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Thursday, April 24, 2014
Could I have pancreatic cancer?
I am a 30yr old female who had my gallbladder removed abt 4 years ago. For the last year I have had pain in the area where the gallstones were before. These past several weeks Ive had the constant pain and burning feeling just like I had when I had my gallbladder removed. Ive had CT scans, x rays, and ultrasounds only to show a slight stenosis of the liver on the ultrasound. The pain gets worse when I eat and never really goes away at this point. Im nauseous and thirsty all the time but I was thinking that was because I have hypothyroidism and have to be on lasix for swelling because of that and potassium because the lasix makes it low. I have been to the Family Dr, and the GI Dr thinks I culd have a gallstone in a duct? Im at my wits end here and getting very impatient with the pain. What should I do? My friend said I needed to have an ERCP or MRCP test done. Will that show what the other test wont?
The likelihood of you having pancreas cancer is extremely low. It is not uncommon to have persistent pain after removal of the gallbladder. Many different causes can be responsible for this pain. If their is evidence of narrowing of your bile duct, the next step should be either a MRCP or ERCP. You can discuss these options with your GI doctor. Sometimes the pain is not related to the gallbladder and it may be as a result of reflux, gastritis and a short course of anti-acid mediations may be helpful. Finally, I would also suggest you get a CT scan to better evaluate this area.
Syed A Ahmad, MD
Associate Professor of Surgery
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati