Gallbladder surgery is often recommended for individuals with gallstones and poor gallbladder function. Removal of the organ is necessary to resolve symptoms and prevent complications. Complication risks are low, and while most patients recover swiftly without any issues, there are some problems that can occur after gallbladder removal surgery patients should know about. Please take a few moments to review what they are below.
- Are there side effects after gallbladder removal?
- Healing from gallbladder surgery.
- When to see a doctor after gallbladder removal?
- Are there alternatives to gallbladder surgery
- Foods to stay away from in the weeks after gallbladder surgery.
Are there side effects after gallbladder removal?
Some side effects after surgery are normal and temporary. Although complication risks are low, in rare cases, some patients may experience digestive issues that make it difficult for their bodies to process certain foods for a short while.
Diarrhea is common and usually resolves as the body adjusts to no longer having a gallbladder.
Blocked bile ducts can occur from remaining gallstones. Symptoms include jaundice of the skin and eyes, bloating, nausea, cramping, vomiting, pain, and fever. Additional surgery may be necessary.
Injury to intestinal tissues is extremely rare. The condition occurs when the intestines are injured during the operation. Symptoms include cramping, pain, fever, nausea, and vomiting. Immediate medical attention is required.
Healing From Gallbladder Surgery
Barring complications, most Orange County Robotic General Surgery gallbladder surgery patients recover swiftly and have great outcomes. Still, Dr. Khosravi advises patients to follow their post-surgery care guidelines and to utilize the following tips when healing from gallbladder surgery.
- Rest often and as needed.
- Eat lots of fiber, fruits, and vegetables.
- Avoid gassy, greasy, spicy, and fatty foods.
- Practice good wound management.
- Take all prescribed medications as directed.
- Take it easy for two weeks; that means no strenuous activities, straining, or heavy lifting.
When to see a doctor after gallbladder removal?
Some side effects are normal and go away within several days after gallbladder surgery. However, if you experience issues that worsen or the following, contact Dr. Khosravi or go to the emergency room right away.
- Sudden, severe, or worsening pain
- Discharge from the treatment site
- Inability to pass stool or flatulence (gas)
- Severe bloating, nausea, or vomiting
- Yellowing of the eyes or skin
- Persistent diarrhea
Patients must attend follow-up appointments during their recovery.
Are there alternatives to gallbladder surgery
Surgery is often recommended for large, multiple, or complex gallstones or advanced gallbladder disease. The most common types of gallbladder surgery are open, laparoscopic, and robotic-assisted. Individuals with small gallstones may benefit from noninvasive treatment options, such as diet and weight management, prescription medications, extracorporeal shock-wave lithotripsy (ECSWL), MTBE injections, endoscopic drainage, and percutaneous cholecystostomy to remove fluid from the gallbladder.
Foods to stay away from in the weeks after gallbladder surgery
Patients can resume regular foods right after gallbladder surgery. But it’s highly recommended to start with clear liquids for the first 24 hours before gradually reintroducing regular foods and beverages to your diet. This is to give your digestive system time to readjust to processing foods.
Eating the wrong foods or consuming them too soon after surgery can cause additional pain and discomfort, and indigestion. Avoid dairy products and foods that are constipation triggers. Many gallbladder removal patients thrive on bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast, also known as the BRAT diet, for a week or two after gallbladder surgery.
Dr. Abtin Khosravi, MD, is a high-volume robotic surgeon specializing in laparoscopic and robotic-assisted cholecystectomy in Orange County, California. To learn more about problems that can arise after gallbladder removal surgery or for additional questions, call Orange County Robotic General Surgery at (714) 541-4996.
To find out if inguinal hernia repair surgery is right for you, Contact Orange County General Robotic Surgery at (714) 706-1257 for a consultation with Dr. Abtin H. Khosravi.