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Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Forum
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Avatar universal

Bowel Problems After Gallbladder Surgery

I had my gallbladder removed almost a year ago.  I've seen comments posted about this in the forum, but no real answer or explanation as to why it happens.  Luckily, I suffered no pain after the surgery; I recovered well and I am VERY HAPPY that I do not suffer through those horrible attacks anymore (the last one made me think I was going to die and I ended up in the ER with the surgery scheduled shortly after).  Anyway, I have noticed that ever since the surgery I have a MAJOR problem during and after eating.  I have to RUN to the bathroom.  I, too, am familiar with a lot of public restrooms almost anywhere I go.  Unfortunately, sometimes I choose NOT to go somewhere or NOT to eat something because I'm so afraid of what will happen later.  Is there a real medical ezplanation for this?  I asked my PCP and all he told me was to ask the doc who performed the surgery.  I was given a lot of information before the surgery, but during my TWO follow up visits, nothing about this was mentioned.  I didn't notice it until a few weeks later.  I'm ashamed to talk to anyone about it.  Is there anything that can be done?  I hate to think that this is how I have to live for the rest of my life.
132 Responses
Avatar universal
Dear N.
The urge to defecate after eating is a frequent complaint and may be related to an exaggeration of the 'gastrocolic reflex', a normal event.  There is no apparent explanation why your symptoms should begin after the surgery.  Sometimes, people will change the type or quantity of food eaten and this change can cause the complaints that you describe.

I suggest that you talk with your doctors about an evaluation for the symptoms.  Workup should include a search for structural abnormalities of the GI tract, infection, and abnormalities in absorption.  There is no reason to have this fear of eating.  Sometimes, a cause is not found but symptomatic treatments are used.
Avatar universal
I think what you descibe is frequently referred to as dumping syndrome and it occurs for some people after galbladder surgery.  My guess is that if you do a search on this site you will find more information about it.  It will be interesting to see what the doctor suggests in his/her response.  

I had my gallbladder removed about a year ago and I have some of the symptoms of dumping syndrome, but I also had them before the surgery so I'm not sure what the cause is.  Please try not to be ashamed about this or to ask questions of your doctor.  If you don't talk about it, you cant't get help and feel better!  And believe me, doctors have heard it all -- what you descirbe won't be surprising or strange to them at all.  Good luck.
Avatar universal
Yeah, actually, many folks gall bladderless have bowel problems after eating.  I know for sure, that eating a lot of fat during a meal, will cause instant need to go to the bathroom, for some folks.  You aren't alone, by a shot, and I've discovered that my surgeon seemed to act like no one has any problems after their gall bladder is removed.
    Try going to a gastroenerologist (GI) about that, and don't be embarrassed.  Because I've had major problems with my abdomen before and since my gall bladder was removed, and because doctors don't seem to know what's wrong, I've done a lot of asking from other folks who've been through this surgery and done a lot of research on the subject.  Trust me, you are NOT abnormal.  GI's won't giggle or laugh at you.  They face this all the time.  They can surely help you.
Avatar universal
I am about to make a decision to have my gallbladder removed. I had a gall attack 5 weeks ago. Since then I radically changed my diet and did Dr Sandra Cabolts "gall flush" 7 times with some success, however a second ultrasound shows that although all the gall stones are smaller there is still a number of them there. The gall bladder has healed in that time. Now a second naturopath has told me to get it out as I risk damaging the bile duct and being rushed to hospital with a chance of death. How big is that risk really?
Avatar universal
please refer previous posting
Avatar universal
I had the same problem after the removal of my gallbladder.  Twenty minutes after I ate, I would run to the bathroom.   This primarily happened after the FIRST meal of the day.  I now take Questran (commonly used to lower cholesterol) every morning.  I have to wait approximately two hours after taking the Questran before I can eat my meal without fear of experiencing the need to get to a bathroom FAST. I'm not quite sure what causes this problem.  If you have any questions, you can write to me at my EMail address - ***@****.
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