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Weird rolling sensation in lower abdomen - NOT pregnant
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dianajune posted:
I'm 49 years of age and have had multiple abdominal surgeries. I had many d&c's before my total abdominal hysterectomy in 2004. I was diagnosed with a borderline ovarian cancer, but the prognosis for that is excellent and I no longer have to see my former oncologist. I didn't need chemo or radiation treatments.

The following spring I had my gallbladder out with a laparoscope. In November 2009 I had emergency surgery for a strangulated hernia, and about 10cm of my small bowel was removed. This past October I had another emergency surgery, this one for an incarcerated hernia. During that operation my appendix was removed, along with adhesions.

Within the past month I noticed that I sometimes have a rolling sensation in my lower abdomen near my pelvic area. Usually right above my pelvis, towards the middle. This sensation does not hurt, it just feels weird. I've been very gassy lately and have had IBS for over 20 years.

I called the surgeon's office (the m.d. who did last year's operation) and his nurse said she didn't know what it was. My primary care provider (a physician's assistant) said she believed it was gas-related.

I'm tempted to call the surgeon's office again and insist that I speak with him directly, but I don't know if they will let me. Can anyone please, please give me answers? What could be causing this? I found a thread on this website about a similar problem, and it was 5 pages long without any answers. Just alot of guessing.

What's causing this? Is this something I need to worry about? Do I have another hernia? I know I can't be blocked because I am having bowel movements. For the most part, when these rolling sensations occur, there's no pain at all.

Btw, the only place I get this sensation is when I'm on the toilet, while straining to go. I have mixed IBS (constipation/diarrhea).

Lately I've been having alot of gas and I can't explain why.

Help! I don't want another emergency surgery to look forward to! I'm tired of being sick all the time and can't take any more! Please, someone get back to me soon. Please??!!
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dianajune responded:
Btw, this doesn't happen every time I use the bathroom. Just sometimes. It seems to me if it was a serious issue, like another henia or mass, that I'd have it EVERY time.

I would appreciate it if someone could get back to me asap. I am very concerned about this. Thanks.
 
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Jane Harrison Hohner, RN, RNP replied to dianajune's response:
Dear dianajune: I can understand your concern given your history of multiple abdominal surgeries and the known presence of adhesions. I would concur with your assessment. If another blockage or strangulation was the culprit the symptoms would likely be escalating to become more severe.

You mentioned both a history of IBS, and currently an increase in flatus/gas. It has been my clinical experience that most abdominal rolling/movement sensations (when there is no pregnancy) are from abdominal peristalsis. The gut is in motion much of the time, and given increases in material or gas passing through the movements can be palpated on the wall of the abdomen. I am embarrassed to admit that, as a student, I treated a teen women with antibiotics for pelvic pain when it was probably IBS. IBS is the most common, non-GYN cause of pelvic area distress.

You could certainly make an appointment to see the surgeon; they would likely want to examine you rather than make a phone diagnosis. You could also elect to see your GI MD or have a focused abdominal exam from your primary care provider. You deserve a more "for sure" diagnosis--and hopefully some treatment options.

Yours,
Jane
 
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dianajune replied to Jane Harrison Hohner, RN, RNP's response:
Jane,

Thank you for writing back! I haven't had that rolling sensation during the past couple of days. But I've had, as you put it, "pelvic area distress." Yesterday when I was walking into the store I felt alot of pain in that area and it was almost unbearable. I made a beeline for the ladies room, at which point I had to go - alot (sorry about being graphic). I had to go again before I left the store. I hate how this happens when I'm out in public. It can occur w/o warning.

This morning I had to use the bathroom and sneezed twice after I had a bowel movement. I had severe cramps going in a straight line from the middle of my lower abdomen to the middle of the upper. This happened only when I sneezed. Sometimes I feel pain in the pelvic area, especially if I get up from a seated position. Probably because of the force of gravity, and gas. As I said before, my primary care provider said she believes the rolling sensation is due to gas, and the pelvic discomfort as well.

I assume this is all IBS related? I'm not currently on medications for IBS. Is there anything you would recommend? Someone suggested charcoal tablets, but with the other medications I am on, would that interact with them?

Two nurses have told me that after major surgeries like the one I had in '09 and the one from last year, I could have "phantom pains" for up to a year and a half. I'm just a few months post-op and am wondering if the pain I've been having could be related to that as well?

They removed the adhesions, but I could have more by now. That's the drawback of having surgery - more can form. If only there was a way to prevent them.

I would appreciate your comments about this. Thanks again for your help!

Diana


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