Yes, you can have swelling. Yes, raising the arm can both hurt more, but will actually help sometimes. I had two ultrasounds over a year. The second, two weeks before my surgery and following my third flush, did not reveal a stone stuck in the biliary duct even though I had a large one lodged there and two behind it. I just kept getting more and more jaundiced and sicker and sicker. I think flushes work for a lot of people. Sometimes, though, they don't. I don't think I've seen a regular allopathic doctor twice in 20 years and, God willing, won't for the next 20 years. However, without their technology to get that jammed stone out, I think I'd have slowly died. Think of it as technology, not healing. Your body wants to heal itself. Think of the gb as a rotten tooth, which I would have pulled(and have) before I'd get a root canal. My gb, incidentally, was in terrible shape when they practically jackhammered it out. Be cool headed, don't be afraid, and use common sense. Dont rush surgery, screen your surgeon carefully(I live in a relatively small area and know who the drinkers are, who has the highest complication rates, etc). Do all you can to avoid surgery, but don't get mortally ill from stubborness either.