Life After Gallbladder Removal

If you’ve struggled with the severe pain that often accompanies a problematic gallbladder, you’re likely happy to have the troublesome organ removed. Gallbladder surgery helps alleviate your pain and is often the only effective solution. 

But although the gallbladder is known to malfunction, it also helps digest your foods. At MIB Surgery in Plantation, Florida, many of our patients with gallbladder issues worry about how this removal will affect their life. 

To help put your mind at ease, board-certified surgeon Abel Bello, MD, and our care team put together this informative guide about gallbladder removal, what you can expect after your procedure, and tips on how to avoid problems. 

What’s involved with gallbladder removal?

Your gallbladder is a small organ that sits beneath your liver in the upper-right quadrant of your abdomen. The gallbladder helps aid digestion by storing and releasing bile, which breaks down nutrients and vitamins, as needed into your small intestine.

Bile is made up of a combination of fats, fluids, bilirubin (a yellowish substance produced during the breakdown of red blood cells), and cholesterol. When the bile your body produces has too much bilirubin or too much cholesterol, you can develop gallstones. They may also develop if your gallbladder doesn’t empty fully or frequently enough.

Sometimes these gallstones block your bile duct, leading to cholecystitis, or inflammation or infection of the gallbladder, causing symptoms such as pain in the upper right abdomen, pain in your right shoulder, back pain, severe abdominal pain, abdominal tenderness, nausea, vomiting, and fever. Removal of the gallbladder is usually the best solution. 

At MIB Surgery, Dr. Belo removes your gallbladder using the latest techniques in minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery or robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery. Both types of surgery involve small incisions and a high-definition camera, which allow Dr. Belo to remove your gallbladder without the need for a large abdominal incision so you recover faster.

Robotic-assisted surgery also involves the use of a robotic system that responds to Dr. Belo’s hand movements. The technology involved allows for extreme precision and a better range of motion in the small spaces of your body. 

What is life like after gallbladder removal?

While a healthy, functioning gallbladder does play a role in digestion, it’s an organ your liver and small intestine can do without. After gallbladder removal, your liver makes up for the lack of stored bile by supplying a steady drip of the substance to your digestive system. 

When the bile comes directly from your liver instead of going through the gallbladder, it’s less concentrated. As a result, it can act as a laxative and trigger more frequent bowel movements. 

In the weeks following your surgery, you may have more difficulty digesting fats. That can cause stomach discomfort, diarrhea, bloating, and excessive gas. As such, Dr. Belo provides after-care instructions for avoiding these symptoms.

Most of the time, any digestive changes you experience resolve over time as your body adapts to life without a gallbladder. They can also be controlled with a few dietary changes, most of which are healthy enough to stick with for life.

To avoid issues with digestion after gallbladder removal, try making these lifestyle changes:

To find out more about life after gallbladder removal, contact MIB Surgery in Plantation, Florida, by calling 954-546-7958 to schedule a consultation. You may also request an appointment online at your convenience. 

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