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British Liver Trust
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RUQ pain in side gallstone found doc a bit vague, extremely worried and confused

Hello, I am a 40yr old overweight woman, ex evening boozer (17yrs) gave up drinking totally Dec 2012.

Went to docs in jan for sobriety advice, had an ache on right side routine bloods checked LFT's, was raised considerably had CT scan which showed 1 large gallstone.

On seeing doc for results they requested a full blood count as my spleen was enlarged (i'm 5''11), these came back normal , I was given buscopan and put forward for surgery on the gallbladder at last appointment.

Recieved a letter from the doctor I spoke to totay and she has requested I have a chest x-ray?... I have no problems with my chest at all and nothing was said regarding this at the time. The doctor is now on holiday.. I am very confused and worried as to why this x-ray is required. Can anyone shed any light please?

7 Replies

Sorry , forgot to mention liver and kidneys found to be normal via scan.


Dear Kizzy40,

I contacted a hepatologist this morning on your behalf, and they have responded with this:

....."Nowadays most cholecystectomies are laparoscopic (keyhole) and relatively low-risk. "Open" cholecystectomy is obviously a more invasive operation, bigger wound / scar etc and really is reserved for more complex cases.

Like any open abdomional operation, there'll be a post-operative impact on the patient's ability to breath fully and normally during the recovery phase (i.e. due to pain from the wound there's a tendency to take shallow breaths rather than deep ones and to cough less) - hence there's a higher rate of post-op chest infections, pneumonia etc.

The chest X-ray would be to look for any pre-existing lung disease that might increase the risk."

I do hope that the above has been helpful, but please don't hesitate in contacting me on the Helpline number - 0800 652 7330, or emailing me direct at: sarah.tattersall@britishlivertrust.org.uk

All good wishes and kind regards,

Sarah Tattersall

Patient Enquiry Officer

British Liver Trust

1 like

Some hospitals also run an EKG as part of their pre-op as well.

While you wait, check out a good diet. Low fat, high fibre and keeping away from fats found in things like cake and biscuits


Hello, I shouldnt worry your self too much!

It is probably just to check you are ok for an anaesthetic (though they should have explained to you why they wanted a chest xray - its your body!). I am a nurse and also have a fatty liver with the same type of pain (though no gall stones) If you are overweight, any weight loss will help enormously (my own experience as well). get back to me if you need any diet advice as its a 'minefield' of information out there and sometimes we just dont know where to start. I wish you all the best with your surgery ( I presume you are having keyhole?).


Thankyou so much everyone, this has certainly put my mind at rest somewhat. I am very annoyed at my doctor as she was very aware I was anxious, I had said at the last appointment that I made myself sick with worry googling symptoms... A silly thing to do I know.

This news of an x-ray was out of the blue and when I rang for an explanation she was on holiday..

I understand a little more now as it may be due to the fact I am quite large (20st). I have been following the fast diet (5:2) and have dropped 9lbs in the last 4 weeks as well as eating very healthily since my decision to stop drinking to help my body heal better.

Do not know anything RE surgery as yet, was told that I would be having a consultation with a surgeon in approx 6 weeks.

Once again thankyou for your advice and support, I will post again once the results of the x-ray are known.


Just to add, something strange has happened the dull ache and the spasm type twinges in my right side have almost gone, I haven't taken any buscopan or any other painkiller for 2 days now is this normal?


Ok, have an update have had xray and have seen consultant, he says my pain is not indicative of gall bladder pain and has asked for a CT scan before I see him again in 4 weeks.

I was quite surprised that he didn't know anything of my past drinking, asking many questions on it. Should I ask for my LFT's done again as it is now a full 3 months since my last drink?

the only pain I have now is directly on (or under) my bottom rib directly on my right side (if my arms were by my sides directly behind my elbow) it is quite sore like I have been kicked or fallen (I haven't).

I have not had a test for AH should I ask for one?

Even more dazed and confused now than ever, I asked him outright if he was looking for a mass with the CT and he said no, just the cause of the pain and the raised LFT's, my other bloods he said don't show signs of (you know what) but i'm terrified.

Has anyone experienced or heard of similar?


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