It takes time to understand your body about the problems and complications after gallbladder removal. These symptoms and after-effects of surgery should be addressed in time before they turned into a life-threatening situations.
The gallbladder is a small pouch-like organ of the hepatobiliary system situated on the right side of the abdomen. It works as a reservoir for bile juice in your body. The gallbladder releases bile into the duodenum to digest the fats in your meal.
But, this natural phenomenon can be disturbed after the removal of the gallbladder and may lead to problems and complications after gallbladder removal.
Cholelithiasis (Stones in the Gallbladder) is a very common disease in young adults. It is more prevalent in Fair, Fat, and Fertile, Females in their Forties which is called 5F of cholelithiasis or 5 F of Gallbladder stone probabilities criteria.
The most common type of gallbladder stones are Cholesterol Stones or Bilirubin Stones which cause:
- Acute cholecystitis with Cholelithiasis (Stones in Gallbladder)
- Chronic Cholecystitis with Cholelithiasis
- Stone in Bile Duct or Common Bile Duct
Why Gallbladder Surgery is Done?
When gallstone symptoms become intolerable like frequent severe abdomen pain, recurrent nausea and vomiting, and abdominal discomfort.
Your doctor may suggest going for surgery, either Laparoscopic or Open surgery which is called Cholecystectomy.
Gallbladder surgery is done to reduce the complications of the disease. If the gallstone is not removed in time and remains in the gallbladder for years can lead to the following complications:
- Cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder wall) which may be acute or Chronic
- Impaction of stone into the gall bladder wall.
- Cancer of Gallbladder
- Infection in Gallbladder
- Perforation or Rupture of the Gallbladder
The prime objective of Gallbladder surgery is to relieve the symptoms of the patient and reduce the risk of the life-threatening complications of gallstones.
Why Laparoscopic Surgery is done?
Laparoscopic gallbladder surgery is always a better option to choose. It’s less risky, blood loss is low, and very minor incisions on the skin. The patient is discharged within 24 hours of surgery from the hospital which reduces the risk of hospital-acquired infections and hospital stay costs too.
Why Open Gallbladder Surgery is done?
Generally, Open surgery is chosen when a gallbladder stone is impacted. Perforated gallbladder or cancerous gallbladder. Or if there are adhesions around the gallbladder. Or if any complication arises during laparoscopic surgery.
Open gallbladder stone surgery takes time to complete. An incision of 3-4 inches long is made. Blood loss is much more than Laparoscopic surgery. It takes more than 5 days to get discharged from the hospital. The open method of surgery has more chances of problems and complications after gallbladder removal.
Why do I still have problems after gallbladder removal?
Any surgery has its potential risks after-effects and complications post-surgery. So there are complications and post-surgery effects associated with gallbladder removal too.
These symptoms or problems can be due to normal surgical procedures like pain at the incision line, retention of urine, diarrhoea or constipation, etc. which is very normal.
Also can be due to the wrong technique followed by a doctor which can lead to long-term problems.
Or if aseptic techniques are compromised which can lead to gallstone surgery complications like infection, fever, or pus formation in the surgical wound.
Immediate symptoms after Gallbladder Surgery
Many people experience galls tone symptoms that are worsened or not relieved even after gallbladder removal which may include.
- Pain in abdomen
- Belching and distension of the abdomen
- Diarrhoea or Constipation
- Yellow Eyes and yellow Urine (Jaundice)
These symptoms are very normal and are experienced by most cholecystectomy patients in their first few days of surgery.
The patient feels that he or she had made the wrong decision regarding surgery. These symptoms start reliving after 3-5 days of surgery.
If these symptoms and issues last longer than normal, can be a cause of trouble for you and your life.
Early Symptoms and Complications after gallbladder removal
Problems after gallbladder surgery or complications after gallbladder removal last for a few days. Such symptoms get relived on their own with the time in 5-7 days in most of the patients. And if symptoms prolong then consider it a medical emergency.
Pain and swelling around the incision
Swelling and pain around the incision are very obvious, it’s a body normal reaction. But it’s not much in laparoscopic surgeries, however, more common in open cholecystectomy patients.
Bloating of the abdomen and Flatulence
Flatulence is common in laparoscopic surgery cases. The abdomen is distended to increase visibility through the laparoscope. Moreover, bile juice directly drops into the intestine after the removal of the gallbladder.
The quantity of bile is not sufficient which leads to indigestion and flatulence. But your body becomes habitual after a period of time and this problem does not trouble much.
Difficulty in Digesting Food
Generally, it doesn’t last long but indigestion-like symptoms occur in the initial days. If the quantity of bile is not sufficient to digest the food, it causes indigestion. It makes your body’s habits and time adjust to its new method of digesting fat.
Also, the medications used post-surgery cause indigestion and once they are stopped these symptoms are received.
General or spinal anaesthesia causes constipation in a few patients. An insufficient quantity of bile juice is unable to digest the food properly and causes constipation.
Sometimes constipation is an indication of post-surgery intestinal obstruction.
Insufficient and irregular direct supply of bile to the duodenum causes indigestion and abdominal discomfort. The more than-required quantity of bile in the intestines increases bowel movements which lead to diarrhoea.
Bleeding from the incision line
Generally, bleeding is not observed from the laparoscopic incisions but cannot be denied. But it’s very common in open-surgery cases. This is mainly due to strain and detachment of suture or wound site infection.
Infection and Pus in wound area
Wound site infection occurs if aseptic conditions were not followed during wound closure. Or dressing change done in an aseptic condition or an unsterilized dressing material is used.
Once the wound is infected, it may lead to pus formation and stop healing the wound.
Post-surgery fever is always associated with infection. This can be a localized infection at the wound site or a systematic infection spread during surgery due to some aseptic condition. Fever generally occurs within 48 hours of surgery due to systematic infection.
If there is any major artery damage during surgery can be repaired there and there. But if left unnoticed, it may lead to massive blood loss and even death.
There can be a minor oozing in an artery that was missed notice during surgery and can also cause internal bleeding. The patient starts feeling abdominal distention and tightness in the abdomen.
This sign should not be ignored, and if any suspicion you should connect with your treating doctor immediately
An injury to the bile duct leads to bile leakage, which can lead to fistula and peritonitis. It causes pain in the abdomen with tightness and distension of the abdomen. It can a medical emergency and an open laparotomy can be required.
Deep Vein Thrombosis
This is the most common side effect of any kind of surgery. Many people have a tendency and risk of developing a blood clot after surgery. This clot travels into a vein, generally leg veins and interferes with blood circulation. But if travels into the pulmonary artery could flow the blood to the lungs and causes sudden death.
If open surgery is done, this can lead to an incisional hernia. Long incision causes weakness of muscles and the risk increases more with old age.