Long Term Effects Of Gallbladder Removal


What Happens When You Dont Have A Gallbladder

Are there any side effects to having gallbladder surgery?

Your liver continues to manufacture bile, but there is no longer a place to store it or concentrate it. Therefore bile continually slowly trickles into the intestines. If you eat a fatty meal, you will not be able to secrete a large enough amount of bile into your intestines, therefore the fat will be poorly digested. This means many people experience diarrhea, bloating, nausea or indigestion.

Not digesting fat well means you will not be able to digest essential fatty acids, including omega 3 and omega 6 fats. It also means youll have a hard time absorbing fat soluble vitamins such as vitamins D, E, A and K. A lot of the antioxidants in vegetables are fat soluble: lycopene, lutein and carotenoids are all fat soluble. If you dont produce adequate bile, you will not be adequately absorbing these life saving compounds from foods. If you take any of the above mentioned nutrients in supplement form, without sufficient bile you will sadly not absorb them well.

Some common symptoms of poor fat digestion are dry, brittle hair dry skin and premature aging of the skin weak nails and painful joints. Essential fatty acids are important for optimal brain health, therefore low mood, anxiety, depression and impaired cognitive function are all possible manifestations of poor fat digestion.

Gallbladder Removal Surgery: Overview

Gallbladder diseases occur if your bile has too much cholesterol or bilirubin. This condition can lead the sufferers to have gallstones, acute inflammation, and bile duct stones. In many cases where the symptoms get worse, gallbladder removal surgery is often suggested. It can be either in the form of laparoscopic or open surgery. Both of the options come with their pros and cons.

Open surgery usually requires a longer period to recover, at least 2 months before the patients can fully go back to their routine. Meanwhile, laparoscopic surgery offers faster recovery. You can even go home on the same day after the procedure. With laparoscopic surgery, patients can expect to return to their daily routine within two weeks. Though the surgery to remove the gallbladder is considered very simple, you may get some discomfort without this tiny organ. The bile will move from your liver to your testiness directly. Also, some short- and long-term side effects of gallbladder removal are often associated with this procedure.

Living Without A Gallbladder

The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ that stores and releases bile, a fat-digesting juice made in the liver. Gallbladder removalcholecystectomyis one of the most common surgeries in the United States. Its a treatment for painful obstruction caused by gallstones and other gallbladder problems.

The gallbladder is not a critical organyou can live without it. But, it can take time for your body to adjust to its absence. Right after surgery, high-fat foods can cause stomach discomfort and diarrhea. Many people who have their gallbladder removed are able to get relief from these symptoms by changing their diet or taking medicine. Heres what you need to know about living without a gallbladder.

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Cholecystectomy And Mets Components

Numerous epidemiological studies have linked gallstones and cholecystectomy to MetS. However, when compared with gallstones, cholecystectomy is usually more closely, if not solely, associated with each of the MetS components when the two conditions are studied separately.

Table 2 Epidemiologic evidence that links cholecystectomy to various components of MetS

Consistent with the above findings, several lines of evidence suggest that cholecystectomy per se may increase the risk for developing hypertension. In a Chinese population of 5672 subjects, the prevalence of elevated blood pressure was higher among subjects with a history of cholecystectomy than among those with gallstones or without gallstone disease. Similarly, Chavez-Tapia et al analyzed the association between cholecystectomy and the risk factors for cardiovascular disease, and found that patients who underwent cholecystectomy had higher systolic blood pressure levels than those without GB disease or a history of cholecystectomy. Furthermore, Nervi et al found a significantly higher prevalence of hypertension among subjects having undergone cholecystectomy when compared with patients without gallstone disease.

What To Expect Immediately After A Gallbladder Removal

Gallbladder Removal Side Effects

Although gallbladder removal is a safe and effective procedure, it does carry some risks and complications. The following are the common and acute side effects of gallbladder surgery:

  • Bleeding
  • Injury to the surrounding organs
  • Leakage of bile into the abdominal cavity

Depending on the type of gall bladder removal surgery, hospital stay may be needed for a few days. Additionally, the patient would be advised to take the prescribed painkillers and antibiotics to manage pain and infection. The same day, as soon as the patient gains consciousness or starts feeling better they are encouraged to walk slowly to avoid the risk of blood clots in the limbs. Also, the patient would be advised to have a bland or liquid diet for a few days, rest for at least 3 to 5 days and avoid lifting heavy weights for a few days.

Digestive issues, such as bloating, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and change in bowel and bladder habits are few common short-term side effects associated with gall bladder removal.

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Long Term Effects Of Removing Gallbladder

Although the use of gallbladder is only to store bile from the liver, absence of this organ to the body can cause long term complications. Here are some of the long term risks of gallbladder removal:

  • Formation of bile stones. Bile stones will be formed when the patient with no gallbladder continues to eat fatty foods, allergen, salty foods, and other foods that can cause formation of these stones.
  • Injury to common bile duct. Bile duct will continuously produce bile since there is no stored bile. Non-stop production of bile can cause injury to the bile duct.
  • Lack of stored bile acids. Since theres not enough stored bile, eating fatty foods will result to undigested fats.
  • Irritation on the lines of intestine. This can be cause by continuous production of bile even if there is no food to digest.
  • Colon cancer. People with their gallbladder removed are more prone to have colon cancer in the long run. This is the worst long term effect of gallbladder removal. Bile irritates the lines of intestine which can trigger the formation and production of cancer cells.

Difficulty In Digesting Food

After the gallbladder removal, the body takes time to adjust to the missing organ. Therefore, the bile flows in a small amount directly into the small intestine. This can lead to temporary diarrhea.In some cases, gallbladder stones remain in the common bile duct even after the surgery. This can block the flow of bile into the small intestine and result in nausea, vomiting, bloating, or fever. Thus, check with your doctor to stop this from getting worse.

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What Happens During Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy

During a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, your surgeon:

  • Makes a small incision near your belly button and two to three incisions in the top right part of your abdomen.
  • Inserts a small tube with carbon dioxide to inflate your abdomen. This inflation offers easier access to your gallbladder.
  • Uses a laparoscope to project an image of the inside of your abdomen onto a large screen.
  • Removes your gallbladder by inserting small surgical tools through the incisions.
  • Releases the gas from your abdomen and closes the incisions with stitches.

The Connection Between Your Weight And The Gallbladder

How long is the recovery process after gallbladder surgery? – Frankfort Regional Medical Center

Doctors have pointed to connections between a persons weight and their risk of developing gallstones.

According to scientists from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, rapid weight loss can increase your risk of needing a gallbladder surgery. When you quickly lose weight, the liver produces more cholesterol in bile that can build up and form stones in the gallbladder. Also, gastric bypass surgery can lead to gallstone problems.16

Being overweight can also increase your risk of gallbladder attack and the need for a cholecystectomy. The European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology reports that a high BMI increases a persons risk of gallstones.17

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Problems After Gallbladder Removal : Postcholecystectomy Syndrome

If you continue to suffer from gallbladder symptoms years after a cholecystectomy, it could be that you have postcholecystectomy syndrome .

Postcholecystectomy syndrome describes a number of complications of gallbladder surgery that can cause abdominal discomfort for many years. Although the main symptoms of PCS are mild to intense RUQ pain and indigestion, there are a number of other associated complications.

Dr. Steen W. Jensen says that side effects of gallbladder removal that last for many years can include any of the following:

  • Colicky abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating

Life After Gallbladder Removal:

Although people can have a healthy life without a gallbladder, the body takes time to adjust to its absence. The absence of gallbladder may cause the following:

  • Diet changes: People after gallbladder removal surgery are advised to have a small portion of meals throughout the day instead of three large meals. Additionally, they should limit their intake of fats, fiber-rich foods, and caffeine.
  • Changes in digestion: Normally, when a person has a meal, the gallbladder releases bile directly into the small intestine to begin the digestion of fats. Even in the absence of a gallbladder, most foods are digested easily, but the digestion of fatty, greasy, or fiber-rich foods becomes harder, which may result in abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhea.
  • Changes in weight: Initially, the patient will experience weight loss, but in the long-term, they tend to gain weight. Therefore, it is essential to manage these weight changes with proper diet and regular exercise.

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Complications And Risks Of Gallbladder Removal

Here are some of the side effects that patients suffer after gallbladder removal:

  • Diarrhea is a common side effect of removing gallbladder. Since there is no more gallbladder to store bile from the liver, it goes directly to the digestive tract and irritates the large intestine, causing diarrhea. Food also moves easily when gallbladder is removed, which also results to diarrhea.
  • Heartburn can also be experienced by people who have undergone cholecystectomy.
  • Unexplainable discomfort is usually felt by the patients a few days after the surgery. This happens as the body organs adjust to the absence of gallbladder in the system.
  • Bloating is the result of carbon dioxide pumped inside the body and remains there.
  • Difficulty in breathing. It is important that after surgery, deep breathing is now practiced.
  • Heartburn is the result of improper digestion. Since there is not enough bile in the system, some of the fatty foods remain undigested and these fatty acids and gastric acids will try to regurgitate back to the esophagus, causing pain in the chest, neck, throat, etc..

Postoperative Care After Gallbladder Removal Surgery

Gallbladder Removal Long Term Effects

After gallbladder removal surgery, it is highly recommended to follow these advices:

  • After the surgery is performed, the patient will be transferred to a recovery room while all vital signs, e.g. heart rates, respiratory rates and blood pressure as well as other relevant parameters, e.g. oxygen saturation level are measured and closely monitored. During a postoperative visit, the surgeon will keep the patient informed about the surgical outcomes and overall conditions. In case any question or concern is raised, the patient shall not hesitate to discuss with the surgeon.
  • To minimize the risk of pneumonia that might develop after surgery, the patient is advised to breathe deeply 5-10 times in each hour.
  • To promote early mobility, the patient should refrain from lying in bed. Without provoking pain or discomfort, the patient can sit up straight and slowly walk around the bed. Daily activities must be resumed as soon as possible to improve blood circulation and prevent blood clot formation. Under close supervision of rehabilitation specialists, the patient should start walking 5-6 times/day as walking helps to enhance blood flow throughout the body while maintaining normal breathing, gastrointestinal and urinary tract functions which often slow down after surgery.
  • If pain develops at the surgical site during changing the position, use hand or pillow to alleviate pain.
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    Recovery After Gallbladder Surgery

    Unless there are no complications after the gallbladder removal, the recovery should go smoothly.

    After the surgery, the doctor will keep you in the hospital for three to five days if undergo open surgery. For laparoscopic cholecystectomy, the patient can go back home on the same day of the surgery.

    Here are some pointers you should keep in mind-

    • Try not to physically strain yourself for at least two weeks.
    • You should know how to clean the wounds and look out for infection.
    • Consume only a liquid or bland diet for the first few days.
    • Drink liquids throughout the day.
    • Limit highly salty, sweety, spicy, or fatty foods for a couple of weeks.
    • Increase your fiber intake for proper digestion but limit the consumption of nuts, seeds, whole grains, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, etc.

    Sometimes during the recovery period, patients can develop some symptoms that should not be ignored. Here are some symptoms-

    • Pain that doesnt cure over time
    • Abdominal pain that develops again
    • Intense nausea or vomiting
    • Unable to pass gas or stools
    • Diarrhea

    The Surgery Can Have Long

    Problems after a gallbladder removal can sometimes emerge even years later. Typically, these digestive symptoms include nausea, abdominal pain after eating, and diarrhea.

    There are specific reasons for why some people who have gallbladder surgerya procedure known as a cholecystectomyhave digestive symptoms, caused by the changes in how bile once stored in the gallbladder now moves through the body. They also may have other complications.

    This article explains why digestive symptoms happen after gallbladder surgery, how your condition can be treated, and the foods to avoid when you no longer have a gallbladder.

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    Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes

    Each patient requires an interprofessional team of healthcare professionals working in tandem to provide the most effective and appropriate care. This cohesive effort is beneficial for the patient presenting with symptoms consistent with post-cholecystectomy syndrome as the etiology can vary greatly. Early recognition of the etiology can be essential to prevent worse outcomes for these patients. an interprofessional approach with surgeons, nurses, and gastroenterologists involved from the initial onset of symptoms is critical to the care of these patients. While nurses may help prevent worsening outcomes by alerting physicians of any change in clinical status, the technicians may assist the physician in appropriately treating the patient. Filip et al. highlighted an algorithmic approach for the initial evaluation of the PCS patient that decreased the number of unnecessary invasive procedures and resulted in decreased morbidity and mortality. Further studies should evaluate the role of such an algorithmic approach in the management of PCS patients.

    Practicing Good Sleep Hygiene

    Laparoscopic Gallbladder Surgery Informed Consent

    To maintain a regular sleep routine after surgery, following these tips seems beneficial:

    • Getting enough sleep: After surgery 1-2 weeks, it is crucial to maintain adequate sleep up to 8-10 hours/day for enhancing healing process and recovery. Poor sleep habits, such as having an irregular sleep schedule or consuming too much caffeine or alcohol can interfere with sleep quality. These also include having a late sleep pattern or drinking too much of water before going to sleep. If pain develops, painkiller medications can be taken as prescribed. In most cases, it takes 5-7 days until a full recovery.
    • Shifting the focus: Instead of paying attention only to discomfort feeling after surgery, changing interests to pleasant hobbies or leisure activities, e.g. reading books, listening to music, playing games and social media engagement can largely relieve stress and anxiety.
    • Guided imagery for relaxation: Guided imagery is a simple relaxation technique that help to quickly and easily manage stress, reduce tension and alleviate pain. It is an intentionally thought of a peaceful place or scenario along with closing eyes, deep breathing and muscle relaxation, allowing the body to react to your own thoughts.

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    Recovery From Laparoscopic Surgery

    After a laparoscopic procedure, most people can leave the hospital on the same day as the surgery. However, a friend or family member will need to drive the individual home after surgery or accompany them in a taxi.

    It is also important to rest and avoid strenuous activities for up to 2 weeks, but a person should be able to return to normal activities after this time.

    How Do I Get Ready For A Cholecystectomy

    • Your healthcare provider will explain the procedure to you. Ask him or her any questions you have.

    • You may be asked to sign a consent form that gives permission for the procedure. Read the form carefully and ask questions if anything is not clear.

    • Your provider will ask questions about your past health. He or she may also give you a physical exam. This is to make sure you are in good health before the procedure. You may also need blood tests and other diagnostic tests.

    • You must not eat or drink for 8 hours before the procedure. This often means no food or drink after midnight.

    • Tell your provider if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant.

    • Tell your provider if you are sensitive to or allergic to any medicines, latex, tape, and anesthesia medicines .

    • Tell your provider about all the medicines you take. This includes both over-the-counter and prescription medicines. It also includes vitamins, herbs, and other supplements.

    • Tell your provider if you have a history of bleeding disorders. Let your provider know if you are taking any blood-thinning medicines, aspirin, ibuprofen, or other medicines that affect blood clotting. You may need to stop taking these medicines before the procedure.

    • If this is an outpatient procedure, you will need to have someone drive you home afterward. You wonât be able to drive because of the medicine given to relax you before and during the procedure.

    • Follow any other instructions your provider gives you to get ready.

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