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Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Forum
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Avatar universal

What happens following gall blader removal?

My mother has recently had her gall bladder removed and wants to know how the body can cope without it - where does the bile come from/go?

27 Responses
Avatar universal
Dear David,
The questions that you ask are taught to all medical students as they learn gastrointestinal physiology.  The components of bile are synthesized in the liver cells, transported to the bile ducts and stored in the gall bladder.  When a person eats, the gallbladder contracts and the bile is transferred to the small intestine.  The role of bile, and specifically the bile salts,  is to create the appropriate environment necessary for fat digestion and absorption.  The fat is subsequently absorbed in the proximal intestine. In the distal small intestine the bile salts are absorbed, transported back to the liver and then stored in the gall bladder.  This cycle is referred to as the enterohepatic circulation.

Those who have had the gall bladder removed have lost the storage site for bile.  In these people the bile constantly circulates fromliver to bile duct to smll intestine and back to liver.  As you have probably observed, there are usually no consequences from the removal of the gall baldder.
Avatar universal
The bile still comes from the liver and it still goes to the small intestine, it just doesn't get stored in the gallbladder like it used to.  Some people have trouble eating some kinds of foods after surgery, but others have no trouble at all.  I had my gallbladder removed last December and the only thing I stay away from is pizza -- it's a drag, but it's better for my GI tract.  My surgeon's suggestion was to try eating whatever I wanted and if it didn't sit well to wait 4 - 6 months and try again after my body adjusted to its new way of working.  There is something called dumping syndrom that I think can be caused by not having a gallbladder.  I don't knwo much about it but if you do a search in the archives of this site, I'm sure you'll find some info.  Your mother should talk to her gastroenterologist and/or surgeon if she has quesitons -- it's their job to answer.
Avatar universal
David,
      I am so glad you asked that question. I just got home from the hospital yesterday the 9th of nov. after having emergency gall bladder surgery on saturday. I am having terrible problems still. I have lost a lot of weight and can't eat or drink hardly anything. I also have had two back surgerys in the last 6 months one for a rupture to L-4 ..L-5 and the second because I got post op staff and strep infection. No one will talk to me about the infections..its a SECRET and I have wondered if that is what caused my gall bladder to go bad or was it the 10 different meds i was taking.As far as I know my gall bladder was fine till 6 weeks ago.
   I wish your mom a speedy recovery..can honestly say I know what it feels like. Coyote Red Hawk
Avatar universal
A close friend of mine who had  her gall
bladder removed 2 years back had recently been diagnosed
with chronic hepatitis B. Is it because of the removal
of gall bladder that she was infected with this disease.
Avatar universal
Ever since I had my gallbladder removed several years ago I have been troubled with diaherra. I can't even enjoy a meal without minutes into the meal running and I do mean running to the restroom. I think I would have rather suffered with the gallstones. Citracel and prescribed questran are a joke. Nothing helps.
Avatar universal
Hi!  This is my first time checking out the board, and I have a somewhat strange problem I would like to run by you guys.  I had my gallbladder out 4/99 after attacks for over 20 years.  I also have GERD, for which I take prilosec and axid. I have high triglycerides for which I take lopid.  Lately, I get a sudden, deep, dull, knife-like pain in the center of my belly, about 2" above the umbilicus. It makes me feel intesely ill, heart racing, and stays with me for a few days.  My H pylori for ulcers came back negative, but I wonder:  could it be ulcer from taking aspirin every day, or pancreatitis??  I had an amylase and lipase done for pancreatitis, but it came back negative...Dr. says that might be an erroneous result, due to my high triglycerides, which were 490 non fasting.  Ok, to end this saga, I am due to have a abdominal CT on Thursday and I am freaked because I think it's a blocked bile or pancreatic duct, and I don't know if those things will show up on the CT.  Also, my GERD is out of control and isn't responding to the prilosec like it used to.  Thanks for listening...I know this was long!  Any ideas out there???   Kim   (***@****)
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