Gallbladder Removal – Can I Function Normally?

Gallbladder Removal – Can I Still Function Normally?

A cholecystectomy is typically done to stop pain and treat the infection caused by gallstones. Additionally, it can prevent gallstones from resurfacing. If the gallstones are not treated, pain can get worst, and infection can occur, which can become life threatening.

What does my Gallbladder do?

You may be concerned when your doctor advises you to do a gallbladder removal surgery (cholecystectomy). The main function of your gallbladder is to store bile, and releases some bile into the small intestine when you eat, where it goes on to break down fats. After a gallbladder removal procedure, your liver then releases bile straight into the small intestine, which allows you to still digest food.

But what happens after a gallbladder removal procedure?

It’s therefore advisable to avoid large amounts of foods high in fat and/or fibre after your gallbladder surgery, which can become harder to digest. This can then result in issues such as bloating and diarrhoea after a gallbladder removal procedure.

Adjusting your diet after gallbladder removal therefore not only helps you to function as per normal, in fact, it may even increase your life expectancy. Maintaining a healthy diet and weight can help decrease risk of other health conditions such as heart problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer and more. Consuming fewer calories in your daily diet can also help to improve your liver function by allowing your body to digest your food easily, and use energy even more efficiently.

In summary, you can live a normal life even without a gallbladder, and it typically doesn’t affect your life expectancy. The main thing to take note of would be your diet and lifestyle post-surgery, to help you live a longer and healthier life.

Post-Gallbladder Surgery Care

Nausea and vomiting after a gallbladder removal surgery is not uncommon. Most patients go home on the same day or the day after a laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Should the surgery be performed with an open procedure, the patient may have to stay a few days longer.

Most patients return to work within seven days following the laparoscopic gallbladder removal procedure. Some patients may continue to experience some abdominal bloating, and some may have increased frequency of stools after the surgery. Both of which will usually resolve within a couple of months.

Here are some further tips to maintain good health after a gallbladder removal surgery:

  1. Gradually ease into a healthy eating habit
    After surgery, you should take easy to digest food, and over the weeks, gradually ease into your regular diet.
  2. Reduce fatty and greasy food
    Consuming excessively fatty food might lead to fatty indigestion which can cause discomfort, stomachache, or diarrhoea.
  3. Journal your food intake and document how you feel
    Keep track of your diet to learn what you can eat without triggering any abdominal symptoms.

To understand further, fix an appointment with Dr Kan today to address any concerns relating to your gallbladder!