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  • 25405 Hancock Avenue, Suite 217
    Murrieta, CA 92562
  • 951-477-5700

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Life After Gallbladder Removal

Each year, about a million people opt for surgery to have their gallbladder removed. This can happen for various reasons – for example, maybe their gallbladder is inflamed, or they developed gallstones. Unless removed, gallbladder problems can lead to symptoms like indigestion, pain, diarrhea, constant nausea, and more.

Gallbladder removal surgery is usually the recommended route, but you need to be aware that it may lead to lifestyle changes. Sometimes, you can experience side effects, especially if you don’t have a proper diet. Other times, you may need to make some adjustments to your diet – at least temporarily. In this blog, we will talk about life after gallbladder removal and what you can do to reduce the discomfort.

Can You Live Normally Without a Gallbladder?

The gallbladder has quite an important role: it stores the bile produced by your liver and allows you to break down fatty food. A well-functioning gallbladder can help you digest that juicy steak or hamburger you’ve been dreaming of all day. Without a gallbladder, the bile will go directly into your intestines, without being stored upon need.


However, even with the gallbladder gone, bile is still created. Once the liver passes it straight into your small intestine, it will continue to digest food. This means that you can have a normal life, even without a gallbladder.

Gallbladder Removal Side Effects

During your gallbladder removal recovery, it is normal to experience a series of side effects. Usually, these effects are not serious and should go away after some time. However, you may also experience some discomfort, including:

  • Flatulence
  • Diarrhea
  • Short-term constipation

For the most part, these side effects will not last for more than three to six months, after which your life should begin feeling normal. A low-fat diet may help reduce your side effects, especially in the beginning, although you can still enjoy your favorite foods now and again. If the symptoms persist even after six months, then you may want to consider scheduling a consultation with Dr. Patrick Moore.

Recommended Lifestyle Changes

Your diet after gallbladder removal should not be as drastically different compared to what you ate before. However, for the first few weeks, you may want to take it easy on your intestines. After all, your body is still adjusting to life without a gallbladder, so you need to give it some “training wheels.” Here is what you should include in your diet after gallbladder removal surgery:

  • Limited Fat Intake

Without a gallbladder, fat can be much more difficult to digest. This is why you should try not to overdo it. Read the food labels and, when possible, avoid processed food. Your new diet should not have more than 30 percent fat.

  • Smaller Portions

Once more, your body is barely adjusting to the new lifestyle. Without the gallbladder to store and release bile as needed, you may not have enough bile in your intestines to do the job. This is why you should take the same amount of food but divide it into smaller portions. Instead of going for two big meals, opt for three or four smaller ones.

  • Reduce the Fiber Intake

In the first few months after the removal of your gallbladder, you will notice that high-fiber foods can make you feel bloated. You may also have instances of pain and diarrhea. This is because fiber is more difficult to digest at this point. That being said, rather than cutting these foods out of your diet completely, try reintroducing them gradually.


The Bottom Line

Life after gallbladder removal surgery can still feel normal. Indeed, for the least discomfort, you may want to focus on healthier food options for a while and introduce the other guilty pleasures slowly. Eventually, your bile production will begin adjusting to accommodate your new lifestyle. You can schedule an appointment with Dr. Patrick Moore so that you can learn as much about gallbladder removal as possible.

For more information about gallbladder removal surgery, you can contact Dr. Patrick Moore at 951-477-5700 and he will provide all the necessary answers.