Long Term Effects of Gallbladder Removal

If you have been advised to undergo gallbladder removal surgery, you will want to know the effects of gallbladder removal. Here is information on the short as well as long term effects of removing gallbladder.
HealthHearty Staff
Last Updated: Feb 26, 2018
The gallbladder is a small organ located in the abdominal cavity, just below the liver. It helps in the process of digestion. Formation of gallstones and abnormal functioning of the gallbladder are the most common disorders associated with this organ. If these conditions are severe and cannot be treated, the doctor often advises patients to undergo gallbladder removal surgery. However, there are some short and long term effects associated with it. Let us take a look at the gallbladder surgery and the effects of gallbladder removal in detail.
Why is Gallbladder Removed
The hard and crystalline stones formed in the gallbladder are known as gallstones. Having gallstones is a painful condition as it can cause pain in the abdomen, specially after having a fatty meal, along with fever, nausea, vomiting and indigestion. Therefore, getting rid of gallstones quickly is very essential. In minor cases, the stones can be removed with the help of medications. However, in severe cases, if the stones have damaged the gallbladder, doctors advise patients to undergo gallbladder removal. It should be noted that the removal of the gallbladder can be easily adapted by the body. Secondly, as the only function of the organ is aiding digestion, the body can cope with the removal of this organ. However, there are potential side effects of gallbladder removal. Let us take a look at them in detail.
What are the Effects of Gallbladder Removal
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy and open surgery (laparotomy) are the two different surgical methods used for gallbladder removal. When talking about the short term side effects of gallbladder removal, it should be noted that the person experiences weakness and fatigue immediately after the surgery. Therefore, he should refrain from any work, or rather strenuous work after this surgery. Secondly, similar to any other surgery, there is a risk of infection. However, infections are rare and can be treated immediately.
Injury to bile ducts, which can occur due to the surgery, can lead to some side effects. The injured ducts starts leaking and hence, there is leaking of bile out of the digestive tract. The bile keeps on leaking or dribbling continuously. This can lead to long-lasting pain and inflammation. Secondly, there is a higher risk of infections due to the leaking bile. Another surgery may be required to treat the injured bile ducts. However, due to the advanced surgical methods, there are lesser chances of bile duct injuries these days.
Another negative effect or side effect is also caused due to the bile produced in the liver. In normal cases, the bile produced by the liver is stored in the gallbladder and then transported to the small intestine. Now, if the gallbladder is removed, the bile is transported from the liver to the small intestines directly. And as the bile is produced, it is sent to the intestines. This can cause frequent bowel movements leading to diarrhea. Therefore, people who have their gallbladder removed may experience frequent bowel movements and even diarrhea.
Another side effect includes abdominal pain or infections that occur due to missed stones. Sometimes, during the surgery, the doctor may fail to get rid of all the gallstones and miss out one or two stones. These stones can get stuck in the bile ducts resulting in infections. However, a surgery can help in treating and correcting this condition.
Although there are potential short and long term side effects, they are rare. However, in order to avoid any complications later, it is wise to consult a doctor if any symptoms like pain are observed after the surgery. They can be treated with the help of medications or another surgery. Take care!