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diarrhea/nausea after gallbladder removal
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diarrhea/nausea after gallbladder removal

I had my gallbladder removed 2 weeks ago.  About 3 days after surgery I felt really good and thought everything was great.  Then on about the 5th day I started feeling a bit nauseas and had some diarrhea, by the 7th day I could barely make my follow up appt with the dr because I was so nauseas.  I told the dr and he said to avoid caff, alcohol, chocolcate, fatty food, etc.  I have done this for a week and still have diarrhea and nausea.  Yesterday all I ate was 2 cans of chicken broth w/crackers and a small piece of chicken, 1 diet sprite and water.  I also am still experiencing acute acid reflux (even more than before my surgery). I am taking 40mg of Nexium in the morning though it doesn't seem to help and then taking 150mg of Zantac before bed to cut down on the acid reflux.  I used to have a glass or two of wine with dinner just about every night before surgery and ate normal.  Now even a sip of wine turns my stomach and food doesn't taste right to me plus I know what's going to happen. I was diag. about 5yrs ago with H.Pylori., was treated and have been on Zantac for the last 5 yrs.  Finally they did an ultrasound on my gallbladder and found out it was full of stones.  The dr said my gallbladder was very diseased and definately needed to come out so I don't understand why I am still having so much trouble.
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Hello - thanks for asking your question.

Here are some possibilities to consider.

One would be Sphincter of Oddi dysfunction.  It typically causes biliary pain, nausea and vomiting.  One hypothesis suggests that unmasking of preexisting SOD is due to removal of the gallbladder, which may have served as a reservoir to accommodate increased pressure in the biliary system occurring during sphincter spasm.  You may want to discuss the option of an ERCP to evaluate for this.

Another possibility would be dysepsia.  An upper endoscopy to evaluate for gastritis, esophagitis or peptic ulcer disease would be a reasonable option.  

If you are continuing to experience acid reflux despite anti-reflux therapy, a 24-hour pH study can confirm the diagnosis.  If positive, then surgical options may be considered.

Finally, you may also want to inquire about a gastric emptying scan for gastroparesis.  

Discuss these possibilities with your gastroenterologist to determine the appropriate next step.

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Thanks,
Kevin, M.D.
3 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
two weeks after surgery is soon enough that it could be from after effects of the surgery which in time will go away. Some people have problems with stomach emptying for awhile, because the gallbladder is located near the bottom end of the stomach. It's possible there's a low-grade infection, or even a bit of bile collecting in the area. The odds are it's not a permanent change; but it may be time to look into it with a CT scan, for example. This is a little soon to be thinking about other chronic conditions like SOD, although if nothing "surgical" turns up and it persists, then of course other possibilities need consideration. There are medications, such as metoclopromide, which both help nausea and improve stomach emptying. I'd say you need to keep in touch with your surgeon, and expect that if things don't improve soon, an evaluation for bile leak, etc, would be done.
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Avatar_n_tn
I would skip that sprite. I have the SAME problems as you, but not so much diarrhea. I have pain in my upper abdomin (abdomen)/chest, and under my back right shoulderblade. I am on Protonix and it does help, but I still get the pain, and I eat low to no fat foods and stay away from gas causing veggies. It's been 2 months since my surgery.
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Avatar_n_tn
I had stomach problems on my left side and my chest also. I have my gallbladder taken out when I was 16 which has been a year ago. My gallbladder had nothing wrong with it other then it just quit. Now i'm 17 and still having problems with my left side. I ended up doing and scope test and found out that I had a hital hernia, but i don't have acid reflux. Even tho I don't have acid reflux every doctor I went to put me on some type of med used to cure acid reflux. As of today they are still trying to figure out whats wrong with my stomach due to the fact that it's hard to have a hital hernia thats causing all the problem if you don't have acid reflux. Right now i'm going through a PH Study, and I went through a colonoscopy today and my colon is just fine. So hopefully sooner or later we will find out whats wrong.... Till then good luck to everybody else who has stomach problems of any kind.
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Avatar_n_tn
I had gall bladder removal (3 1/2hrs.)  almost 4 weeks ago.  Having had problems with nausea and diarrhea this entire time,  I can only eat yogurt, freezer pops and diet sprite without getting sick.  My surgeon told me I might possibly have these problesm for 3-4 weeks -  it's not leting up.   When does the nausea & diarrhea end?
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A related discussion, Nausea after gall bladder surgery was started.
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