Discussions By Condition: Medical Errors

Misdiagnosed IBS with Depression ---> Ovarian Tumor

Posted In: Medical Errors 13 Replies
  • Posted By: Ateyah
  • November 1, 2006
  • 00:39 AM

I had a 3 month hx of severe diahrea, abdominal pain, and fullness that my Internest had run cultures, blood tests, and attempted to treat herself. She finally referred me to a GI specialist. The first one put me on a medication - Bentyl - that relaxes the intestinal muscles, and told me I had IBS. At a 2 week F/U I told him the pain was slightly improved, but still pretty bad - and he said let's wait another 6 weeks. He never ran a single test - I later learned IBS was a dx of exclusion. I quickly found a new GI specialist - and she ran every test in the book - blood, cultures, CT scans, and colonoscopy. Her diagnosis: probably IBS, but let's try an antidepressant. I would have to just learn to live with the pain, she said. I was so frustrated I asked for copies of all my tests and was going to get a THIRD opinion - well, when I reviewed all my test reports, something very interesting was in my CT report: "7.5cm mass, likely ovarian cyst". I called the GI Specialist and asked her about this - and her reply "oh it's nothing!" I called my Gynecologist - and she was like you need an ultrasound NOW!
The mass - 6 weeks later - was now 9.5cm and had all the features of cancer - was not an ovarian cyst, but a large ovarian tumor. I was in surgery a few days later. Luckily, for me, it turned out to be benign - but that was pure luck - the surgeon - a Gynecological Oncologist - believed it was cancer going in and prepared me for complete infertility (loss of both ovaries) at 28 yrs old.

Please, ladies, don't allow these doctors to ignore you and send you home with antidepressants. You know your body and if you think there is something wrong - don't stop until they find it! I work in the medical field, so I had no qualms about going from doctor to doctor until they found what was wrong with me. I was very persistant - but even persitance took me 3 months. I have since filed formal grievances with the medical directors of these physicians (they work in large educational facilites) and they actually had a peer review of my case for educational purposes. It was very satisfying that they were able to learn from their mistakes.

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13 Replies:

  • This is very interesting to me, I have severe diarhoea every day, mostly mornings and late at night, I have terrible ab pains associated with this and I become very sweaty and clamy.I am always very bloated, I look like I am 8 months pregnant! The swelling is painful in it's self. I have also suffered from nausea and occasional vomiting to.I have also gained weight and find it very difficult to lose although I eat healthy and exercise regulary.My GP referred me to a dietician who just put me on a few exclusion diets that didnt work and then said possible IBS and that was that!!!! I have had no blood tests other than for thyroid which came back clear.I have had a cone biopsy for abnormal cells following a smear test and a laparoscopy to rule out endometreosis, I am wondering if there was anything underlying causing the symptoms whether that would have showed from either the cone biopsy or the laparsocopy?Thanks
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 1, 2006
    • 02:25 PM
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  • oh my gosh, get to a new doctor now and tell them all your symptoms. Ask about ovarian cysts.My friend had one and her symptoms were just like that, reaally bloated stomach and she always felt nauseas around food or soap.She went to the doctor and they though she had a cyst the size of a soccer ball on her ovary.But it wasn't the size of a soccerball.It was bigger.Size of a watermelon.There was a high chance of it being ovarian cancer.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 3, 2006
    • 11:01 AM
    • 0
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  • A laparoscopy should have shown an ovarian cyst. If you are still concerned and have not had a CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis with contrast - that is a good way to rule out any masses in the area. IBS is also a possibility with the symptoms - the KEY is that IBS is a dx of EXCLUSION - meaning they are SUPPOSED to rule everything else out before they should even make the diagnosis. That is the standard of care. Good luck.
    Ateyah 1 Replies
    • November 4, 2006
    • 01:15 PM
    • 0
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  • I had lower stomach pain, bloating, nausus, chills, and I couldn't go to the bathroom. They put me on all this medicine and laxatives and said I have IBS and the pain will go away once I start to have a bowel movement everyday. That was a week ago, and I started going every day but now the symptoms are getting much worse. I had a cat scan and blood test about 2.5 months ago. They said everything was clear, but at my gastrologist's last week she said I had mucus in my urine. My mom is convinced it's a cyst. I still have to have my thyroid checked. My urine test was only tested for my calcium. I'm in so much pain I don't know what to do and the doctor's wrong. But they don't believe the pacients.
    Anonymous 3 Replies
    • November 13, 2006
    • 03:52 PM
    • 0
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  • im awake now i just came home from hospital i had adb pain so bad they sent me home on morphine even thouight they said ct scan was fine and upper gi series was fine,they said it was pscycological hhe said i had ibs im also having right side pain in my breast lumps in my breast and under my arm that hurt so bad i wanna die from it.i have a hystery of ovarian cysts abd ib nay when they checked my ovary they said rt one had bile wrapped around it this dr refused to do an ultrasound said it wasnt causing my adb pain and the discharge my breast is having he said will go away i neeed help im at the end of my rope ....i feel so unheard so stupid email me if anyone wishes to i need encouragement intrepidheart@aol.com
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 24, 2006
    • 07:44 AM
    • 0
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  • I lived with severe pain for 15 years. I was diagnosed with IBS without any test other than a lower GI. After 15 years my OB/GYN felt a mass during my annual exam and sent me for an ultra sound. I had a 22 cm bi-lateral ovarian cyst that was blood filled. The cyst apparently come and go with monthly periods. I was put on birth control pills full time for a year with no breaks. That way I did not ovulate and therefore did not develope cyst. I never had another IBS symptom. During that time I also was diagnosed with depression. No wonder I could not get in a car without knowing every bathroom with 2 minutes.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 22, 2006
    • 09:00 AM
    • 0
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  • IBS worries me because it’s a bunch of symptoms, not a disease. It stands to reason that there must be something causing IBS symptoms. The fact that the symptoms are common amongst females and cannot be easily differentiated, hardly excuses so many of us from being sent home by our GPs with anti-spasmodics and a shrug.Funnily enough, I never used to feel the need for gas and air or someone to swear at when I went for a pooh. The last six months living with ‘IBS,’ it’s become a common feature. Turns out (having been able to insist upon a private ultrasound) I’ve got a cyst and an inflamed fallopian tube most likely pressing on my bowel (all nice and benign looking). I’m having the mass drained/removed in a couple of weeks. Fingers crossed that’ll be the end of the IBS symptoms. Even if it turns out to be sheer coincidence, I still feel that, from my experience, IBS is all too often given as the *first* diagnosis rather than a diagnosis of last resort. Given that ovarian cancer has such a bad reputation because of its late discovery and given that IBS can mimic the symptoms of ovarian cysts (99% of which are benign, I hasten to add) I feel the acceptance of IBS as ‘just one of those things’ - unintentionally aided by the recent proliferation of ads on TV - is a dangerous trend.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • For the record re. above post... turns out the tube was fine but I had a mass of endometriosis growing from my uterus to my bowel - hence the symptoms. The cyst was endometriotic also. It's all been zapped and since then - no IBS symptoms, even during my period. It could grow back of course, but for now... Yeyyyy. If it hadn't been for the cyst causing pain in my groin, I expect I would have gone along with the IBS diagnosis indefinitely.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I can't believe the # of misdiagnosis and the length of time women are spending in pain. The medical system is totally missing this! What they don't realize, apparently, is that these symptoms that look like GI problems can also be Ovarian Cancer symptoms. It's time they get it and stop letting women go into stage 3 and 4 before it's found.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I too have been diagnosised with IBS (after a colonoscopy) but refused to take the medicine they prescribed because it made me feel worse and changed my diet to help control it. Still having the pain - so bad I thought it was Gallbladder. Had a ultrasound and they said it wasn't the Gallbladder - must just be the IBS. Ok - six months later - still having problems - Again sure it's gallbladder because the pain was mostly in the back with BM problems. This time they sent me for a CT Scan and found an Ovarian Cyst and to follow up with a GYN in 3 months to get it ultrasound. I really believe they use IBS as a 'Catch All' diagnosis. Very frustrating BUT at least I gave up drinking any kind of Soda trying to control it and switched to Ice Tea.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I cannot believe the amount of women that go on for months in pain with the belief that they have i.b.s. Because the gp said so. I started with discomfort in my tummy in dec 08 feeling full and bloated and my tummy had become really swollen and hard. My gp said ibs even though i did not feel i had the symptoms of this as my mum has it and i didnt seem to have her problems. I took my tabs like a good girl and felt worse! I visited my gp 3 times before he said he would refer me to a gastrologist for a camera to go down my thoat to see my gut and another referal for a camera to go up my back passage to look at my bowel! After 6 weeks of pain and my tummy getting bigger by the day he eventually said ok i will refer you for an ultrasound scan. I had attended a&e on 3 occasions because of pain and had been examined and was told my gp was right it was ibs. My scan shown an ovarian cyst in excess of 24 cm which covered the whole of my stomach!!. After an urgent referall eventually i was seen 3 weeks later by an oncologist and surgery was performed 3 weeks after that, i had a full hysterectomy, lymph nodes removed,omentum and appendix removed. Histology results came back as borderline cancer 3 weeks later. As for me now i have to see the oncologist on a regular basis for the next five years possibly ten. Although they feel they have removed it all and i dont have to have chemo or radiotherapy it is still a massive worry. Please ladies question what your gp says and listen to your own bodies as ovarian cancer is not known as the silent killer for nothing
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
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  • I too have been diagnosised with IBS (after a colonoscopy) but refused to take the medicine they prescribed because it made me feel worse and changed my diet to help control it. Still having the pain - so bad I thought it was Gallbladder. Had a ultrasound and they said it wasn't the Gallbladder - must just be the IBS. Ok - six months later - still having problems - Again sure it's gallbladder because the pain was mostly in the back with BM problems. This time they sent me for a CT Scan and found an Ovarian Cyst and to follow up with a GYN in 3 months to get it ultrasound. I really believe they use IBS as a 'Catch All' diagnosis. Very frustrating BUT at least I gave up drinking any kind of Soda trying to control it and switched to Ice Tea.Where was your pain? I'm assuming upper right? I have been having upper left pain and was sure it was my kidney but a CT scan showed ovarian cyst. Usually the pain is in the lower pelvic area. I've been looking for someone who's pain was not in the "classic" systemic location.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 10, 2010
    • 02:30 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I had a 3 month hx of severe diahrea, abdominal pain, and fullness that my Internest had run cultures, blood tests, and attempted to treat herself. She finally referred me to a GI specialist. The first one put me on a medication - Bentyl - that relaxes the intestinal muscles, and told me I had IBS. At a 2 week F/U I told him the pain was slightly improved, but still pretty bad - and he said let's wait another 6 weeks. He never ran a single test - I later learned IBS was a dx of exclusion. I quickly found a new GI specialist - and she ran every test in the book - blood, cultures, CT scans, and colonoscopy. Her diagnosis: probably IBS, but let's try an antidepressant. I would have to just learn to live with the pain, she said. I was so frustrated I asked for copies of all my tests and was going to get a THIRD opinion - well, when I reviewed all my test reports, something very interesting was in my CT report: "7.5cm mass, likely ovarian cyst". I called the GI Specialist and asked her about this - and her reply "oh it's nothing!" I called my Gynecologist - and she was like you need an ultrasound NOW!The mass - 6 weeks later - was now 9.5cm and had all the features of cancer - was not an ovarian cyst, but a large ovarian tumor. I was in surgery a few days later. Luckily, for me, it turned out to be benign - but that was pure luck - the surgeon - a Gynecological Oncologist - believed it was cancer going in and prepared me for complete infertility (loss of both ovaries) at 28 yrs old. Please, ladies, don't allow these doctors to ignore you and send you home with antidepressants. You know your body and if you think there is something wrong - don't stop until they find it! I work in the medical field, so I had no qualms about going from doctor to doctor until they found what was wrong with me. I was very persistant - but even persitance took me 3 months. I have since filed formal grievances with the medical directors of these physicians (they work in large educational facilites) and they actually had a peer review of my case for educational purposes. It was very satisfying that they were able to learn from their mistakes.i find this all very interesting...now i dont believe i have ovarian cancer, but my point will be that we women know our bodies. For months i have suffered from 24/7 pelvic pain, well its more like a constant ache, like when u have your period,just not as intense, itfeels like its in my uterus area. I alternate between constipation and urgent bowel movements,i feel sick after i eat a small ammount and have over the months been eating less because i just feel sick. I have iron defficiency (8) fatigue. back aches in the lower part. I also get sharp shootin pain that starts where my left overy is and extends accross my pelvic area. Yesterday i felt like my girl bits were heavy,like when u are having your period. My periods are heavy to the point i cant go out the frst 2 days. Now just a couple of weeks ago, i had blood coming from one of my nipples. And yesterday i had blood stained mucous even though im 1 week after my period. Now the doctor has diagnosed me with IBS and sent me on my way. To his credit he did the CA125 test which came back at 33...I dont think i have IBS. i avoid trigger foods, mainly cause i have an allergy to them anyway and have my entire life. And the pain does not go away after a bowel movemnet, and well this constant pelvic ache..My mother has IBS, and she never had my symptons..besides that, the tablets the doc put me on, dont work.....Im at a bit of a loss as what to do really.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
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