A healthy gallbladder does its work unnoticed. It is a small organ located in the right side of the abdomen just under the liver. It is like a storage container for the bile produced in the liver before it is secreted into the intestines to aid in the digestion of fats. Bile consists of bile salts, cholesterol and waste products. Sometimes, the substances contained in bile crystallize in the gallbladder. If untreated, this leads to the formation of gallstones which are commonly seen in persons over forty. Obesity is a major contributory factor in the formation of these small but hard concretions. It can cause severe inflammation of the gall bladder especially after consuming a fatty meal. It becomes difficult for a person if a stone gets lodged in the bile duct blocking it completely. All this can greatly damage the gallbladder because of which many people opt for its surgical removal. For most individuals there is no change noted in the digestive process after the surgery. However, there are certain side-effects and risks of complications associated with gallbladder removal that you must know to be able to make an informed decision. The information given below will help you know more on this.
Side-Effects of Removing Gall Bladder
- The first few days after the surgery pose a significant discomfort as the organs are internally shifted while removing the gallbladder.The person thereafter must be extremely stringent about his diet. Lots of skimmed milk, skinned fish, soups and salads, high fiber foods such as brown rice, whole meal bread must be consumed to absorb excess water and make your bowel movements firmer. Fried and spicy food must be avoided; otherwise the side effects can aggravate the discomfort.
- Heartburn is often experienced by those who have undergone gallbladder surgery. ‘Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease’ is the leading cause of heartburn after gall bladder surgery.
- A person who has had his/her gallbladder removed can complain of unbearable bloating. This is because the bile is stored in the gallbladder by the liver where it becomes more concentrated and effective at fat disposal. Without the gallbladder to allow for that extra concentration, bile loses some of its punch. The body has to work harder to break down the fat in the intestinal track leading to bloating.
- Carbon dioxide is pumped to inflate the abdominal cavity and shoulders. Some of this gas remains in the body causing bloating and uneasiness.
- At times the bile duct or other organs get damaged during surgery. If this happens one may need further surgery to rectify it.
- If abdominal pain, bloating, wind and diarrhea persist for a long time one will need further investigation and treatment.
- Though rare, the blood vessels can get blocked with bubbles of carbon dioxide gas.
- The liver produces thick bile after the removal of the gallbladder. This can further lead to bile stone formation causing pain and discomfort even after the surgery.
- You may find breathing difficult after the surgery. Meditation can be practiced regularly to avoid lung complications.
- As the bile after the gallbladder removal is not readily secreted, the liver has to manage the fat by itself. For some, even small amounts of fats can cause distress.
- The bile salts can be an irritant for the digestive system by not allowing the digestion process to run smoothly. This is the reason why many people complain of diarrhea after having their gallbladder removed.
These are the most common side-effects of gallbladder removal. Always weigh the pros and cons of any surgery before going ahead.