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Thread: Life after gallbladder removal

  1. #1

    Life after gallbladder removal

    I'm scheduled to have my gallbaldder removed soon and I'm wondering what long-term side effects I might expect.

    I've read all the threads on the subject I could find on the CL boards and it sounds like many people here have had their gallbladders removed. For those people, how has your digestion been after the surgery? Has your weight been stable, or have you lost or gained weight? I was doing some reading on another health board and some people complained about weight gain after gallbladder removal. After finally learning what I need to do to keep a stable weight (after years of ups and downs) I get a little worried when I hear these complaints!

    I'll of course talk to my doctor about all my concerns, but I just wanted to hear from other people who've had surgery. Thanks for any advice, warnings or encouragement you can give me!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Florida
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    I had my gall bladder out in 1991. I had lost 26 pounds quickly right before and I'm sorry to say I've added that and more. BUT, I can't blame it on the gall bladder surgery, at least not ALL of it.

    I love to eat and eat way more than I should way more often than I should.

    My recovery from the surgery was very quick and the only lasting side-effect is that when I eat foods high in fat, I tend to have digestive issues (basically it's the effect from too much bile -- bile dumping). The "attacks" are brief in nature, but I need to stay close to a rest room for a few minutes. Then it passes (literally ) and all's well.

    I notice that when I eat the way you should (high fiber, low fat, lots of fruits and veggies) --- then not only do I feel better and avoid the consequences of too much fat, but that the results last. If I mostly eat well, then the occasional high fat food doesn't "get me".

    If I'm mostly making poor choices --- the side effects compound exponentially. You will probably find a few foods that you can never eat without consequences to your digestion. But for me ... they are mostly things I shouldn't be eating anyways (think too many Fazoli's breadsticks or Popeye's Chicken type foods)

    Good luck with your surgery. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Heading WEST!!
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    If they remove it with the new lapro method, recovery will be quicker.
    In terms of eating, it really varies from person to person.
    Some people find they can't eat as much fatty foods, others have problems with seafood.....it will be trial and error.
    Theoretically, you should have no problems.
    Best to you!!
    Thoreau said, 'A man is rich in proportion to the things he can leave alone.'

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Louisiana
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    When my husband had his removed a couple of years ago, he didn't really notice any side effects. He never had that dumping effect they warned him about.
    Margaret

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    4,482
    I had my gallbladder removed in 2003. I don't believe I've had any side effects to speak of. Super fatty foods don't really appeal to me, so that hasn't been an issue.

    As far as I can remember, my recovery was easy, especially compared to the intense pain I was in from gallstones. I had never, to my knowledge, had an attack before the night that landed me in the ER with the worst pain of my life (including labor). I had the surgery the next morning and it was nothing but a relief!

    Good luck to you!
    I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day. ~E.B. White

  6. #6
    It sounds like I'll be forced to eat a very healthy diet after the surgery. That's a good thing, right! Dee, I find it interesting that you can eat on occasional high-fat meal as long as your diet overall is healthy. I imagine I'll have to be extra careful around the holidays and with I'm traveling.

    Wallycat--yes, I am having it removed with the laparoscopic surgery. I'm thankful that I can get this done without a really invasive surgery and a long hospital stay.

    Thanks so much for the kind words everyone--I'm already starting to feel better!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Florida
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    2,741
    Quote Originally Posted by Beatrix View Post
    It sounds like I'll be forced to eat a very healthy diet after the surgery. That's a good thing, right! Dee, I find it interesting that you can eat on occasional high-fat meal as long as your diet overall is healthy. I imagine I'll have to be extra careful around the holidays and with I'm traveling.

    Wallycat--yes, I am having it removed with the laparoscopic surgery. I'm thankful that I can get this done without a really invasive surgery and a long hospital stay.

    Most things don't bother me. It's just the occasional really high fat thing. I do know, that the gall bladder surgery didn't "impair" my life in any serious way. The "dumping" did start after the surgery -- so I assume that is what it is from, but it's a minimal bother at the most.

    I was lucky --- I only had one attack prior to having the surgery. But, as anyone with multiple attacks will tell you. It's worth almost anything to get that thing OUT.OF.THERE. Side effects are much easier to deal with than a bad gall bladder.

    Wishing you a speedy recovery AND no side effects. Let us know how you're doing.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Beaverton, OR
    Posts
    875
    I had my gallbladder removed when I was about 23, so around 1998, by the laproscopic method. My first attack occurred when I was 15. I was incorrectly diagnosed with simple constipation. I lived with this incorrect diagnoses, complete with painful gallbladder attacks, until I was 23. So having my gallbladder out was definitely one of the best things I have ever done for myself.

    The recovery from the surgery was simple. I was feeling more myself within a week. It hurt to cough for a while, but that subsided gradually.

    I do experience constipation and diarrhea more often than most people, but I have wondered if I don't have IBS as well. A high fiber diet is an absolute must for me, but as someone else said, we should all be eating a high fiber diet anyway.
    “the greatest risk of eating is getting run over on the way to buy your food, not from the food itself.”

    Ian Shaw, Is It Safe To Eat?

  9. #9
    Mine has been gone for about 10 years, and I have never missed it.

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