Gallbladder removal surgery is one of the most common in recent years. One person may need a gallbladder removal if he or she experiences an inflammation or even pain caused by gallstones. At this point, no other treatments seem to be effective anymore.
The procedure is pretty safe and common, however, there are a few side-effects you should pay attention to.
We are going to show you what you should know about gallbladder surgery as well as its side effects. Let’s find out!
Gallbladder Removal Purpose
For those who may not know, the gallbladder is a small organ located on the right side of our abdomen. Its main function is to help your body digest fats.
In most cases, gallbladder diseases are caused by an excessive intake of cholesterol which leads to gallstone or bile duct stones.
When the diseases become so hard to control, doctors may recommend you take either an open or laparoscopic gallbladder surgery.
And if you are worrying, the gallbladder is not essential to our body. You can live normally without a gallbladder.
Before taking the surgery, you will have to go through a series of test to make sure your body is completely healthy and strong enough to undertake the surgery. Some tests include blood tests and gallbladder tests.
Besides, some other conventional tests such as EKG or chest X-ray are very important according to your medical history.
At this point, if you are on any medication, we highly recommend you consult with your doctors to make sure it does not interfere with the surgery.
Also, ask for a friend or family member to look after you after the surgery and take you home.
#2. Surgery types
As we mentioned above, there are two types of surgeries: one is open surgery and one is laparoscopic surgery. However, in most cases, doctors will recommend the latter because it has a shorter recovery period.
That is not to say anyone should proceed with laparoscopic regardless of other factors. Although gallbladder surgery is not ranked as dangerous, it may affect near areas that may cause serious injuries.
Laparoscopic surgery may not be safe when you have experienced some types of abdominal diseases in the past. Therefore, we suggest you consult carefully with your doctors about any medical procedure you have been through in the past to choose the right approach.
#3. Steps of the surgery
If you proceed on laparoscopic surgery, then it may take about one to two hour. Open surgery is a lot longer depending on how serious the disease becomes.
At first, doctors will clean your abdomen in order to reduce the chance of infection. Then they will make an incision to your abdomen to expose your gallbladder. Remove the gallbladder, close the wound and finish the procedure.
#1. Recovery from open surgery
You will be expected to stay in the hospital for about 3 to 5 days to monitor after the operation. It may take about 6 to 8 weeks for your body to fully recover.
#2. Recovery from laparoscopic surgery
Most people can leave the hospital during the day of the operation. However, you still need someone to take care of or to drive home.
For the body to completely recover, you need to be well rested 2 weeks after the surgery.
Regardless of what type of surgery you undertake, it is important to avoid any strenuous activities after the surgery.
Gallbladder Removal Side Effects
While the surgery is not as dangerous as other surgeries, gallbladder removal may include some side effects as follows:
Difficulty in digesting fats: as the gallbladder is responsible for digesting food, gallbladder removal surgery may make it a lot harder for you to digest fatty food.
Adopting a low-fat diet is highly recommended after the surgery. The side effect may disappear after a month or so.
Diarrhea: the patient may experience temporary diarrhea or even chronic diarrhea after the operation.
Temporary diarrhea: as the bile is not monitored by the gallbladder anymore, it will be stored in the intestine, which may cause diarrhea for a few days. It will soon go away without any treatment.
However, remember to keep an eye on it because diarrhea over three days is another problem you should deal with.
Chronic diarrhea: this rarely happens, however, a small number of people experience chronic diarrhea for months or even years. Doctors will give you prescriptions to alleviate the symptoms as well as to ease the pain.
Constipation: this side effect is a lot easier to deal with. All you need to do is to stick to a healthy diet with lots of vegetables and fiber to cure constipation.
Intestinal hurt: your intestines may be hurt during the surgery, but the doctor can minimize the risk of this side effect while operating.
Some common signs of this side effect include nausea, vomit, abdominal pain, and fever. In this case, it is important for you to stay in the hospital for a few days to monitor the effect.
Stone in a bile duct: in some rare cases, there will be a gallstone left in your bile duct. The gallstone may go through the small intestine which leads to many side effects such as nausea, fever, pain and bloating. This is one of the most dangerous side effects.
You may have to go through an additional procedure to remove all the remained gallstone out of the bile duct.
No matter which side effect, you may have, it is important to notify your doctors as soon as possible when you experience one of them. Even if the effect does not need any additional medication, doctors will have solutions to reduce discomfort.
Ways to Avoid Discomfort after Gallbladder Removal Surgery
Here are a few ways to reduce discomfort after the surgery:
#1. Stick to a healthy diet
We highly recommend you stick with liquid and low-fat food and gelatin. After a while, gradually add more solid food to the meal.
You should also try to introduce fiber back to your diet. Healthy sources of fiber include whole-grain bread, seeds, nuts, broccoli and some more are highly recommendable.
However, it is crucial to add a small portion and increase the amount day by day to avoid bloating or diarrhea.
#2. Keep an eye on the side effects
It is essential to keep track of how the patient recovers after the surgery. In case there is any abnormal sign, you should notify the doctor immediately to have an immediate solution.
Above is everything you should know about gallbladder surgery. After the surgery, try to stick to doctors’ instruction to foster recovery. You should be completely fine in a short period of time.
Besides, we suggest you try to consume more healthy sources of fiber and fats. Start from a small portion and add more to that gradually according to your body’s need.
Let us know if you have any question!