If gallstones are causing problems to your digestive system, you may have been suggested gallbladder surgery. An operation could also have been recommended if you have biliary diskinesia (the malfunction of your gallbladder).
But before going through with the procedure, I’m sure you want to know about the gallbladder removal side effects.
While your gallbladder is an important part of the digestive system, being the carrier and transporter of bile, it is believed to not cause any disruptions once it is removed. That is why surgeons suggest gallbladder removal if the gallstones are already causing severe problems to your digestive tract.
However, many people who had their gallbladders removed claim that there could be gallbladder surgery complications and a lot of changes in digestion.
Gallbladder Removal Complications
There are generally two types of cholecystectomy, namely laparoscopic surgery and open surgery. Laparoscopic surgery is safer than the traditional open surgery, but both surgeries may cause complications in relation to anesthetic and the actual surgical operation.
Anesthetic problems after gallbladder removal:
- heart and lung problems
- blood clots
- an allergic reaction to the drug
Surgical complications after gallbladder removal:
- malfunction of the small intestine
- worst-case scenario, death
Gallbladder Surgery Side Effects
The gallbladder stores bile directly from the liver and carries waste away from the digestive tract. Once your gallbladder is removed, bile from the liver would go straight to the small intestines. It will take some time before your liver and the small intestines get accustomed to the new process of transporting bile without the gallbladder. This usually causes diarrhea – one of the most common gallbladder removal symptoms.
Other symptoms after gallbladder removal include:
- weight loss
- weight gain
- jaundice, and
These symptoms are known as post-cholecystectomy syndrome, and can be felt days and even years after the actual gallbladder surgery.
Gallstones After Gallbladder Surgery
Against popular belief, you can still get gallstones after gallbladder removal. There are 2 reasons for this:
First off, your gallstones may have already entered the bile ducts before your surgery took place. Removing your gallbladder would not have removed these stones. This could be a cause for your pain after gallbladder removal.
Secondly, new gallstones may form even years after your gallbladder surgery. That is why changing to a healthier diet and lifestyle is so important.
Managing the Side Effects of Gall bladder Removal
Living with nausea or pain after gallbladder surgery is not fun. Luckily, most of the side effects can be treated by changing your eating habits and/or with medication. Only light meals and less oily foods should be ingested after the surgery and with consistency.
However, if the problems are disruptive in nature, you must go to the doctor to undergo physical tests. The side effects may also be a new set of symptoms leading to another underlying condition, and a primary surgery might not be sufficient.
So what’s the Alternative?
If you never knew this, gallbladder surgery is not your only option. Many people (me included) decided to keep our gallbladders and go through with a natural gallstone cleanse instead. To see if it’s right for you, you can read my review of the cleanse and diet I went through over here.