Background & Aims: Upper abdominal pain (UAP) in patients with gallstones is often treated by cholecystectomy but it frequently persists. We aimed to identify symptoms associated with relief. Methods: We followed 1008 patients who received cholecystectomy for gallstones and UAP at the Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minnesota) or Kaiser Permanente (San Diego, California) for 12 months. A validated, self-completed biliary symptoms questionnaire identified features of UAP, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS); the questionnaire was given initially and 3 and 12 months after cholecystectomy, to identify features that predicted sustained relief of UAP. Results: Five hundred ninety-four patients (59%) reported relief from UAP. Factors associated univariately (P < .05) with relief included frequency of UAP ≤1 per month, onset ≤1 year preoperatively, usual duration (30 minutes to 24 hours, most often in the evening or night), and severity >5/10. Compared to no features, multiple predictive features of UAP (frequency, onset, duration, or timing) were associated with increasing odds ratios (95% confidence interval) for relief: 1, 2, or 3 features (4.2 [1.1-16]; P = .03) and 4 features (6.3 [1.6-25]; P = .008). Negative univariate associations included lower abdominal pain (LAP), usual bowel pattern, nausea ≥1 per week, often feeling bloated or burpy, GERD, and/or IBS. There was an inverse association between relief and somatization; relief was not associated with postprandial UAP. Multivariable logistic regression analysis revealed independent associations (P < .05) with UAP frequency, onset, and nocturnal awakening, but inverse associations with lower abdominal pain, abnormal bowel pattern, and frequent bloated or burpy feelings. Conclusions: UAP features and concomitant GERD, IBS, and somatization determine the odds for relief from UAP after cholecystectomy.
- Prospective Study
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