Gallbladder surgery side effects

Gallbladder surgery side effects

Do you gain weight after gallbladder removal?

What foods should you avoid if you have no gallbladder?

How long after gallbladder surgery will I feel better?

Can you have problems years after gallbladder removal?

Can gallbladder removal cause liver problems?

What are the symptoms of a blocked bile duct after gallbladder removal?

 

Gallbladder surgery side effects

Any surgery has potential complications, including incision bleeding, pain, or infection with or without a fever. It’s possible you’ll experience digestive side effects when your gallbladder is removed.

While it is not the norm to experience digestive problems after gallbladder surgery, they can include:

  • Difficulty digesting fatty foods. Some people have a slightly more difficult time digesting fatty foods for the first month after surgery. Eating a low-fat diet may help.
  • Temporary diarrhea. Because your gallbladder is no longer there to regulate the flow of bile, it will flow more constantly, but in smaller amounts, into your small intestine. This can lead to diarrhea for the first few days after surgery in many people. This side effect is most often temporary, and no treatment is needed. But if you have diarrhea that lasts for more than three days, call your doctor.
  • Chronic diarrhea. Some people who did not previously have more than one bowel movement per day will find themselves having more frequent bowel movements after gallbladder removal. These can sometimes be loose and watery, and be accompanied by a sense of urgency. Recent studies have found that this can occur in up to 17 percent of people after gallbladder removal. Men younger than age 50, especially if they are obese, have the highest likelihood of long-term diarrhea after gallbladder surgery, but a significant number of people without those risk factors may also have diarrhea for months to years after surgery. Eating a low-fat diet may help lessen symptoms, and treatments with medications which bind the excess bile acids — which are thought to be the cause of this bothersome symptom — often alleviate the problem.
  • Temporary constipation. Some people become constipated from the pain medications they take after gallbladder surgery. Eating a diet that is rich in fiber — beans, bran, whole grains, fruit, and vegetables — can help prevent and perhaps relieve constipation. Your surgeon may prescribe a stool softener to help you.
  • Retained stone in a bile duct. In some cases, a gallstone will remain in your common bile duct after gallbladder surgery. This can block the flow of bile into your small intestine and result in pain, fever, nausea, vomiting, bloating, and jaundice soon after surgery. You may need an additional procedure to remove gallstones that are retained in your common bile duct.
  • Intestinal injury.Although it is rare, the instruments used during your gallbladder surgery could damage your intestines. Your doctor will take measures to minimize the risk of this complication during the surgery. If it occurs, you might experience abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and fever. Any post-surgical symptoms like this require immediate medical attention.
  • Intestinal injury. During gallbladder removal, it’s rare but possible for a surgeon to damage the intestines. This may result in cramping. Some pain is normal following any surgery, but if it continues beyond a few days or gets worse instead of better, speak to your doctor.
  • Jaundice or fever. A stone that remains in a bile duct after gallbladder removal surgery can cause severe pain, or jaundice, which is the yellowing of the skin. A complete blockage can cause an infection.

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What should you expect after gallbladder surgery?

Gallbladder removal is a last resort. If your doctor doesn’t feel that surgery is urgent, you may want to try lifestyle changes first.

  • Diet and exercise

Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce pain and complications from gallbladder disease by reducing the cholesterol and inflammation that can cause gallstones.

A diet lower in fat and higher in fiber, and full of fruits and vegetables, can also improve gallbladder health. Swap animal fats, fried foods, and oily packaged snacks for olive oil and other healthy fats. Limit or avoid sugar.

Regular exercise can help your body reduce cholesterol and prevent gallstones from forming. Magnesium deficiency can increase your risk of developing gallstones. Eat magnesium-rich foods, including dark chocolate, spinach, nuts, seeds, and beans to improve gallbladder health.

  • Gallbladder cleanse

A gallbladder cleanse usually refers to avoiding food for up to 12 hours, then drinking a liquid recipe like the following: 4 tablespoons of olive oil with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice every 15 minutes for two hours.

  • Tonics

Apple cider vinegar and turmeric both have been shown to reduce inflammation. If you mix them with warm water you can enjoy them as a tea-like drink and may experience relief of your gallbladder symptoms. Some people find the menthol in peppermint tea to be soothing as well.

Some studiesTrusted Source have shown the benefits of turmeric on gallstone formation. However, if you have gallstones, be careful how much turmeric you ingest. One 2002 study with 12 healthy participants showed 50 percent contraction of the gallbladder due to curcumin. This increased contraction could cause pain.

  • Supplements

In addition to magnesium, choline plays a role in gallbladder health.

According to the Harvard Health Letter, bile salts may be worth a try as well, especially if your liver has been producing thick bile. Bile acids also come in prescription strength.

Speak to a doctor or nutritionist about taking one or more of these supplements if you have gallstones or a blocked bile duct.

  • Acupuncture

Acupuncture may be of potential benefit to those with gallbladder disease. It most likely works by increasing the flow of bile while also reducing spasms and pain.

It’s important to note that although diet and exercise are proven methods of reducing gallbladder complications, other methods like cleanses, tonics, and supplements haven’t been studied extensively, and side effects may occur. Be sure to discuss these options with your healthcare provider before proceeding.

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Do you gain weight after gallbladder removal?

If you have a tendency to develop painful gallstones, the remedy is usually removal of the gallbladder. This procedure is called a cholecystectomy.

The gallbladder is the part of your digestive system that stores bile, which is produced in the liver.

Bile helps with digestion of fatty foods. Removing the organ doesn’t stop the liver from making the bile necessary to digest fats. Instead of being stored in the gallbladder, bile will continuously drip into your digestive system.

There may be some connection between diet and gallstones. Obesity and rapid weight loss are risk factors for developing gallstones. There’s also an increased risk of gallstones if you have a diet high in refined carbohydrates and calories, but low in fiber.

Your digestive system will continue to function without a gallbladder. The surgery may affect your weight in the short term, but certain lifestyle changes may help you lose or maintain weight in the long term.

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What foods should you avoid if you have no gallbladder?

There’s no standard diet that people should follow after gallbladder removal surgery. In general, it’s best to avoid fatty, greasy, processed, and sugary foods.

Eating these foods after having your gallbladder removed won’t cause serious health problems, but it can lead to a lot of painful gas, bloating, and diarrhea. This is partly because bile flowing freely into your intestine works like a laxative.

  • Fatty meats

Meats that are processed or high in fat can wreak havoc on your digestive system following removal of your gallbladder.

Such meats include:

  • steak or high-fat cuts of red meat
  • beef, whole or ground
  • pork
  • bacon
  • lunch meats, such as bologna and salami
  • sausage
  • lamb
  • Dairy products

Dairy can also be hard for your body to digest as it adjusts without a gallbladder.

Try to avoid or limit your consumption of:

  • milk, especially whole
  • full-fat yogurt
  • full-fat cheese
  • butter
  • lard
  • sour cream
  • ice cream
  • whipped cream
  • sauces or gravies made with cream

If cutting out dairy isn’t realistic for you, try to choose fat-free yogurt and low-fat cheese options or versions that contain dairy alternatives, such as almond milk.

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  • Processed foods

Processed foods often contain a lot of additional fat and sugar. This makes them last longer, but they’re also hard to digest and don’t offer much nutrition.

Try to stay away from:

  • pie
  • cake
  • cookies
  • cinnamon rolls
  • sugary cereals
  • white or other processed breads
  • foods cooked in vegetable or hydrogenated oils
  • Caffeine and alcohol

Caffeine contains acids that can cause your stomach to make more acid and drain faster. This can lead to stomach pain and discomfort after having gallbladder removed.

Limit or avoid these caffeinated foods and beverages:

  • coffee
  • tea
  • soda
  • energy drinks
  • snacks with caffeine, such as energy bars or coffee-flavored desserts
  • chocolate

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How long after gallbladder surgery will I feel better?

You may have gallbladder surgery as an outpatient, or you may stay 1 or 2 days in the hospital.

Most people can return to their normal activities in 7 to 10 days. People who have laparoscopic gallbladder surgery are sore for about a week. But in 2 to 3 weeks they have much less discomfort than people who have open surgery. No special diets or other precautions are needed after surgery.

Can you have problems years after gallbladder removal?

It’s possible you’ll experience digestive side effects when your gallbladder is removed.

  • Difficulty digesting fat

It may take your body time to adjust to its new method of digesting fat. The medications you were given during surgery may also cause indigestion. This doesn’t typically last long, but some patients do develop longer-term side effects, usually caused by bile leaking into other organs or gallstones that were left behind in the bile ducts.

  • Diarrhea and flatulence

Indigestion can cause diarrhea or flatulence, often made worse by excess fat or too little fiber in the diet. Bile leakage can mean having an insufficient amount of bile in the intestines to digest fat, which loosens stool.

  • Constipation

Although removal of a diseased gallbladder usually reduces constipation, surgery and anesthesia used during the procedure can lead to short-term constipation. Dehydration can make the constipation worse.

  • Intestinal injury

During gallbladder removal, it’s rare but possible for a surgeon to damage the intestines. This may result in cramping. Some pain is normal following any surgery, but if it continues beyond a few days or gets worse instead of better, speak to your doctor.

  • Jaundice or fever

A stone that remains in a bile duct after gallbladder removal surgery can cause severe pain, or jaundice, which is the yellowing of the skin. A complete blockage can cause an infection.

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Can gallbladder removal cause liver problems?

Without the gallbladder, the liver still produces the bile necessary to digest fat in food. But instead of entering the intestine all at once with a meal, the bile continuously drains from the liver into the intestine. This means it may be harder and take longer for your body to digest fat.

Biliary cirrhosis can happen after gallbladder surgery, if the ducts are inadvertently tied off or injured.

Drugs, toxins, and infections. Severe reactions to prescription drugs, prolonged exposure to environmental toxins, the parasitic infection schistosomiasis, and repeated bouts of heart failure with liver congestion can each lead to cirrhosis.

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What are the symptoms of a blocked bile duct after gallbladder removal?

Symptoms of a blocked bile duct include:

  • Yellowing of the skin (jaundice) or eyes (icterus), from the buildup of a waste product called bilirubin
  • Itching (not limited to one area; may be worse at night or in warm weather)
  • Light brown urine
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Fever or night sweats
  • Abdominal pain, especially common on the right side under the rib cage
  • Greasy or clay-colored stools
  • A diminished appetite

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10 common questions about Gallbladder surgery side effects

1What should you expect after gallbladder surgery?
Most people can return to their normal activities in 7 to 10 days. People who have laparoscopic gallbladder surgery are sore for about a week. But in 2 to 3 weeks they have much less discomfort than people who have open surgery. No special diets or other precautions are needed after surgery.
2How long does it take to recover from gallbladder surgery?
It'll usually take around 2 weeks to return to your normal activities. After open surgery, you'll usually have to stay in hospital for 3 to 5 days, and your recovery time will be longer. It can take around 6 to 8 weeks to return to your normal activities.
3How serious is gallbladder surgery?
Open gallbladder removal is considered a safe operation. Complications are rare. However, every surgical procedure carries some risks. Before the procedure, your doctor will perform a complete physical examination and medical history to minimize these risks
4Why do I still have pain after gallbladder removal?
But people still have this pain after their gallbladder is removed. Sometimes SOD causes pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is a severe swelling and irritation of the pancreas. It may cause stomach pain around the belly button and pain in the left side under the ribs.
5Can I eat pasta after gallbladder surgery?
Diet for After Gallbladder Surgery The diet, which can help lessen the symptoms and improve your body's healing rate, includes the following points: Avoid fat. Don't eat fried foods or food high in fat for at least a week after surgery. This includes gravies, butter, and ice cream.
6How long does your stomach stay swollen after gallbladder surgery?
Your Recovery Your belly may be swollen. If you had laparoscopic surgery, you may also have pain in your shoulder for about 24 hours. You may have gas or need to burp a lot at first, and a few people get diarrhea. The diarrhea usually goes away in 2 to 4 weeks, but it may last longer.
7Can having your gallbladder removed make you gain weight?
After having your gallbladder removed, it's quite possible that you'll experience some weight loss. This may be cause of: Eliminating fatty foods: After surgery, you may have some trouble digesting fatty foods until your body adjusts. ... Experiencing diarrhea: One potential side effect of gallbladder surgery is diarrhea.
8How painful is gallbladder surgery?
There is usually minimal pain associated with this operation. The abdomen will be sore as well as the small incision sites, and some patients have shoulder pain for the first day or two. The shoulder pain is caused by gas left in your abdomen during the operation. It will disappear on its own.
9Does gallbladder surgery leave scars?
New method of surgery leaves patients virtually scar free. JANESVILLE — Gallbladder removal used to require an incision under the ribs big enough for the surgeon to reach in and pull out the organ. ... The robot-assisted surgery through one incision allows for faster recovery, virtually no scarring and less pain, she said.
10Is gallbladder surgery an emergency?
Gallstone pain is one of the most common reasons patients visit emergency rooms. ... A new Mayo Clinic study found that 1 in 5 patients who went to the emergency room with gallbladder pain and were sent home to schedule surgery returned to the ER within 30 days needing emergency gallbladder removal.

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