Sphincter of Oddi dysfunction (SOD) is a poorly-understood disorder, typically presenting as postcholecystectomy, "biliary-type," right-sided abdominal and/or chest wall pain. Most patients referred to specialist clinics for work-up of presumed SOD do not, in fact, have anything wrong with their bile ducts or biliary sphincter mechanisms. A careful history and focused physical examination will often identify the true source of the pain syndrome, ranging from chest wall costochondritis and nerve injury at surgical trochar sites, to gastroparesis and visceral hypersensitivity ("irritable bowel"). The Rome III classification of functional gallbladder and biliary disorders defines SOD as episodic (not daily) pain lasting more than 30 min, which is disruptive of normal activities and not associated with bowel upset. It is not relieved by gastric acid suppression or antispasmodics. Other causes of abdominal pain must be excluded. Standard work-up includes endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) with biliary manometry, which risks post-ERCP pancreatitis, especially in young women with normal bile ducts and liver serology. Noninvasive tests for SOD, such as timed ("gated") cholecystokinin (CCK)-stimulated hepatobiliary iminodiacetic acid (HIDA) scans and secretin-stimulated magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography, are imperfect and still evolving. Although many doubt the very existence of SOD, a multidisciplinary approach to the management of pre- and postcholecystectomy abdominal pain syndromes is long overdue.