Problems After Gallbladder Removal Years Later


More Gallstones After The Removal

The Problems After Gallbladder Removal Years Later

It is possible for gallstones to recur after gallbladder removal and for the intense pain and discomfort to come back. These symptoms may be from stones forming in the bile duct, but are more likely to be stones that were in the ducts and missed at the time of gallbladder removal. These can be removed in a second operation or they can be dissolved using drugs.

Gallbladder Removal: The Long

Around 80% of people who have gallstones have no symptoms and their gallbladder can remain in place unless problems develop. In the remaining 20%, gallstones can cause inflammation and a condition called cholecystitis. If you have this, you tend to develop symptoms of biliary colic intense abdominal pain accompanied by nausea, vomiting and fever that are usually only relieved by removal of gallbladder, part of the bile duct and all the stones that can be found.

This article on gallbladder removal is by Kathryn Senior, a freelance journalist who writes health, medical, biological, and pharmaceutical articles for national and international journals, newsletters and web sites.

It is also possible for the gallstones to shift out of the gallbladder and block the bile duct, the tube leading from the gallbladder into the intestine. This leads to obstructive jaundice, which causes the skin to yellow and become very itchy. Stones can also escape to block the pancreatic duct, causing acute pancreatitis. Again, removal of gallbladder and stones is necessary to relieve the immediate symptoms and to take away the source of the problem.

Although gallbladder removal is a necessary and sometimes life-saving operation, it is not without its risks and long-term effects. Learning more about these can help you cope if you do have to have to undergo removal of gallbladder surgery.

Digestive Problems After Gallbladder Surgery

Any type of surgery, no matter how small, comes with risk factors and side effects post-operation. Most patients with typical gallbladder operations usually have little to no side effects, but in some patients, digestive problems and other medical issues can occur.

The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ that is part of the digestive system and located under the liver. Its job is to regulate the flow of bile. Bile helps break down food, so when its needed, the gallbladder pushes the right amount of bile through tubes called bile ducts to the small intestine.

Gallstones are the most common reason for gallbladder removal surgery. Gallstones form when substances within bile build up and harden. This includes bile salts, cholesterol, and bilirubin. Having gallstones is quite painful, and surgery is often needed. There are other diseases of the gallbladder as well, however. These include:

However, your body still has the capability to live without your gallbladder. The liver can transport the bile through the common bile ducts without using the gallbladder as a middleman. Because your body can live without this organ, most patients do not experience significant side effects after surgery however, some do.

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How To Avoid Discomfort For The Rest Of Your Life After Gallbladder Removal

Many of our patients report that they can eat all the same things they ate before surgery with no adverse effects. But some experience problems, such as gasiness, bloating, diarrhea, and cramping when they eat certain types of foods. If youre one of them, we recommend several strategies that can help you avoid these uncomfortable side effects:

  • Eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day
  • Avoid fatty foods, such as dairy beef, fried foods, poultry skin, etc.
  • Cut back on caffeine and sodas, which can increase stomach acid
  • Limit high-fiber foods
  • Avoid spicy foods

Its a good idea to keep a food journal so you can identify a pattern between your diet and your symptoms. There are several apps available to help you keep track on your phone. This helps you narrow down your personal triggers, so you can avoid them.

As the months and years pass, you may find that you can tolerate those problematic foods, so pay attention to your body and how it responds. But if you need to maintain these changes for the long haul, the upside is that youll be eating a healthier diet and thats good for your whole body.

If you have symptoms of gallbladder disease, dont ignore them. Schedule an appointment online or call our friendly staff today. Relief from gallbladder disease is available.

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General Diet And Lifestyle Remedies

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After I had my gallbladder removed, I had to change my eating habits to avoid unpleasant symptoms. Overeating spelled disaster for my strained liver, pancreas, and ducts. It is best to try to eat several small meals a day or eat smaller portions at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Going too long without eating is also bad as our bodies signal bile to be released at certain times of the day. Not eating can lead to bile acid diarrhea and intestinal discomfort.

Dont eat fast. Instead, chew your food thoroughly and take your time. This will benefit your entire digestive tract and organs so they dont have to work as hard. Your digestive system starts in your mouth where enzymes are released to start the digestion process. Taking the time to allow these enzymes to mix with your food is essential for proper and thorough digestion.

The juice of certain vegetables can do wonders for the liver and biliary system. Beets, apples, and ginger all support bile formation. Beets are probably the best vegetable for your liver as they contain important liver healing substances, including betaine, betalains, fiber, iron, betacyanin, folate, and betanin.

Other foods reported to protect the liver and increase bile production are bitter foods such as dandelion and mustard greens, radishes, artichokes, fruits high in vitamin c, and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage.

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When To See Your Healthcare Provider

If you are experiencing ongoing problems with abdominal pain and/or diarrhea, you should work with your healthcare provider to get an accurate diagnosis. The range of possibilities for your ongoing problems is fairly varied:

  • Common bile duct stones
  • Pancreatic cancer

Remember to always mention your surgery when speaking with a new healthcare provider, even if your gallbladder was removed years ago.

If you are experiencing fever, chills, or signs of dehydration, you should contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Incontinence After Gallbladder Surgery

Gallbladder surgery is one of the most common surgical procedures performed in the U.S. today, with more than 700,000 procedures taking place each year. While the vast majority of patients experience no postoperative complications or changes, a small percentage may develop symptoms of fecal incontinence after gallbladder surgery which can range from occasional minor bowel leakage to more significant loss of bowel control. Symptoms can develop soon after surgery other times, they may not appear until months afterward or longer.

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Sphincter Of Oddi Dysfunction/biliary Dyskinesia

The sphincter of Oddi is a ring of muscle at the end of the common bile duct. Abnormal contractions or failure of the relaxation of the sphincter of Oddi may cause gallbladder-like pain.

The sphincter of Oddi dysfunction causes biliary type pain and may continue for years after gallbladder removal.

Also, it can lead to pancreatic and liver problems .

Sphincter Of Oddi Dysfunction

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Bile and pancreatic juice must flow between the pancreas and the bile duct to the small intestines, where they help in the digestion of food.

Therefore a muscle known as a circular rubber band is located along the respective ducts to control the release of bile and pancreatic fluid into the small intestines.

That rubber band-like muscle may be referred to as the sphincter of Oddi.

Sometimes and especially in people who have had their gallbladders removed, the sphincter of Oddi can experience a dysfunction that makes it unable to open and close as it should.

After some time, a backup of fluids occurs in the bile ducts and causes inflammation and severe irritation.

Dysfunction of the sphincter of Oddi can cause several symptoms, which, once noted, you should seek medical attention immediately. The symptoms include chills, diarrhea, fever, and nausea.

To get a proper diagnosis, you must get some scans since the symptoms can come and go and vary in intensity each time.

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Recurrence Or Missing Of Gallstones Inside The Bile Ducts

You can have a gallstone after gallbladder removal, even years later. The gallstones dont come back inside the gallbladder because they are no longer present.

The possible sites of the gallstones after gallbladder removal are :

  • Missed or newly formed gallstone inside the common bile duct .
  • Missed stone in the cystic duct .
  • Newly formed stones in the hepatic ducts (right, left, or common hepatic ducts.
  • Newly formed gallstones inside the liver .

Symptoms of gallstones after gallbladder removal:

Reach For Smaller Portions And Skip The Deep

As your system gets used to processing fats without the aid of a gallbladder, large meals and high-fat foods can cause pain and bloating. Smaller, low-fat meals spread throughout your day six is a good number are easier for your digestive system to handle.

Foods to avoid in the weeks following gallbladder surgery include:

  • High-fat meats, such as bologna, sausage, and hamburger
  • Cheese, ice cream, whole milk, and other high-fat dairy products
  • Cream soups or sauces and meat gravies
  • Chicken or turkey skin

We also recommend you avoid heavily spiced foods during your initial recovery phase because theyre more difficult to digest. Rather than deep-frying your foods, reduce the fat and add flavor by stir-frying skinless chicken breast or lean steak in a pan with a teaspoon of olive oil.

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Life After Gallbladder Removal

It is safe to live without a gallbladder, which is one of the reasons gallbladder removal is typically the recommended treatment for gallbladder problems. Your gallbladder’s main job is to store bile and to secrete bile into your small intestine in response to ingesting foods containing fat.

Without your gallbladder, your liver continues to produce bile, but instead of it being sent to the gallbladder for storage, the bile passes into your common bile duct and then makes its way into your small intestine.

Treatment Of Postcholecystectomy Syndrome

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  • Sometimes endoscopic sphincterotomy

Endoscopic sphincterotomy can relieve recurrent pain due to sphincter of Oddi dysfunction, particularly if due to papillary stenosis. Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography and manometry have been used to treat postcholecystectomy pain however, no current evidence indicates that this treatment is efficacious if patients have no objective abnormalities. These patients should be treated symptomatically.

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The Problems After Gallbladder Removal Years Later

Are you wondering about the problems after gallbladder removal years later that you might experience? Gallbladder removal surgery is a therapeutic surgery that can help you resolve any gallbladder problems. However, this surgery also comes with a risk of problems years later after the surgery. Here are some of the things that you might want to be cautious about after gallbladder removal surgery.

Liver Problems After Gallbladder Removal

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Gallstone disease is diagnosed in roughly 20 percent of adults, and about 20-30 percent have stones that cause no symptoms. The majority of stones pass spontaneously within a few months. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is the most popular procedure for those who choose treatment. However, some people develop cirrhosis and liver failure after undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

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Take A Break After Surgery

Whenever possible, our surgeons prefer the robotic-assisted laparoscopic technique for gallbladder removal because its a minimally invasive procedure. Compared to traditional open surgery, the laparoscopic method offers fewer risks of complications during and after surgery and greatly speeds your recovery time.

In fact, most of our patients whove undergone a laparoscopic procedure can return home the same day as their surgery. But dont expect to return to your normal activities right away. Give your body a day or two to rest.

Pamper your stomach as well for two to three days with a diet thats easy to digest. Start with clear liquids, broth, and gelatin, and then add solid foods gradually.

Life After The Removal

12 Complications of Having Your Gallbladder Removed

It is important to remember that most people 60% of those who have gallbladder removal do not experience any after effects and live normal and healthy lives. If you do experience discomfort or digestive problems after your removal of gallbladder surgery, it is better to get help and treatment sooner rather than later.

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Primary Choledocholithiasis 15 Years Postcholecystectomy

Michael SimonAcademic Editor: Received


Gallstone disease is extremely prevalent in the western society with laparoscopic cholecystectomy being the standard treatment for patients with symptomatic gallstones. The prevalence of common bile duct stones with concomitant gallstones increases with age from 815% in patients < 60 years of age and up to 60% in the elderly. There have been only a few case reports of postcholecystectomy bile duct stones occurring more than 10 years following surgery in the literature. Most of these reports describe the presence of stones within the gallbladder/cystic duct remnant or secondary to migrating surgical clips.

1. Introduction

2. Case

An 86-year-old male presented to the Emergency Department with complaints of abdominal pain. The patients medical history included hyperlipidemia and cholecystectomy 15 years prior to presentation. The patient stated that he had eaten at a fast food restaurant one day prior to presentation. Afterwards, the patient developed mild, diffuse, constant abdominal pain with nausea that worsened on the day of presentation, prompting his ED visit.

In the ED, the patient had a temperature of 102.3°F, leukocytosis with left shift, and a positive urinalysis. In addition, the patient was noted to have hyperbilirubinemia to 4.5 with elevated liver enzymes .

3. Discussion

4. Conclusion

Data Availability

All information regarding the patient can be found in the hospital EMR and PACS.

Conflicts of Interest

Diagnosis And Treatment After Gallbladder Removal

Although many people with irritable bowel syndrome report that it began after gallbladder removal, there is not a lot of clinical research on the subject. However, researchers have begun looking into a condition called bile acid malabsorption and its relationship to chronic diarrhea difficulties.

People who have had their gallbladders removed may be at risk for BAM, a condition in which there is dysfunction with the way that bile acids are processed within the body. Research on this topic is still light, so it’s best to work with your healthcare provider to diagnose and resolve this issue.

An accurate diagnosis is necessary so you can get the right treatment plan. The American College of Gastroenterology warns that testing for BAM is limited in the United States, and testing is not completely validated.

In some cases, ongoing diarrhea following gallbladder removal may be helped by a class of medications known as bile acid-binding agents, or bile acid sequestrants.

These medications include:

The ACG does not currently recommend use of these drugs for diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome , citing a lack of studies. Still, the experts at ACG realize that these medications may be helpful in some cases, and may be used at the discretion of your medical provider.

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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.

Diagnosis Of Postcholecystectomy Syndrome

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  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography with biliary manometry or biliary nuclear scanning

  • Exclusion of extrabiliary pain

Dysfunction is best detected by biliary manometry done during ERCP Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography Imaging is essential for accurately diagnosing biliary tract disorders and is important for detecting focal liver lesions . It is limited in detecting and diagnosing diffuse… read more , although ERCP has a 15 to 30% risk of inducing pancreatitis. Manometry shows increased pressure in the biliary tract when pain is reproduced. A slowed hepatic hilum-duodenal transit time on a scan also suggests sphincter of Oddi dysfunction. Diagnosis of papillary stenosis is based on a clear-cut history of recurrent episodes of biliary pain and abnormal liver enzyme tests.

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Case Study: Still In Pain After Gallbladder Removal

Christine is a 39 year old mother of four who came to my clinic seeking help for her fatty liver. She has had a fatty liver for the last 6 years. Christine has a copy of my book Fatty Liver: You Can Reverse It and she has been following the plan in that book for the last 6 months. A subsequent ultrasound showed her liver has experienced a very mild improvement, but Christine is quite concerned about her health and thats why she wanted a consultation.

Christine got her gallbladder removed 9 weeks ago. She had gallstones for almost as long as the fatty liver. Christine has experienced a dull ache in the right upper side of her abdomen for many years . One night 9 weeks ago the pain became so bad that her husband drove her to hospital. Christine broke out in a sweat, she felt intensely nauseous and the pain was unbearable.

Christine left the hospital the following afternoon, without her gallbladder. In many cases gallstones can be dissolved and an inflamed gallbladder can be healed. This involves a big change in diet long term, but it is possible. In Christines case I was glad she had her gallbladder removed. The scan report said that there were 4 large stones present, her gallbladder was greatly inflamed and the walls of her gallbladder were significantly thickened. This means the condition was advanced and it had been present for a long time.

The most important thing to do now is reduce Christines pain, improve her digestion and reverse the fatty liver.

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