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Bloating in abdomen and pain under ribs

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I am a 50 year old female and have been experiencing bloating in my abdomen and pain under my ribs on the right side. The pain usually occurs approximately one hour after eating and continues for hours and sometimes never goes away. This pain has been going on for at least a month if not longer and has gotten increasingly worse. I have had an ultrasound and hidascan of the gallbladder and both test have come back normal, with the exception that I have small polyps that have formed in the gallbladder. I am very frustrated as my pain does not seem to go away. The pain is also worse at night and while sitting. I have not lost any weight, in fact I have been trying to diet and only seem to maintain the same weight. My bowel movements have sporadic and lately have been very small and barely once per day. Please help and I am in a lot of pain and not getting anywhere with the tests.


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replied April 19th, 2010
Gallbladder Disease Answer A11346
Hi, welcome to the ehealth forum and I am glad to help you.
You seem concerned by the pain under the ribs on right side starting one hour after meals and continuing for hours. You have also made a mention of gall bladder polyps.
It is commonly known that women who have had children and those who are pregnant are prone to gall stones. Gall bladder polyps, however, are less widely known.
Not to confuse polyps with stones-- a polyp is a growth protruding from the lining of the gall bladder and is also referred to as a "tumor." These polyps may be cancerous, but usually are benign.
Gall bladder polyps that are less than one centimeter are most often benign, that is not cancerous. Malignant (or cancerous) polyps of the gall bladder are much more likely to be larger than one centimeter. Noncancerous polyps usually require no treatment. I often suggest follow-up examinations in the case of such likely noncancerous, smaller polyps in order to evaluate the gall bladder for changes that could be an indication of cancer. These follow-ups are generally done with the use of ultrasound.
The odds are much greater that the gall bladder polyps larger than one centimeter are cancerous, and in such cases, usually recommended course is the surgical removal of the gall bladder-the medical term for which is cholecystectomy. The likelihood of cancer increases with the size of the polyp. A cholecystectomy is also indicated in cases where both gall stones and polyps are present. The presence of both polyps and stones in the gall bladder signals a greater risk for cancer.
It is rare that polyps in the gall bladder lead to symptoms. In cases where a patient with polyps does manifest symptoms such as abdominal pain, this usually leads to their discovery by ultrasound examination. The patient with his physician must make a treatment decision. Because it is not possible to discern which type of polyps are present without surgery and if pain is also present surgery is usually advised which can be open or laparoscopic according to individual patient profile.
The other possibility in your case could be a peptic ulcer especially duodenal ulcer because the pain that you have described can be due to that as well. You should consider the option of upper GI endoscopy with your doctor for the diagnosis and you may need more than prilosec for the same and some change in lifestyle as well. Gall bladder polyps rarely are symptomatic. That is why the chance of pain being due to ulcer is strong.
Hope this helps. Take care.
Note: This post is not to emphasise final diagnosis as the same cannot be made online and is aimed just to provide medical information and no treatment suggested above be taken without face to face consultation with health care professional.




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