Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Stomach, Ulcers, Gastric Bypass Forum

Sporatic Abdominal Spasms 4 Years Post Gastric Bypass

I have been plagued with spasms which have no pattern, no food triggers, and no commonalities that can be identified. The spasms last 5 - 7 minutes and the pain is a 9 on a scale of 1- 10. It is so intense that I am doubled over and can barely breathe. The pain is almost intolerable and I have been rushed to the hospital by ambulance from my place of employment due to the pain. I have had an endoscopy, a colonoscopy, a CT scan, and 2 surgeries since the gastric bypass (one for a hernia and one for scar tissue) in hopes of relieving this pain, but nothing has worked. My gastric bypass surgeon is at a loss to explain this and therefore knows of nothing else to do to help me. I am posting this to see if anyone else is suffering from this or knows what could be causing this. Please help...
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First Helper tsesso
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replied September 28th, 2007
Re: Sporatic Abdominal Spasms 4 Years Post Gastric Bypass
anyone tested your gall bladder function? I've experienced similar pain and once it was gall bladder and the second was a hernia.
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replied January 8th, 2012
Abdominal spasms after gastric bypass surgery since 2004
I had gastric bypass surgery in 2004. I have the same type of sporatic spasms upon moving suddenly or trying to bend over to pick up something or tie my shoelace..

Also if I stretch my upper torso this will happen... It can be debilitating. I just live with it...
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Users who thank spasm123 for this post: Wearingwell67 

replied November 15th, 2016
I am experiencing the same thing! It usually happens when I'm doing crunch-type or sit up type exercises, but also have had it happen when I bent over or just got up from a sitting position on the floor; also happened a couple times when I was trying to get something out of a lower cabinet from a kneeling position. It is so scary! if you have found any answers, I'd love to hear!
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replied June 30th, 2008
Severe Upper Abdominal Pain
I am having severe upper abdominal pain. I assume that it is constipation because I get pain in my shoulder as well, which I have always been told is where gas will settle. I had my gall bladder removed 10 years ago, my appendix removed 10 years ago and I had gastric by-pass surgery almost 2 years ago.

About 2 weeks ago, while eating out I started having severe abdominal pain. The only way to explain it was comparing it to the pain I felt when I had my first gall stone attack. But, it can't be that... my gall bladder is gone. The pain weakened and went away within a few hours. I just assumed that it was constipation because a few days later I experienced the same thing while eating some baked pasta. I figured it was the cheese in my diet. I love cheese and eat a lot of it. Constipation also runs in the family so I figured I just needed to back off a bit. With that said, the pain subsided and all was fine. Then, this morning I woke up fine, brushed my teeth and went to get into the shower when I felt like I was hit by a freight train. I began to have the same pain in my upper stomach (above my navel and under my breast bone) and I continued with my routine, expecting the pain to subside within an hour or two. The pain did not subside, in fact, it has progressively gotten worse. I went to the store and got a fast acting (15 minute-1 hour) suppository. I did have a bowel movement within about 20 minutes but it wasn't much and it did not relieve any of the pain in my upper abdomen. My mom said that if it is my upper bowels a suppository might not be the answer. So, I have since taken 2 laxatives, a Gas-X and I am waiting for these to kick in. Of course, these can take time. I am sure it will hit sometime in the middle of the night. I am in tremendous pain, it's hard to stand up straight and even get around for that matter. I worried that I might have bowel obstruction but everything I've read says that I would not have had the BM from the suppository if I actually had an obstruction. It is worrying me because I consider myself realtively healthy and I am very active. I have not been confined to the house or bed in years. Has anyone out there experienced anything like this? Is it indeed constipation or gas? Any suggestions or remedies to assist in feeling better? My husband and myself are self employed so we don't have insurance. I try to do everything I can before going to the doc... it's so expensive! HELP!
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Users who thank jmeramsey for this post: ivelisse777 

replied February 23rd, 2012
I have very similar spasms and have taken Miralax twice a day for 4 days, along with my daily 2 packets of Benefiber and stool softeners. Last night I added 4 ounces of magnesium Citrate (which my mom said works well within 4 hours), here I am the next day and still no relief. What did the doctors tell you was causing the spasms?
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replied July 15th, 2008
constipation after gastric bypass
I too, have had problems with my gb. I, unfortunetly, had a crappy surgeon, who botched my surgery (left one end of the bowel unconnected). I had a massive leak, obviously, and needed repair. He refused to do a CT or even any labs. Finally, on the 5th post-op day, another Dr orders a CT and I am so sick that I coded in the scanner! I ended up in a coma for almost 3 mos and on life support. I had so much infection and went into multiple system failures. I almost died several times. My family ended up firing the gb dr. and finally I started getting better. After months and many surgeries, I went home. I have had a total of 38 surgeries and surgical procedures since original gb in Jan 2003. I have been the healthiest ever in the last year. And no surgeries in that time. Since then I have started seeing a new gb dr for follow-up. With all of my complications, no one wanted anything to do with me!

Anyway, back on the topic, constipation. This dr has a protocol that he likes all of his gb patients to follow. I will get it and post it on here tomorrow. He swears by it.
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replied July 31st, 2008
abdomanal pain 4 years post gastric bypass
I have the same symtoms dont have gallbladder not that .I am convinced some pain due to gas but gas pills do not solve issue completly. The crazy thing is theres no common trigger you can figure out have tried enzymes and charcoal some relief but not complete.Have had upper/lower GI all clear some gas showed up and drained slower than normal but no ulcers or blockage. I also take softeners daily now which im sure isnt good but it helps. This is not a problem I ever had before gastric bypass however I would still recommend the GB to anyone. After tooth infection and round of antibiotics was pain free for month . I am starting to think it is more a case of bacteria in intestines causing excessive gas and pain than food allergies that being said how to fix it for good is a mystery to me.
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replied November 5th, 2009
Well, thank goodness I'm not the only one. Had my gastric bypass in 2001. I've had this 'mystery' pain for four years now. No known triggers, seems to come in clusters, happens for a couple of weeks then don't have another one for months. No gallbladder, had a Upper and Lower endoscopy, CT scan, can't figure it out. And these babies HURT!! Typically don't last for more than 20-30 minutes, but one lasted for over an hour and I almost passed out in the E.R. waiting room. Would love to find out what they are.
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replied November 12th, 2009
hi there i had my gb about 6 months ago and have lost 8 stone now but about 3 months post op i started getting horrendous pain in my upper stomach i was given all sorts of medication including morphine to help which didnt it ended up with me contemplating suicide because the pain was so bad and i couldnt function at all and my doctor put alot of the pain down to m.e c.f.s saying im hypersensitive to pain and brushed it off flipantly which left me in despair my body was telling me something was wrong my post op pain was really minimal but this pain was screaming at me well im off to see my surgeon soon for a follow up apointment and shall seek help from him but one thing i have noticed because i no longer feel hunger i dont eat alot which sounds cool but no its not because ive noticed the pain goes after eating for a short period untill the stomach has passed the food and empty again the pain starts again now the way i see it i can manage this ok but it kind of goes against the ethos of this surgery as im meant to restrict my intake of food it sounds crazy but when my upper digestion is empty it folds flat causing pain also the waistband of my trousers causes pain when worn over my apron of loose skin but when worn below the bulk of excess skin it helps also but am still having pain but not as severe maybe im reading too much into this and sometimes feel im going mad at times because is it down to the m.e c.f.s im no doctor so have no magic answers but hope my life improves as ive had this op to improve my quality of life not to live in pain please let me know your experiences i really hope my findings help someone and wish you guys all the best i think its better to pool our info and compare as sometimes the doctors and surgeons dont have the answer
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replied November 28th, 2009
upper abdominal pain, vomitting, wrenching, takes breath away
Hello I just wanted to tell my story as well and hopefully we all might get some ideas as to how to help each other either figure out ideas to talk to our doctors about or to just lend support. I had Gastric Bypass RNY Nov. 24, 2007 a surgery that was suppose to last 2 1/2 hours turned into 5 3/4 hours. The reason well they did my surgery laperscopiclly however as they were taking me out of the OR I began to crash my color was bad and they didn't know what was wrong so they put me back on the table to see what was going on.... they found out that they had to open me up as they couldn't find the problem but knew something was wrong. When they opened me up the saw that the bowel wasn't connected properly and that I had a leak. They fixed everything and closed me up and I was sent to recovery. After recovery I went to the surgery floor in the hospital. I was in alot of pain and just didn't feel right. The nurses told me to use my pain pump as I was probably just having pain from the surgery and them having to open me up to fix things. I told them I was using my pain pump but it wasn't so much as pain it was that I felt very weird. They took out my cathater as I said I wanted it out so I could move more freely and wanted to go to the washroom. They took it out and I went to the bathroom and for a little walk then back to bed. The last thing I remember is ringing for the nurse again and again them telling me to use the pump and a little old lady in the room with me rubbing my back telling them I was using it and to call a doctor something was really wrong. 3 days after my surgery I can remember the doctor being in the room with others asking me for a number they could reach my husband but not really being able to make sense and respond to them. They some how got in touch with him and they told him to get to the hospital right away. They told him they needed his consent to take me back to surgery as they needed to open me up again as I had another leak and I was going into septic shock. During this surgery my lungs collapsed and I ended up in ICU on a vent for 2 weeks. The next thing I remember I woke up in the CCU. From there I went back to the surgery floor where I stayed for another 2 weeks. When they went to start getting me ready to send me home they said I had to be drinking, eating pudding and jello as well as soup broth to leave. Anyways, when I would eat these things or drink I would start to wrench and vomit. They said I must be doing it to fast to slow down. So they ended up sending me home where I was only home for 2 days and it got to the point I could not even keep my spit down. So back to the hospital I went. They doctor said he didn't know why this was happening so he kept me in. After being there again for a week and a half the nurses keep telling him that I was wrenching and vomitting and he said to keep an eye on things. As he was visiting other patients he heard me and came back to the room and then booked me for a scope that same afternoon after my dad gave him a piece of his mind. Since September 24, 2007 I have had 16 surgeries including revisions, scopes, colonosopies and more tests then you can even think of. I have been seen by 3 Gastric bypass doctors who can't find out what the problem is. I have had my gallbladder taken out as I had stones and they thought that was the problem.
I have not been able to eat solid foods for over 2 years now. I have lived on soup, puddings, jello, juice, tea everything has to be liquid. If I try and eat anything solid then I start to vomit or start wrenching within 5 to 15 mins after trying to eat. I have been on pain killers, gravol, precription heartburn meds and Metaclop to help digest what I am eating to see if that would help but it doesn't. I just recently this week went back to see my third Gastric bypass doctor and he said he understands and believes me when I talk about my pain. He really believes my pain is real however, he said that with all the tests and it not showing anything that he really thinks that it is the scar tissue rapped tightly around my bowel making it hard for the food to pass through and they can't go in and remove the scar tissue because more is just going to end up forming. He said that he has nothing planned for me test wise or to see him again. However, he said if I need him he is there and I can go and see him. However, he doesn't think there is anything else that he can do.
The pain I have is in the upper middle to right side can go out my back sometimes up into my shoulder can take my breath away and I am doubled over on the floor. I also sometimes get the pain so bad and it goes down my legs. I am also consently running to the bathroom for the first at least 5 hours after I get up in the morning. I am at the point where I think I am going crazy. I have no life, I can't do anything or go anywhere. I need to find some answers. I have three kids to look after and a husband and I have been off work for almost a year now because the pain is so bad and running to the bathroom all the time plus I can't drive because of the pain meds.
I would really love to talk to any of you that have left messages on this forum as I am sure that we have alot in common. I would love to hear from you and see if there is anyway that we can help each other out. I hope to talk to you soon. Heather
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replied February 27th, 2012
Bad stomach Cramps like labor pains
I to have all these pains and so bad takes my breath away and it takes sleeping with heating pad to take away pain, Drs can not find anything wrong and they think in my head glad to know others are having the same things, have tried to get Dr to refer me to a Specialist and as of 2 years nw still have not been refered. I am lost and do not want to die because there is serious stuff wrong that they are just not finding, is it worth it to go see a Dr that does the Gasrtobypass to see if he or she knows what is happening to all of us. It has been 8 years since my surgery and the pain was not bad but the last 4 years has gotten so bad it has made me pass out. HELP PLEASE thanks brenda
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replied June 24th, 2012
I'm 11-1/2 years post bypass RnY. The abdominal pain started about 2 years ago after I took an Ultram for joint pain. I didn't take any for a few months, then tried again. No pain. The next time, pain...I now call it "The Pain" which radiates from the waist up into my chest & shoulders. I can't take a deep breath or stand straight. It registers a 10+, which is huge for someone with a high pain threshold. Heat is the only thing that gives relief. I quit taking the Ultram. I had surgery last fall and was given hydrocodone for pain. I took one about 12 hours post-op and had "The Pain." Believe me, this pain is so horrifying, I'll avoid anything I think triggers it. I've had a colonoscopy, endoscopy, CTs & MRIs. Finally, my GE doc had me start Sucralfate as it looked like I might have some irritation that could lead to Barrett's esophagus. Now after 2-1/2 months on this, I'm starting to have "The Pain" again about 1 to 2 hours after taking it. I actually got a double-whammy yesterday. "The Pain" 1-3/4 hours post Sucralfate which lasted 20 min. followed by a second wave an hour later. Note: Coincidentally, all three of these medications come in oblong tablet form.

My gall bladder was removed during the gastric bypass surgery, which was open, not laparoscopic. I have no problems with my bowels or tolerating most foods (one learns quickly which ones "don't work as well" as others). It is a mystery! There's got to be an answer about what's the common event/reaction that's happening with so many of us. I'm currently a patient at Mayo Clinic having a number of things checked -- "The Pain" being one of them.

Ill share any answers I get.
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replied October 18th, 2012
I had my GB june of 2008. I had a hystrectomy in Feb 2010 my gallbladder out in August 2010 after stones sent me to emergency room 3 times in a week. I to have "The Pain". It started about 2 months after gallbladder removal. I too thought it was constipation. I drank prune juice, too laxitives and even did the pre surgery clean out riticial of Miralax and Power aid. I was able to go to the bathroom but a couple days later "the Pain was back. I had an upper and lower GI, which found nothing. It comes and goes but when its here you know it. If you ever get any results or clues as to what "the Pain" is please share.
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replied October 9th, 2012
HI I HAD GASTRIC BYPASS IN MAY 08 IN THE LAST MONTH I AM LOSING MY HAIR AND HAVING VERY BAD TUMMY PAINS 20 MINS AFTER EATING AISO I HAVE A VERY SMALL POUCH AND THE FOOD I EAT IS EMTYING TO QUICK SO AM HUNGRY EVERY HOUR AND MY TUMMY IS WAKING ME UP IN THE NIGHT TO EAT ITS RUINING MY LIFE AND NO ONE WANTS 2 HELP ME AND I HAVENT CAUSED THE PROBLEM MYSELF CUS THE 3 YEAR AFTER CARE ENDED HOSPITAL DOESNT WANT 2 KNOW HAS ANYONE GONE THREW SAME THING THANKS
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replied January 10th, 2010
SPASMS
My surgery was in 2004 lot 105 lbs. i have been having these spasms for a couple of years. they last about 20 to thirty min. lots of times i know i'm going to have one. i just get a strange feeling in my back. i will walk treadmill, take hot baths and nothing helps. it finally goes away and then i do have some gas. my doctor gave me muscle relaxers and i go to the chiropractor for massage therapy. hope someone will soon figure out what causes this. i haven't went to er but sure thought about it.
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replied June 20th, 2010
I believe what everyone is describing is called POST CHOLECYSTECTOMY SYNDROME. I to have all the symptoms you have talked about. I have really researched this but still not sure. I had my gallbladder out since 1995 and had my gastric bypass in 2006. Didnt have problems until just recently about 1 yr ago. Go figure. Just trying to throw ideas out there. Hope this helps. Smile
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replied July 23rd, 2010
4 years post gastric bypass severe upper abdominal spasams
I've been plagued with the same symptoms!
IÃspam�ve had my gallbladder out since 1993, gastric bypass in 2006, endometrial ablation in June 2009, after being hospitalized for the pain and the ct scan, x-ray and endoscope didnÃspam�t find anything (at the time my pains coincided with my menstrual cycle; as soon as I started, they would stop.) I felt better for a few months after the ablation, but then it came back just as bad; maybe worse! The one symptom I havenÃspam�t seen mentioned is my episodes usually happen between 2 and 4am. Has anybody had a diagnosis yet? I have lab's tomorrow for H. pylori, pancreas, liver function and diabetes. HELP!!
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replied July 23rd, 2010
Re: 4 years post gastric bypass severe upper abdominal spasams
goincrazyhere wrote:
I've been plagued with the same syptoms!i've had my gallbladder out since 1993, gastric bypass in 2006, endometrial ablation in June 2009, after being hospitalized for the pain and the ct scan, x-ray and endoscope didn't find anything (at the time my pains coincided with my menstrual cycle; as soon as I started, they would stop.) I felt better for a few months after the ablation, but then it came back just as bad; maybe worse! The one symptom I haven't seen mentioned is my episodes usually happen between 2 and 4am. Has anybody had a diagnosis yet? I have lab's tomorrow for H. pylori, pancreas, liver function and diabetes. HELP!!
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replied June 23rd, 2012
Abdominal pain after GP
I two had a GP RYN about 2 years ago and GB out 11 years ago. Just recently started having the pain in the abdomin, back and arm, thought I was having a heart attach, had CT scans, sonograms, blood work to find nothing...my doctor told me that it is "a gallbladder attach", that the liver release "bile" and the brain does not know that my gall bladder is gone. The best way to resolve this pain is to use what is called "bile salts" maybe once a week. I just got this information yesterday so have not tried it yet, but will definitely give it a whirl....good luck all.
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replied September 19th, 2012
I have seen everyone with similar pains as I have. Post GB 2001. Wake up usually 2-4 am. Pains extreme rating a 9 or 10 for 5-6 minutes. Both my GB surgeon and a second physician came to the same conclusion. They live in different parts of the country and do not know each other so I felt maybe they were on to something. They BOTH said that my intestine gets air trapped in between food for disposing. The air pocket causes the pain when it reaches the bend of the large intestine. This is possible as I ALWAYS have to defficate twice in a row. They BOTH said I needed to take fiber. However, I don't plan on taking fiber forever to take care of a problem that happens maybe 3-4 times a year now. If it increases, I may change my mind. It was shocking how almost all of you mentioned you had had Gastric Bypass. I felt it was the reason because I did not have these pains prior to the surgery but my surgeon said no. However, 2001 was still in the early stages of finding out not only that but also the loss of potassium, iron and B12, right? Hope this helps.
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replied August 27th, 2013
abdominal pain, post op surgery, gastric bypass
I had surgery in 2004 and I've had the severe pains since about a year out of my surgery. My doctor said it is due to the tube he left in my stomach that when I bend over, it may hit the wall of my stomach and it makes the muscle spasm. It does it maybe once a month and last about 5 minutes. I do still have my gallbladder. He said that most surgeon leave a small "tube" as access your stomach if they every need to go back in for any reason. I wish I would of asked him stomach (old) or pouch (new) but at the time I just wanted answers and I was still new to the post op surgery part. My surgeon has long since moved away but what he said makes sense. It mostly happens when I bend over for a few minutes or I'm seated in a certain position. Still glad I had the surgery and I'll take the 5 minute pain anyday over the 100 pounds I lost.
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replied February 6th, 2015
Yes this is the first time I have heard something that makes sense. I was told it was the bend in the intestine and there was no spasms. I was told by two separate doctors. But I know it is a spasm. And yes, as painful as it is I never want the weight back. By the way, I recently had to have a heart ablation due to not absorbing magnesium. Since I had the surgery in 2003 I was not aware that I would not absorb potassium, iron or magnesium. I guess many more recent patients know. But the magnesium controls the electrical currents in your heart and I guess I went too long not knowing. My heart is kind of screwed up now. Just in case you were not aware, make sure to have those checked.
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replied November 15th, 2016
this sounds like exactly my situation! I'm almost afraid to exercise for fear I'll "set off" a spasm! I was thinking it was hernia, but from everything I'm reading seems that hernia are usually accompanied by nausea and maybe even bowel obstruction. thank goodness my spasm don't usually last more than a minute or two and go away if I stand up straight and walk around (not easy when you're in that kind of pain) I, too, wonder "which" stomach; I'm thinking "old" makes more sense. I don't want to give up what little exercise I do, but I'm tired of worrying if I'll end up with a spasm!
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replied March 10th, 2015
Re: Sporatic Abdominal Spasms 4 Years Post Gastric Bypass
pkd wrote:
I have been plagued with spasms which have no pattern, no food triggers, and no commonalities that can be identified. The spasms last 5 - 7 minutes and the pain is a 9 on a scale of 1- 10. It is so intense that I am doubled over and can barely breathe. The pain is almost intolerable and I have been rushed to the hospital by ambulance from my place of employment due to the pain. I have had an endoscopy, a colonoscopy, a CT scan, and 2 surgeries since the gastric bypass (one for a hernia and one for scar tissue) in hopes of relieving this pain, but nothing has worked. My gastric bypass surgeon is at a loss to explain this and therefore knows of nothing else to do to help me. I am posting this to see if anyone else is suffering from this or knows what could be causing this. Please help...


Please try antispasmodic drugs this happens to me there the only thing that helps x
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replied March 10th, 2015
Please all try antispasmodic drugs they help !!!!!
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replied August 1st, 2016
I have had CT Scans to try to find out what this is too. Mine started as a burning pain (in the muscle mind you) like 2 years post op. I am 6 years post op and it has just gotten worse. It feels like a burning ripping pain in the abdominal wall that leads to a terrible abdominal cramp that last for at least 10 minutes and leaves a bruised feeling in my abs after it finally goes away. Mine is on the left side sort of in the middle.
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replied January 18th, 2017
i had bariatric sleeve surgery, and suffer from same spasms. i still have my gall bladder. after an emergency room visit, i noticed anti-acids seem to help if you catch the spasms early on..definitely 9-10 on a pain scale.. while waiting for relief in the ER i had cold sweats and yelled for meds like some seeker.. so embarrassing. only thing i can see differently in all these that i read was no one seemed to have kidney stones like i do. spasms didnt start happening until almost 3 years post op.. good luck everyone- greg
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replied February 25th, 2017
Thank god it's not all in my head. I just got out of the ER this morning. Had RNY 9 months,ago. Plus 10 pains hit me at 8am and by 1130am I was ready to go to the ER. Its not constipation. They did a CT it was clear. I still have my gallbladder but it showed clear to along with blood work. They just sent me home saying follow up with surgeon. Its and ongoing pain that they need to figure out. Well i thought wow theres no way I can handle this pain constantly. Last night it spasmed so bad I ended up dry heaving. I have to go to doctor monday now for him to tell me again I have no idea. Ughhh
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