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Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 26825
Experience:  Over 20 yrs of Family Practice
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Lap chole performed on March 15, 2013 with significant post

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Lap chole performed on March 15, 2013 with significant post operative pain that became worse and was accompanied by skin redness and numbness 1" to the "gallbladder side" of the umbilical incision. Diagnosed with a hematoma via manual palpation. Pain gradually subsided over weeks but never fully went away. Today is July 1st and pain is creeping back up. Why would the hematoma get worse? It is very bothersome. Thank you!
Hi--where exactly is the pain and is that area tender to the touch? Any other symptoms?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Pain is about 1" to my right of my belly button. And yes, it is tender and hurts to the touch. Lots of reflux, which I assume is normal post op and a part of life but the pain worries me. I appreciate your help with this!

Is there actually a lump there and, if so, is it hard or relatively easy to push into your abdomen? Where is it in relation to one of the portal sites for your surgery?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Pain locationIf there is a distinct "lump" it is not easily discernible on self exam, though I may not be applying enough pressure due to pain. Post operative it would throb and become excruciating from coughing, sneezing, etc but now it is achy pain and very tender to touch.

 

No redness but there is still a numb feeling where I can't feel anything. I was told it was normal due to the trauma of removing an organ. I'm not confident in my surgeon, however, she is in her 30's and it feels like she didn't have the years of experience as others would have and wanted to be dismissive with my complaints.

 

I attached a picture with my fingers on the tender spot. I feel weird sending a belly shot to a stranger, but hey... Welcome to the internet.

Thanks for the picture. What made your surgeon think this was a hematoma in the past?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I was told after a manual exam 10 days post op that it was a hematoma. After surgery I felt that the incisions were healing well but the internal pain was excruciating. If I coughed or sneezed it would drop me to the floor. The surgeon did no tests or exams.

OK--and just to let you know I formerly did general and trauma surgery. A hematoma in and of itself is not a painful condition. Second, with lap chole's there should be no reason for an abdominal wall hematoma except perhaps right around a portal site. Third, even if this were a hematoma, it wouldn't resolve and then recur. While I can't be sure here since I can't examine you, I'd get an MRI of your abdomen and your abdominal wall because this may be a small periumbilical hernia that's causing your problem. It may even be incarcerated with a small portion of intraabdominal fat or a loop of intestine caught in it and if it is small it should be repaired. You need either to see your surgeon again and discuss this or at least have your primary care physician get the MRI
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