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Gallbladder Removal Side Effects


Gallbladder removal or medically known as cholecystectomy has been one of the most common surgical procedure because of increasing number of people suffering from gallbladder and liver problems. Along with gallbladder surgery, gallbladder removal side-effects may be one of the concerns of patients undergoing it. Having knowledge about the surgery as well as the side-effects of the procedure usually helps in relieving anxiety and increase the confidence of people undergoing cholecystectomy.

Cholecystectomy is a surgical procedure involving the removal of the gallbladder. The gallbladder is responsible for storing bile that is produced by the liver. When a person takes in food that contains fats, the gallbladder contracts in order to release bile in the duodenum. Bile is very important in the digestion of fats. Without it, there may be fat indigestion and other problems related to it. The gallbladder is a pear shaped organ that is connected to the liver and to the duodenum by the bile ducts. In cases that stones have formed in the gallbladder, the stones obstruct the flow of bile as well as causing inflammation in the gallbladder leading to severe epigastric pain that may radiate to the back. The presence of gallstones and inflammation of the gallbladder requires surgical removal in order to relieve intense pain. These conditions are not easily treated using medical interventions, so surgical intervention is the treatment of choice.

GallBladder removal

Gallbladder removal may involve open surgery or laparoscopic surgery. Generally, laparoscopic surgery is less invasive because only small incisions are done rather than a large incision on the abdomen. Laparoscopic surgery may also have fewer initial side-effects than open cholecystectomy. Nevertheless, when the gallbladder is removed, it usually produces various gallbladder removal side effects.

Gallbladder Removal Side effects

1. Pain

The initial gallbladder removal side effect is the occurrence of pain. During the surgical procedure, an incision is made on the skin as well on the adjacent tissues in order to remove the organ. Because of the tissue injury, the inflammatory response is initiated leading to pain, swelling and redness. Pain is usually managed by administering pain medications at regular intervals until the patient no longer complain of pain. Pain is usually managed because the presence of pain may limit the breathing of the patient.

2. Bloating and Abdominal Distention

These are common gallbladder removal side effects as a result of laparoscopic surgery. During surgery, carbon dioxide is pumped on the abdominal cavity like a balloon in order to have better visualization of the abdomen. The carbon dioxide pumped normally causes bloating and distention, but it usually disappears in a few hours to days.

3. Shortness of Breath

After surgery, lung expansion and diaphragmatic descent normally compress the abdominal cavity that may lead to intensified pain on the surgical site. Because of this, patients limit their breathing in order to prevent pain. In order to address this, patients are taught on proper splinting of the incision site during deep breathing exercises.

4. Indigestion

Indigestion is also a common gallbladder removal side effect. This results because of the absence of adequate amount of bile to digest fats. Fats are very difficult to digest and it may lead to indigestion. Indigestion usually manifests as abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. In order to prevent this, patients should be cautious in their food intake avoiding fatty foods. Other irritating foods such as caffeine should also be avoided in order to prevent further irritation of the gut. Guarana is a specific herb that contains high amounts of caffeine that may lead to guarana side effects such as abdominal pain in cases of gallbladder removal.

5. Diarrhea

Diarrhea is also a common gall bladder side effect as a result of absence of bile that digests the fats when it is needed because bile constantly is released in the intestines. Patients are instructed to assume a low fat diet in order to prevent diarrhea.

6. Irritable Bowel syndrome

Since bile is no longer stored in the gallbladder, the bile from the liver is continuously released into the intestines. Because of this, the gut is constantly irritated even in the absence of food leading to recurrent diarrheal episodes.

Before undergoing the procedure, patients should be taught on these various gallbladder removal side effects in order for them to assume a proper lifestyle as soon as the gallbladder is removed.

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