Cholecystectomy is the medical procedure that surgically removes the gallbladder. Around 60% of the patients that undergo this procedure experience an improvement in their digestion, but for the 40% patients, they experience side effects and other discomforts.
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. .
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 there’s 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.