5 Tips to Prevent Discomfort after Gallbladder Removal

Gallbladder surgery is often recommended when someone is suffering from gallstones or another condition that would be improved by its removal. Gallbladder removal, also known as a cholecystectomy, is a very common type of surgery. Although the gallbladder isn’t an essential organ, removing it can sometimes cause digestive problems. 

Dr. Elvira Klause is a highly experienced surgeon who performs gallbladder surgeries. She uses laparoscopic techniques that minimize surgical risks and result in decreased pain and a shorter recovery time as compared to traditional surgeries. Dr. Klause provides you with high-quality, compassionate medical care to ensure you have the best surgery and recovery.

What does the gallbladder do?

Interestingly, the gallbladder isn’t a completely necessary organ. Located right beneath your liver, your gallbladder helps you digest fatty foods by concentrating and secreting bile produced by your liver. This bile allows your body to digest fats.

Gallbladder removal is often recommended when people suffer from gallstones or other conditions, such as bile duct problems, that necessitate the surgery. Gallstones are tough deposits of cholesterol and other materials, resulting  in irritation and infections that can be serious and can cause great discomfort. Removing the gallbladder completely is usually the best overall option. 

When your gallbladder is removed, your liver will still produce bile, but it is not distributed ideally in your body. Most people won't have major digestive problems after surgery. Making gradual changes to your diet along with a number of other small changes can help ease your body through this transition.

5 tips to prevent discomfort after gallbladder removal

Though your postoperative symptoms may not be serious, you may experience diarrhea while your body adjusts to the missing gallbladder. There are a few things you can do to be gentle to your digestive system after your surgery to prevent discomfort

1. Cut back on fat

Your gallbladder concentrates bile, which is essential to your body’s digestion of fats. Once your gallbladder is removed, you liver will still produce bile, but it may not be sufficiently concentrated to digest fats as well. Cutting back on fat will make digestion easier for you after your surgery.

2. Increase soluble fiber

Fiber is a substance found in plant-based foods that your body can’t break down. It helps keep your digestive system running smoothly. Consuming soluble fiber, which is found in oats, barley, beans, nuts, and many fruits, is especially important for you to have during this time. Gradually introducing larger amounts of soluble fiber into your diet will greatly help your digestion after surgery.

3. Smaller meals

Eating smaller meals after your surgery will reduce any stress on your digestive system as a result of the surgery. Your body needs to adjust to the lower concentrations of bile in your digestive system as it works to process your meals without the gallbladder present.. 

4. Less dairy, caffeine, alcohol

Dairy products, caffeine, and alcohol can all worsen diarrhea, so avoid them as much as possible after your surgery. You can gradually re-introduce them into your diet in small amounts to see how your body reacts.

5. Communicate with your doctor

Keep track of any symptoms or changes you are experiencing after your surgery, writing down details in a journal or notebook if necessary. It’s especially important to pay attention to what you eat and document the different foods’ effects on your bathroom habits. Communicate any problems to your doctor, so she can address the issues. 

Gallbladder removal is a routine type of surgery that can alleviate pain and problems from gallstones and a number of other conditions. By following a few simple tips, though, you can avoid digestive discomfort after your surgery.

To set up an appointment with Dr. Elvira Klause, call our office or use our online booking tool today.

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