If you’ve suffered from the severe pain that often comes with a gallbladder problem, you’re probably relieved to have the troublesome organ removed. Gallbladder surgery relieves pain and is often the only effective treatment.
What is the procedure for gallbladder removal?The gallbladder is a small organ located in the upper-right quadrant of your abdomen, beneath your liver. The gallbladder aids digestion by storing and releasing bile, which breaks down nutrients and vitamins and transports them to the small intestine as needed. Bile is composed of fats, fluids, bilirubin (a yellowish substance produced during red blood cell breakdown), and cholesterol. Gallstones can form when your body’s bile contains too much bilirubin or too much cholesterol. They can also form if your gallbladder does not empty completely or frequently enough.
How does life change after gallbladder removal?While a healthy, functioning gallbladder aids digestion, it is an organ that your liver and small intestine could do without. Following gallbladder removal, your liver compensates for the loss of stored bile by continuously supplying the substance to your digestive system. Bile is less concentrated when it comes directly from the liver rather than the gallbladder. As a result, it has the potential to act as a laxative and cause more frequent bowel movements. You may have more difficulty digesting fats in the weeks following your surgery. This can result in stomach pain, diarrhea, bloating, and excessive gas. As a result, Dr. Belo provides after-care instructions to help patients avoid these symptoms. Most digestive issues resolve themselves over time as your body adjusts to life without a gallbladder. They can also be controlled with a few dietary changes, the majority of which are healthy enough to maintain for the rest of one’s life. Make the following lifestyle changes to avoid digestion problems after gallbladder removal:
- Adopt a low-fat diet and avoid eating highly fatty foods (such as potato chips, whole cheeses, creams, and ice cream).
- Eat smaller, more frequent meals instead of larger ones.
- Eat a small meal after fasting for several hours.