said probably an ulcer. I thought the pain was too intense for an ulcer but took some meds and figured I just had to live with it. I've had these very painful episodes for 9 years. This last Oct I had an episode that got so bad I was sobbing and curled up in a ball. My husband insisted on taking me to the ER. It ended up that I had an internal hernia (my small bowel had worked its way through a loop that was formed during the MGB) with small bowel obstruction. If my husband hadn't insisted on taking me in, I would have died. The surgeon who did the emergency surgery said I had likely had the internal hernia all those years but it hadn't turned into an obstruction until this episode when it twisted 360°. I have done a lot of research since Oct and the symptoms that I had been having all those years (and that you are having) are indicitive of an internal hernia. This is extremely serious and life threatening. I was VERY lucky to get through it without any of my bowel dying. I was however left with a horribly deformed stomache from the surgery and I'm very sick now. I now have chronic diarrhea that won't go away. I am no longer digesting any food and I've lost 25 lbs that I didn't need to lose. In my research I found out that these internal hernias are difficult to detect in gastric bypass patients and often are only found through exploratory surgery (they couldn't tell what was wrong with me till they opened me up). I hope this information is helpful and that you will have this checked asap!

Edited by Solope

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