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Abdominal Pain where the pain pre-surgery was

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I am a 28 year old female who exercises regularly, eats healthy foods and runs half marathons. Eight months ago I developed appendicitis and had an emergency surgery. After recovering I began having right side pain again and thought it was complications from the surgery. It turned out to be a nonfunctioning gallbladder. I had that removed also. Now I am three months out from the surgery and having pain still. My right side hurts almost constantly and the pain at times is pinpointed right where the pain pre-surgery was, then other times radiates to my lower back. Diarrhea is a daily occurrence. At times it feels like my intestines are contracting, this is very painful. Other times they just feel achy, like they have been beaten. My stool and urine have been checked, both are fine. Any ideas or suggestions?

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replied January 6th, 2012
Abdominal Pain Answer A30083
Hi, and thanks for your medical question on eHealth forum!

Since you have a past history abdominal surgery, then the pain can be due to adhesions. Adhesion related disorders have varied symptoms. Almost everyone who undergoes abdominal surgery develops adhesions, however, the risk is greater after operations on the lower abdomen and pelvis. The pain due to adhesions can be a dull ache, a shooting pain, a pain as though your intestines are being pulled out or a pain that appears to rip the abdomen apart. The type of pain that develops depends on the degree of adhesions and the internal organs that are feeling the pull of these adhesions. The adhesions cannot be diagnosed by any tests or imaging. Only diagnosis is by laproscopy and treatment is cutting the adhesions. Scar tissues can also result in adhesions. However absence of scar tissue does not mean that there are no adhesions. However these adhesions recur and cutting the adhesions can cause more adhesions to form. Hence a judicious decision is required regarding the approach to be taken. Certain herbs and mucolytic enzymes have been tried with variable success rates for this.

The other possibilities include IBS or spastic colon, Celiac Disease/Ulcerative Colitis/ Crohn’s disease, H pylori infection, diabetes, food intolerance, malabsorption syndromes, and chronic gut obstruction. Since a confirmed diagnosis cannot be given on net please consult your surgeon/PCP regarding this. Hope this helps. Take care!

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