Pain under left ribcage

Hi ladies,

I have now had two surgeries and the results from my scans were good. However i have a pain under the left rin cage which is getting worse by the day. It is now there constantly and very uncomfortable to live with. It is a sharp pain and constant gnawing sensation. At first I thought perhaps its heart burn but the otc medications don't seem to help.

The oncologist told me to go back to my GP because the CT scan was all good. She seemed very disgruntled by me mentioning this issue again. I have now requested an appointment with a gastroenterologist. Would this be correct type of specialist? Im not so sure the pain is being caused by the bowel. So would they be able to advise if there is something wrong with liver or spleen or lung for example?

I don't want to ask my oncologist any further questions, she is absolutely awful to deal with. Rude , arrogant and unhelpful.

Would appreciate if you can help. Have you or have you known of anyone who had a reoccurrence in chest area when the scans were clear? Can a gastroenterologist detect early stage development with any other types of test?

Thanks v much


18 Replies

  • I also had unexplained pain under my ribcage following debulking surgery. I saw my GP who told me that it wasn't a pulmonary embolism and thought it must be related to the surgery. When I saw my surgeon he explained that it was due to him having used "raisers" or "lifters" to raise the ribs off the omentum in order to remove it. That certainly explained my horrible pain. I hope this helps and that you feel better soon..

  • That is very interesting. I too am having pain near/on bottom of my right rib. (Surgery was jan 19). I thought the omentum was down by pelvis 🤔

    I wasn't told about any such lifters but it would sure explain my wierd rib discomfort. It feels bruised. I may send a note to my dr inquiring. I tend to feel my oncologist also gets annoyed by the list of aches and pains I am always asking about. She wants to focus on the disease and any other ache should be directed to symptom management/np's. But it is helpful for explanations- lessons the anxiety when we know the cause is not nefarious.

  • We have two Omentum - I understand they take the Greater Omentum which in my laymans terms hangs right down ! but leave the lesser Omentum, or they did in my case. I assume that's the normal op as my surgeon is very experienced !

    I only found that out this year!

    Clare xx

  • Fascinating! Funny to not know what the hell was taken out of my body and where it actually is. And not totally caring that I don't know. 🤦🏼‍♀️🤷‍♀️😹🙀

  • Ha ha love it.

  • That would explain it x

  • Oh god that sound horrendous but thank god we are out cold and dont know

  • I thought that too. Best not to think about all the bits that went on!!!!

  • I had to have a spleen specialist called in to hold my spleen up while my gynoncologist scraped the cancer off of it!

  • Ouch! That sounds like agony. You must have been in so much pain post op. I hope you're ok now x

  • Another unhelpful oncologist, makes me very angry and sad. I had similar pains and pangs and went from my oncologist meeting straight to my doctor and asked for a referral for a colonoscopy. Doctor was very good and sent that off that day (12th Dec) and I had a flexible sigmoidoscopy on the 5th Jan. My intestines were clear but it was found that they were very twisted which may have had something to do with my pains.

    You need peace of mind and its good that your doctor also seems ok with referring you for additional tests.

    Could be adhesions? Whatever it is a sigmoidoscopy (left side and across tummy) or a full colonoscopy if they think that's needed will show if anything is going on indside your intestines, or if there is anissue or diverticulitis or polyps etc etc and also if you too have twisted intestines or adhesions. And if your intestines are all clear then it's something else to investigate but you'll know they can't tell you " it's your Bowels or IBS etc etc "!

    Stick with it

    Clare xx

  • Thanks very much Clare, i will persist. Its not v helpful that the oncologist doesn't want to be involved though. But , i have learnt through this process that i have to drive this myself and cannot depend on the oncologist to be as thorough in her investigation as I would like her to be. Very helpful to know what other tests can be done and and agree with the step by step approach- first check the bowels and if there are no answers, i will investigate the other organs.

    Thanks again x

  • Hi Lollie, I think some doctors could do with a personality in plant. It's sad not all doctors have good people skills & I am sorry your onc was rude. Could you possibly changed your onc she sounds dreadful.

    I really don't know much about which specialists you need to see but I have been suffering with pain under my rib cage since my last chemo back in November. My ca 125 on my last test was low but I am worried because it can be really painful.

    I hope you get this sorted out soon take care Cindyxx

  • Without hijacking the thread I think we should almost have a "unhelpful " oncologist thread. Mine has been unprofessional and unprepared for meetings etc. Mine is also a lady

    Back to topic - hope you are able to get your problem sorted


  • My gastroenterologist is the one that had a cat scan done on my abdomen in 2015 to try to find out what my pain was from. All the gastro tests were fine. She called to tell me there was a small mass on my ovary, and sent me to my GYN to be checked out. I went to my GYN, and he immediately set me up for surgery, and when I went in for my pre-op visit he'd changed his mind and wanted to watch it grow for awhile. I fired him on the spot. It took me three more GYN's before I found one that said it had been watched long enough. Every doctor I saw was assuring me it was benign.It was a year and a half before I found a GYN to take it out. To make a long story short, it was not benign, and if it hadn't been for my gastroenterologist finding it in the first place who know how long before my first gyn would have found it.

  • I had a wonderful oncologist and very caring. I too had the pain under the ribs. Felt like a bruised feeling. That feeling has almost gone now. It takes time for the body to adjust due to debulking surgery and Chemo and removing polyps.

  • I do not understand how oncologists can be so unsympathetic.Surely they must have known when they went in for the job that people will be anxious and ask lots of questions.

    I think that we put up with their rudeness because we are scared to report them because we do not want the hassle or repercussions.

    That surely is not what medicine is about.

    These doctors put the lovely doctors who are out there to shame.

    I was fortunate to have them.

    Take care x

  • Lollie, I also had an arrogant, detached, bored, irritated female oncologist. She was a Harvard graduate and profoundly cold. I fired her! I live in US and figure I will not pay a burned out uncaring person to be dismissive of me, her patient. I have no regrets. I found an incredibly kind and compassionate doctor, under whose care, I am thriving.😊

You may also like...