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Pain in Left Arm after eating

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My grandfather had open heart surgery about 4 months ago, and after his surgery he gets a sharp pain in his left arm but only after eating (depending on how much he eats determines on the severity of the pain), since his surgery we have hospitalized him once more because of fainting caused by the pain in his arm. The most recent time he was hospitalized which was in December 2009, the doctors ran a CT scan and found a mass in his left lung. We went to see a pulmonalogist yesterday and saw the x-ray confirming the mass in the lung, we are waiting an appointment for a needle biopsy, but I wanted to know if the pain in his arm and the fainting was related to the mass or could it be from the surgery? One of the doctors that we saw recently also told him that it could be due to a stomach ulcer...Please help me in trying to find out what is causing this pain after a meal.

Thank you
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replied January 18th, 2010
It is not possible for me to provide you with any specific diagnoses over the internet, unfortunately. If his tumor is in the upper part of his lung, however, then it could be affecting the nerves that travel to and from the arm, and could cause the pain you are describing. I am not able to imagine a scenario whereby a stomach ulcer would cause only isolated left arm pain. Finally, one needs to make sure that his left arm pain is not a symptom of inadequate blood supply to the heart (angina).

Sincerely/ Robert A. Wascher, MD, FACS

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