Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Bile Duct Disorders Forum

Bile leak after cholecystectomy (Page 2)


July 6th, 2010
Bile duct stone
ihad my gallbladder out 6 yrs ago,there was a stone in my bile duct, when they took the stone out it shattered, for the past 18 months i have been in agony taking 2 different pain killers and other medication , i had a scan at the start of the pain, the lady who did the ulrta sound said i had a stone in my bile duct, when i called my doctors for the result he said i didn't have a stone, but i did have an abnormality of the bile duct but it was to do with the shape, i had seen a consultant at the hospital twice, each time i asked him was it possible that when the stone in my bile duct had shattered could it regrow, he said it was possible but highly unlickely, it wasn't checked, on june 5th was taken 2 hospital by ambulance, was put on antibiotics and had a stone taken out of my bole duct on 10th june, i am so mad as i could'nt go out shopping on my own or go far from the house in the 18 months i had the pain,as i was sick most of the time, i had a bucket at the side of my bed all the time, i felt nobody wanted to help me get rid of the pain, i said to one of the doctors when i went to a + e many times when i had the pain that i would let them give me an injection and put me to sleep, he was horified that i was saying this, but i told him that you would do anything to get rid of the pain, the real bad pain is away now but i'm still getting mild pain on my right side, take it it's still inflamed. Joyce Ritchie,
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replied July 24th, 2010
post op gallbladder
I am 2 1/2 weeks post op. It was done laproscopic, was in the ER twice, the 2nd time admitted for a leak issue, I now have a tube coming out of me. They did put a stent in and while in there looked around and could not find any significant leaks. The stent didn't stop the drainage. I am 2 weeks 2nd surgery, the doc says he has never seen anyone leak this long. How long can something like this go on for?
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replied June 30th, 2012
bile leak
I leaked for 8 weeks and had four drains.
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replied August 10th, 2010
I had gallbladder surgery july26th I was released on july 27th I went back to my surgeon on the 28th. Because of severe pain. He pre admiited me to hospital next door. I had test done then a Ercp for a bile leak. and had a stent placement by a specialist through the hospital. I am having problems with nausea. and eating.. I go back to the hospital on sept 8th to have the stent removed. I did contac several attorneys and there statement was. Since there is no long term affect 'yet' there really isn't a law suit. I just pray that is horrble pain goes away after stint removal.. oh yeah and not to mention diarrea.
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replied August 10th, 2010
I had gallbladder surgery july26th I was released on july 27th I went back to my surgeon on the 28th. Because of severe pain. He pre admiited me to hospital next door. I had test done then a Ercp for a bile leak. and had a stent placement by a specialist through the hospital. I am having problems with nausea. and eating.. I go back to the hospital on sept 8th to have the stent removed. I did contac several attorneys and there statement was. Since there is no long term affect 'yet' there really isn't a law suit. I just pray that is horrble pain goes away after stint removal.. oh yeah and not to mention diarrea.
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replied August 13th, 2010
Poor Medical Treatment After Gallbladder Removal
I had my gallbladder removed March 2010. It took literally 7 years to diagnose the gallstones. I was actually relieved to hear them say something was wrong because I knew my body and hard such a hard time getting that diagnosed. Diagnosis was my a herbal healist... I recommend that for everyone.
Since the gallbladder removal I have been back to my surgeon, the er and urgent and my primary doctor complaining of pain, naseau, and discomfort atleast 5 times. (The same way I complained for years about the gallstones.) My belly button has a repugnant smell and yellow brown green discharge and I'm being told it's nothing. Tests given but results say "nothing" is wrong. (Like what happened with my gallstones before diagnosis) Ultrasound Monday.
No doctors will admit that there could've been a mistake done in surgery and I'm scared for my health and well being. It's been almost 6 months now and it's worse. I've done research and I'm worried of a bile leak or infection. Just today at the ER I was told to speak to a social worker, because they considered my lying or crazy. Worse part is I DO have a mental condition, and I believe they are using that as ammo against me.
I'm pursuing legal help, and I hope more than anything this pain I'm in is resolved... and wish the same for you all.
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replied August 22nd, 2010
I had the surgery june 26, 09. I immediately felt better. It took me a long time before i didnt feel sore after the surgery, almost 6 months. I felt so much better than having all the nausea and symptoms that come with a bad gallbladder, that i passed all the pain off as i had surgery. It has now been a year and i still have upper right pain, burning sensation under my rib and around to my back. it feels like its my kidney. I went to the PCP who referred me to a urologist, which did find i have a malrotated kidney but shouldnt cause pain. Ive submitted myself to an ivp test as well as xrays including a catheter of the bladder to rule out kidney problems. This past wednesday the doctor told me he was sorry but its not my kidneys causing my pain. I had lost all hope and was really depressed for 3 days. I found this forum and now feel better that i am not the only one with this problem. Good luck to everyone.
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replied September 7th, 2010
I had a lap chole on 7/15 and woke up from the anesthesia in excruciating pain. Unable to get my pain under control, instead of going home that afternoon, I was admitted to the hospital until 7/17. After being discharged still in pain, I went home. On 7/20 I was still in an extreme amount of pain, and was telling myself that it was only in my head, and that if I could just get out of bed and walk around, the pain would subside. After looking at my yellowing abdomen, my mother decided to call my surgeon who instructed us to go to the ER. In the ER we were informed, after an ultrasound, that there was fluid forming in my abdomen though they couldn't figure out where it was coming from. They scheduled me for an ERCP the following day and admitted me as an inpatient. Unfortunately the doctor who normally does these tests was not in town, so I would have to wait another day in order to have the test done. By this point, I had not eaten in 6 days, other than Jell-O. Upon waking up from the ERCP I was informed that I have too many ulcers in my stomach for the doctor to get the tube through to the bile duct. Our next step was to try an abdominal CT scan, which the oral prep caused elevated blood pressure and heart rate. The CT scan showed that indeed I did have a bile leak (as the ultrasound 2 days before had also stated) though they still could not tell where it was from. I was scheduled for a HIDA scan in nuclear medicine the following day. After the HIDA scan I received a call to my hospital room from my original surgeon who had been out of state at a conference. She stated that due to the amount of bile leaking into my abdomen, I would need to be transferred to a hospital in a different state where a specialist could take a look at me and surgically fix my leak. I was flown to another hospital the next morning where I sat around for 2 days until another ERCP could be performed. After that ERCP I was informed that the doctors were able to find the origin of the leak and cut a hole in the muscle next to it, hopefully giving it a chance to heal on its own without surgery, as a stent was not possible due to anatomical abnormalities. Another CT showed how much bile was in my abdomen (as the 35 lbs of weight gain and my yellow-protruding abdomen weren't evidence enough!). It was after the CT that I started having chest pains and had to be on a constant heart monitor and oxygen for the next 2 days. The day after the ERCP, a drain was placed in my lower abdomen, and 4L of fluid drained out of my abdomen in the first few hours. The drain stayed in for about 10 days, and was removed a few days after returning home. After 7 days in the hospital in another state, and 11 days total, I was released to go home. I spent the next two weeks at home attempting to get better. Two days after returning to work, I suddenly came down with uncontrollable vomiting and abdominal pain. I went to the ER where I was told I have diverticulitis and to take antibiotics. The antibiotics prescribed to me, I turned out to be allergic to so I was admitted to the hospital for another 5 days so I could get IV antibiotics while being monitored. I also have terrible veins and had had numerous problems with IVs while being in the hospital so a central line was placed in my upper arm. Thanks to the central line, I now have a DVT (blood clot) in my arm and have to give myself injections twice a day for the next 10 days. I am nearly 8 weeks post-op and still can't see a light at the end of the tunnel.
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replied September 20th, 2010
Bile leak story
I am 53 yrs old. About 4 1/2 years ago I had gallbladder surgery. I was sent home the next day and told everything was fine. About 4 days later all of a sudden I was in excutiating pain. My daughter rushed me to the hopital. They kept me there for 4 days and said they could find nothing wrong with me. I told the doctor that he couldnt send me home in this condition. I was extremely sick. He had even told one of the nurses that he thought I was faking it just to get pain meds. He said I should go home but I had the right to go to another hospital. So my daughter took me to the next town 30 miles away to the hospital. There they immediately knew what was wrong. I had a huge bile leak. I was told I was septic and if I had gone home I would have died. They did emergency surgery and removed almost 1 1/2 liters of bile. They placed a stent in the bile duct (which they later had to remove) and they placed a drain tube in my abdomen that drained into a bag. I had that for months. I was so sick that my urine was black and my stool was white. A sign that my liver had shut down. My right lung had collapsed. And bile had burned my organs. I stayed a number of days in the hopital and then went home. I was so sick that I was oblivious to visitors. I was in bed literally for 6 months. I didnt have the strength to watch TV or read for months. I didnt eat for a month. My 2 daughters quit school and their jobs to take care of me. Home health came in daily. I lost my restaurant business. I can work now but I sit at a desk. I have permanent damage to my right lung. I cant yawn or sneeze or breath deeply. It hurts all the time. I have developed an irregular heart beat that I take meds for. My heart doctor says that it is related to the bad lung. I also have developed inflammation of the sternum and ribs. Also in relation to the damaged lung. I have been told that cat scans show that my lung looks like it is filled with thick cobwebs. I tried to find a lawyer to take my case and couldnt. They said that if it was a visible injury like a leg or arm they would but you cant see a lung. One lawyer told me to come see him. I drove 5 hours just to have him tell me that everyone has aches and pains and to get over it. It has been the most frustrating experience of my life. I will never have surgery again unless I am dying. I am so sorry for all of you and hope that you regain your health and happiness.
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replied September 29th, 2010
Bile duct repair after Gall Bladder LAP
Had Lap gall bladder surgery back in 1994, was sent home in such pain and vomiting..My bile duct was cut and had to get it repaired ( which took 7 days of tests). I'm okay now but I did sue and won a decent amount. The way to sue is to contact an attorney in a big city ( I'm on long island and had to get an attorney in NYC). I should have gotten more of a settlement but they have "caps" here and the most i could have gotten was 175,000( I got a little less)..
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replied July 12th, 2011
how did you win your lawsuit?
Hello nylady1266

On what premise were you able to win the case? what did you have to prove?
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replied November 1st, 2010
My story
I had weight loss surgery in feb 2009 - and when i had a gallblatter attack last on Oct 21st I went to see my surgeon. He did a lap gallblatter removal but left a JP drain tube in. It now appears at a week out that I have a bile duct leak. The JP tube fills up fairly quickly. I go see him tomorrow but he told me the drain will stay in for a couple of weeks until the body heals itself. My pain has not been too bad and I am feeling normal (I just wanted to say this surgery is so much harder than my WLS surgery)
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replied December 15th, 2010
Gallbladder surgery
I had my Gallbaldder out on Nov 22nd, one week out I had a fever and they said I just had a viral thing sent me home now its 3 weeks out and I feel worse than I ever have I hurt all the time. I feel sick to my stomach all the time. I don't know what to do right now I havent sleep in 2 days can someone please help me?
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replied December 15th, 2010
I too had my gallbladder out LAP. in February this year and returned with a bile leak <48hrs later- a stent was put in and I went home 9 days later. I have had pain worse than b4 gallbladder surgery on and off since- now the pain is constant but all my blood tests have been "essentially" normal. I am so frustrated and feel so lousy- nauseous all the time, horrible abdominal pain that goes to my back and my sides-its awful. I am so frustrated I dont know where to go anymore-the ER thinks Im nuts and wants to blow me off everytime- good luck to u all-altho I feel awful and have empathy for you all, I am glad to c I am not the only one.

FoxyCat:go to the ER and make them at least do an ultrasound and some blood work- if there is a problem the longer u wait the worse it could be.U r the best judge and if u feel that poorly something has to be going on.good luck
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replied January 3rd, 2011
I had my gallbladder removed in 2000 due to seven stones. It took them six months to originally even diagnose the problem because I was "too skinny" to have a gallbladder issue. I came out of surgery with a drainage bag that I was told was emptying "toxins" from my liver. The drainage was black and green.
I was fine with my keyhole surgery and all pain and other symptoms had disappeared for only one week. By the time I went back to the surgeon to have my staples removed ( he stapled my keyhole incisions for some reason), I was in severe pain. He told me I had gastritis. Over the next ten YEARS, I was told I had everything under the sun pertaining to MENTAL illness which obviously was causing my intermittent attacks of severe upper right sided abdominal pain. I can't tell you how many times I was handed a script for Xanax or something of the like to "cure my anxieties about having something you don't".
Finally, in March of 2009, an attack hit that about killed me. I say finally because it took such a severe attack for the doctors to listen to me. I was not only vomiting, I was also vomiting and losing consciousness at the same time. By the time they got the report back on my labs, they admitted me. ( I was darn near in liver failure).
It turned out that when my gallbladder was removed, it was "crushed". The crushing caused a huge stenosis to form all up and down my common bile duct completely blocking it. To make problems worse, they found a papillary stenosis at the ampula of vater. The diagnosis was listed as Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction, Type 1 ( which is the type you want!!!) of the common bile duct. Type 1 can be "cured", so they said.
While my ERCP and bile duct reconstruction eliminated a majority of my attacks, I still have them. I know deep inside there is still something wrong.

I did want to point out a couple of things though for those of you who seem to be kind of wondering around in no diagnosis/no help land:
1.) If you consistently leaking, you are probably leaking from the cystic duct. This duct is clamped with a plastic or titanium clamp to cut and remove the gallbladder. If you keep leaking, that duct ( now a stump) NEEDS to be reclamped. Period. The cystic duct is connected to the common bile duct. If you are leaking bile, it is getting into your system EITHER through the cystic duct or the hepta duct which ALSO gets clamped. ( and yes, it IS the surgeon's fault).
2.) No two attorneys are alike. If you cannot find an attorney to take your case, move on. Go to a larger firm. If that doesn't work, go to a smaller firm. I would generally avoid back country attorneys and hit the cities as someone else said. Unfortunately, many attorneys and firms are now turning away from these types of suits as the damages are now "capped' in most states. For example, I live in Pa and I believe the cap is 100,000.00. So, generally--- it can take 10 years to actually be awarded 100,000.00 and then the attorneys get a 30-40% fee! If you don't live in a state that hasn't been capped yet, enjoy it while you can. If one attorney turns you away, try another. Find out the cap cost in your state. If you get a settlement for 90 grand and the cap is 100- take the settlement!
3.) NO TWO GASTOENTEROLOGISTS ARE THE SAME.
First, the doctor that took out your Gallbladder is probably a general surgeon, and not even a gastro doctor to begin with. Not only that, regular main stream gasto doctors are just that. It took me seven different gasto doctors to find one that specialized IN the liver and bile ducts before I got real help. (Unfortunately an attack hit so severe before he diagnosed me that it made the diagnoses for him- HOWEVER he already had said it was probably sphincter of oddi). You MUST find a doctor that specializes in bile duct issues. Try large hospitals and teaching universities- that is where I found mine. Likewise, if your pancreas is affected, find one that specializes in pancreatic AND bile duct disease. Use the internet. Don't call up random offices and ask as they will all tell you "of COURSE we can do this blah blah blah".
I spent ten years staying with local doctors here in my hometown. I went through SEVEN of them. When I got hospitalized, I come to find out that my county cannot even PERFORM an ercp because my local hospital didn't have the equipment for it! I just cannot stress to find a specialist. Lucky for me, my specialist is the head of his gastro department and also an ERCP specialist as well as liver and bile duct specialist. He knew his stuff and has worked hard to "cure me". I say cure loosely because I still have residual pain, but I will take six attacks in a year as compared to six attacks in six DAYS anytime.


And, generally- just don't mess with this. If you aren't getting the help you need, move on to a different doctor. I know how it feels to be told you are nuts- been there, done that. You aren't nuts.

I sent out letters to every single doctor that misdiagnosed me and called me crazy. I sued the pants off the surgeon that originally hurt me. And I won. I can thank him for the down payment on my new home.

Keep trying! its your health!
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Users who thank audarah for this post: denise18 

replied January 18th, 2012
Abdominal pain
I am in pa too. Had my gal bladder out by local doctor three years ago. Last year an attack sent me to er. I was told liver enzymes high possible liver disease. Went to upmc specialist. He said liver fine I had sphincter of oddi dysfunction. Had sphincteronemy. It's been a year and got another attack. So specialist ballooned that muscle 7 days ago.
Been in pain ever since. If I eat, I feel crampy bloated and just sick. Specialist wants a ct. Hoping I don't have a leak. But something is wrong.
Wonder if we have same doctors
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replied January 18th, 2011
On December 8,2010 my mom had an operation. She had to have over 2/3 of pancreas and spleen removed. After surgery her doctor said it wasn't cancer. We was so happy. They took her out of ICU, to another room in a few days. Within two days she was back in ICU, saying goodbye to everyone. The doctor at this time told us that it was cancer, but he got it all. We are so exhausted, because after her surgery, her surgeon said he cut her Common Bile Duct and nick her Portal Vein. He said he fix them both. She has been in the hospital since then, from being septic, infection in her stomach and her blood. She continues to get sicker. Now they tell us that she has this germ called Enterobactic My mother has always been very active. Now she is so sick. Can anyone tell me if she is going to get better. She has two drain tubes, TPN, a Picc Line.
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replied March 15th, 2011
All these stories are like something I would have composed myself. Exactly the same thing! Had lap surgery in June 09, discharged same day later, on Friday, by Monday afternoon I was in the worst pain of my life. Couldn't move, had to be taken to hospital by ambulance. Was told the bile duct had been nicked and would repair with stint, which was removed approx 8 wks later. To this day, I am suffering worse than EVER! Constant cramping, diarrhea, vomitting and the attacks are paralyzing, literally...I am unable to move for anywhere from thirty minutes to one hour. Had hemorraghic stroke in Sept 10 and I still haven't found anyone to help me! My BP has become uncontrollable, on seven different bp meds and an emergency bp med and my GI said "it is not possible to have a leak after the repair".......yet it is the exact same symptoms, just get relief after I become violently sick with the vomiting, diarrhea, profuse sweats, and paralysis of the legs and arms for several minutes up to one hour. If anyone has any suggestions to offer, please do so! I can never tell you how much it would be appreciated...............so tired of being sick and tired!
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User Profile
replied April 27th, 2011
Experienced User
OrangePoppy wrote:
Hello,
I'm wondering if I have a bile leak. I had my gallbladder removed in Jan 09. 3 days after the surgery, I felt intense burning on my right side and have been suffering ever since. Mosly, burning, gastritis, reflux feelings. Upper endoscopy in Apr showed mild gastritis and excessive bile in my stomach. Drs keep telling me I'm fine and I'm just ultra sensitive to pain. What???? Is burning a symptom of bile leak?
Thanks!


Reading you how you go on through the process of surgery and post surgery,i am so frightened now,even more than i use to be. I have a cholecistis stone, and i have no courage to go on laparoscopic surgery. Now reading this you are all saying...i don't know what should i do:(
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replied May 8th, 2011
Sounds just like me. Had lap chol on 4/29. Home the same day, everything was going great. Able to eat, moving around fine, then sudden horrific pain in my abdomin and upper right quad on 5/3. ERCP done with stint. Sent me home same day as ERCP. No advice on what to expect. What is normal, what isn't. I can barely eat. half an applesauce, just a little at a time or I cramp up. How long will that go on? Very Scared! Why can't they just give the info? I'll report back. Michele
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replied May 15th, 2011
I had my gall bladder removed and went home the next morning. 3 days later woke up feeling yuck with indigestion then the most horrid pain that I've ever experienced. I was clammy, hot, sweating and got my husband to get an ambulance. I felt I had a stone stuck and thought the hospital would sort me out straight away.
I had xrays and got moved to a ward on morphine which didn't touch the pain. I had an ultra scan and they decided I had constipation. I was given something to get rid of the constipation which stopped my guts working. At last the pain went away after a night running to the loo and on oramorph. told a dr in the middle of the night nothing was touching the pain. Anyway I got seen by some dr's who realised my bowel wasn't working and ordered a CT scan. Waiting from 9 am to 2 pm someone told my surgeon I was in. By this time I had given up and was waiting to die. I had pneumonia a large stomach and unable to wee. The surgeon came to see me and told me he would have me in surgery straight away. I had 5 days iv antiboitics and a drain in for 5 days. I was going to have a stent if the drain didn't work. The surgeon said he couldn't find the leak which I find hard to believe but I had a lot of bile poisoning me. I did make a quick recovery but I do wonder if treating me for constipation almost killed me. Now 3 weeks later I'm getting fed up that I still don't feel great. No energy etc and wonder if this is because I was so ill.
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replied June 6th, 2011
I also had the laproscopic gallbladder surgery 12 years ago.I have had symptoms off and on of nausea,pain,enormous bloating and yellow loose bowel motions with little warning.Trying to see what foods make it worse as dont want any more surgery as it is complicated Drs have said.No tests have shown anything abnormal but mild elevated liver tests.Dr wants me to have cholesterol meds with side effects the same.Pray for some breakthrough for all.
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replied October 15th, 2011
Pain and the brain's neuro pathways
It's interesting, I was in quite a bit of pain after my stent was implanted and it was very discouraging. Then one morning when my pain was particularly acute I began playing some music my wife and I loved. Hours later I noticed my pain had vanished. What!? It's true. Someone told me that pain and pleasure run along the same pathways to the brain---but they cannot coexist. It's one or another. That seems very true. I had been forcusing in fear on what I expected when I ate and so got what I expected. Then when my attention was diverted in joy it vanished. Give it a try. But whether it's the Beatles or Beethoven or something else make sure it's something you really love.
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