HEALTH MATTERS: Dealing with postcholecystectomy syndrome
Debra Comstock ADN, CGRN

April 2008 
Volume 38  Number 4
Pages 17 - 19
  PDF Version Available!

Comstock, Debra ADN, CGRN 

Debra Comstock is an endoscopy lab staff nurse at Medical City Hospital in Dallas, Tex.

ABDOMINAL PAIN from gallbladder disease drives more than 500,000 Americans to undergo cholecystectomy annually. Although most patients recover uneventfully, about 10% of them develop postcholecystectomy syndrome (PCES) weeks to months later. 1 Signs and symptoms typically include intermittent abdominal or epigastric pain that may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting.

Not well understood, PCES is thought to be caused by either scarring or spasm of the sphincter of Oddi muscle following cholecystectomy. Because the hepatobiliary system (liver, gallbladder, and bile ...

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