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Avatar universal

Make Sense of This (very conflicting results)

I'm 31 years old, generally healthy (full blood work up recently came back all great).  I've had 4 children and one miscarriage.  Never had a surgery in my life.  No past health problems.  

A few months back I started having these really awful attacks at night.  (Not every night, but they were intense).  Nothing I did or took at home helped at all.  And I'm pretty good at managing pain.  I threw up a couple of times with the pain.  It started in my mid-back between my shoulder blades and would end up just one massive pain through the area where my stomach is.  None of this was lower than my ribcage.  Deep breaths were uncomfortable.  It subsides after a few to several hours.

So I went and saw a general practitioner.  She said it sounded like gallbladder problems and had me do an ultrasound.  I squirmed around but the tech never really located my gallbladder.  I am heavy, so I figured this was related.  Dr. said based on whatever she saw though, I should probably have my gallbladder removed and sent me to a surgeon.  

Surgeon tells me, that he can't actually see my gallbladder on the ultrasound so he wants me to have a HIDA scan.  I do that and nothing shows up.  They send me away for a few hours.  I come back.  Still nothing.  So they don't do the second part at all.  So now surgeon wants me to have an MRCP.  He is afraid of trying to remove a gallbladder that isn't there.  But as soon as it is seen he will remove it since it's clearly not working right.  

I have the MRCP. Again, surgeon says he can't see much of anything on there.  No gallbladder.  So he says go have an endoscopy and if there is no other obvious explanation for the pain, I'll be willing to risk going after a possibly missing gallbladder with your age and health.  

I go to see the gastro dr.  I try to explain to him that my gallbladder is not showing up in these tests, and he repeatedly says back to me "so no problems".  And I say, "No.  No gallbladder at all is showing up".  By the look on his face I think he's convinced I'm confused about what is going on.  
So today I have an endoscopy (upper GI).  Dr never actually talks to me.  I see on the report sitting by my bed a list of everything as normal (pancreas, bile duct, etc).  Towards the bottom is a blurb specifically about finding no problems at all with my gallbladder (no sludge or gallstones) and that everything looks perfect.  I am completely confused by this, so I ask the nurse as soon as I see her if I can talk to the Dr.  She say's he left.  I explain my confusion and she finally understands why I'm confused.  After making a few calls, she says Dr. says that is correct.  And the issue is dropped.  Dr. has prescribed a med for possible IBS. Though I have had no notable bowel complaints.

As I am leaving they give me a copy of the exact same report.  It looks identical, except the blurb about the gallbladder is completely gone.  

No one told me what to do next.  Or who to talk to.  I understood I'd be meeting with the surgeon again.  At least to discuss this.  But no one said that to me, so now I'm not sure.  I'll probably call on Monday to check.  But in the mean time, I'm trying to make sense of this.  

Is it really possible for my gallbladder to be invisible on an ultrasound, HIDA scan, MRCP and then end up being completely normal?
3 Responses
2827584 tn?1340579696
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
The only way that the GI doc could comment on your gallbladder is if he did an endoscopic ultrasound examination rather than just an upper endoscopy.  His noncommunication is inappropriate. If he actually did this study and saw a gallbladder that did not show up on the HIDA scan there is clear reason to pursue removal of the gallbladder.
Avatar universal
Hi, I'm having the same issue, except mine still has not been found. Did you ever figure out an answer to this/do investigatory surgery? What happened? Ty!
Avatar universal
Had a gallbladder attack, liver enzymes  abnormal - ultrasound could not locate gallbladder... same issue .. Told to have my liver enzymes checked in 2 weeks... stay on low fat diet.... .. ?? I guess it is just a wait and see what happens..
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