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Gallbladder Removal surgery is generally considered safe, and many individuals experience relief from symptoms related to gallbladder issues. However, some individuals may experience long and short-term side effects after Gallbladder Removal. It’s important to note that these effects can vary among individuals. In this blog, we’ll explore the signs and symptoms that might indicate the need for gallbladder removal surgery and the long and short-term side effects post-surgery.


Signs that may indicate the need for Gallbladder Removal surgery

Recurrent gallstones: If you have a history of gallstones and are experiencing recurrent episodes of pain or complications such as inflammation (cholecystitis) or obstruction of the bile duct, your doctor may recommend Gallbladder Removal.

Painful gallstone attacks: Intense and recurrent pain in the upper right or centre of the abdomen, often radiating to the back or right shoulder, can be a sign of gallstones. If these painful attacks persist or become more frequent, gallbladder removal may be considered.

Jaundice: Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice) may occur if gallstones block the bile ducts, preventing the normal flow of bile. If jaundice persists or recurs, it may be an indication for gallbladder removal.

Pancreatitis: Gallstones can sometimes block the pancreatic duct, leading to inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis). If you experience recurrent pancreatitis due to gallstones, gallbladder removal may be recommended.

Cholecystitis: Inflammation of the gallbladder (cholecystitis) can cause severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and fever. If treatments such as antibiotics and dietary changes are not effective, surgery may be recommended.


Short term side effects of Gallbladder Removal surgery

Pain and discomfort: Pain at the incision sites is common immediately after surgery. This discomfort typically diminishes as the healing process progresses.

Fatigue: General fatigue is common in the initial days following surgery, as the body focuses on healing.

Digestive changes: Some individuals may experience changes in digestion, such as diarrhoea or an increased frequency of bowel movements, as the body adjusts to the absence of the gallbladder.

Temporary dietary restrictions: Initially, individuals may need to follow a low-fat diet to ease digestion and prevent discomfort.

Constipation: Although removal of a diseased gallbladder usually reduces constipation, surgery and anaesthesia used during the procedure can lead to short-term constipation. Dehydration can make the constipation worse.

Bloating and indigestion: Some people may experience bloating, gas, or indigestion, especially after meals high in fat.

Dumping syndrome: Rapid emptying of the stomach contents into the small intestine, known as dumping syndrome, can occur after gallbladder removal, leading to symptoms such as nausea, cramping, diarrhoea, and weakness.


Long term side effects of Gallbladder Removal surgery

Difficulty digesting fats: Without a gallbladder to store and release bile efficiently, some individuals may have difficulty digesting fatty foods, leading to digestive discomfort.

Changes in bowel habits: Long-term alterations in bowel habits, such as more frequent or looser stools, may occur. Indigestion can cause diarrhoea, often made worse by excess fat or too little fibre in the diet. Bile leakage can mean having an insufficient amount of bile in the intestines to digest fat, which loosens stool.

Post-cholecystectomy Syndrome (PCS): This is the medical term for a recognised collection of symptoms that tend to appear in around 40% of people after removal of gallbladder and stones. These symptoms include persistent abdominal pain, bloating, or indigestion after gallbladder removal.

Hernia risk: A hernia problem may arise months or even years after the gallbladder removal surgery. There may be protrusion of tissues through the weak area around the incision area. Though it is not so common, another surgery is needed in order to get it repaired.

If you would like to enquire about gallbladder removal surgery, please fill out the enquiry form below.

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