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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
      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   (***@****)
Avatar universal
i had my gall bladder removed march of this year. Now my urine is like a coffee color and i have had a back ache on my right side for 1 month now.  previous lab work showed a high, above normal readinf for my alkaline phosphate.  can you explain? what does the alkaline phosphate reading mean? I know it is a salt. I also have red cells in my urine the doctor told me today. can you help? If it turns out to be a liver function can you explain this to me?  thank you for your time. Mrs. Joyce Ladehoff.......at ***@****
Avatar universal

  You better run to another doctor!! You sound like you have kidney trouble girl!!!  Coffee colored urine is NOT good.  Kidney trouble can also create pain in the abdominal area.

  I dont mean to scare you but dont wait for one of the doctors here to address your question.

What is your doctor doing about the red cells in the urine??

  These are all very serious warnings signs my dear!!!

  Call him back and tell him to address these issues...

Good Luck.
Avatar universal
I would like to ask a question in regards to my mothers health.
She had her gall bladder removed in July and was diagnosed with Gall Bladder Cancer which has spread into her lymph nodes and there is no cure for this. She has received several levels of chemotheropy and no results. We have been told that she is in the final stage and that there is not enough information for this disease to lead us towards any direction.We understand that her time is limited, but she is still very young at the age of 46,I would like to know if there are any medications out there for at least comfort. We have been to many treatment centers and my mother still seems to be in a lot of pain. Can you help? It would be nice to see her smile during the Holidays and be in a little less pain. Please respond if you have time. Thank You so much.
Avatar universal
Julie, there are many wonderful pin killers out there and there is no reason for people to suffer, absolutely none. they come in every form fromm patches, to pills, to liquids, suppoitories, and IV. NO DOCTORshould let his patient suffer. See if your mother is eligible for Hospice as they are pain care specialist.
Avatar universal
My gallbladder went bad back in 96, I had radiology done and they radiologists said my liver was running slow too, Have no idea what that meant. But they did confirm my gallbladder was shot,
it was dumping bile whenever it wanted and I was enduring many painful episodes. So the doctor said I could keep it and go on an extremely bland diet or have it removed, so being me, I love italian foods, had it taken out.
For a few months after the operation I had bouts of pain just like the gallbladder was still there and misfunctioning still.
Im happy to say that now I can eat almost anything, and the bouts of pain have gone away, the only real bad side effect the doctors never told me about is so odd, I can no longer sleep on my right or left side because the hole where my gallbladder was hurts when Im on my side, it almost feels like my liver slips into this hole and is very uncomfortable now disturbing my sleep.
The surgeon told me that the only thing odd about my surgery was that I had alot of that supporting tissue inside me, and he had to cut alot out to get to the gallbladder, I suppose there is nothing that I can do about it now, too bad he didnt leave a sponge in that hole or something to support my neighboring organs.

All in all, Im writing to everyone to let them know, I am still very happy to have had my gallbladder removed. Of course dont forget you may be switching one problem for another, but those bouts of gallbladder pain that had me doubled over on my knees crying are now gone at least.

Anyways, Does any one know for sure what my diet should be?
Bland or Spicy? Fatty or non fatty? I sure love fine foods!
Im a bit confused about diet post gallbladder removal, I have had some doctors tell me I can eat anything, and some said to avoid foods that have alot of fat, especially meats.
I guess I am curious to find out if my intestines can be damaged by the bile if I dont have some good pork fat in them for the bile to attack. Is it better to have something for the bile to chew on instead of just little old me?????????
Avatar universal
Dear Sir,

My wife is in hospital suffering from severe abdominal pain after a laparoscopic surgery to remove gall stones. I am sincerely hoping that you will be able to help me understand the cause of this and if there is some way of minimising the suffering. My wife was recently diagnosed as having gall stones. After consulting a doctor, we were told that she needed to undergo a laparoscopic procedure to remove the stones and the gall bladder. After the surgery, she was allowed to leave the hospital the next day. She seemed fine but had some pain.

However, the third day after the surgery, she collapsed with excruciating pain and needed to be hospitalised again. Her blood pressure and a blood test shows everything to be normal. She is unable to move due to the pain. She requires powerful pain killers and sleeping tablets in order to minimise the pain.

The doctor did an ultrasound test and found that there is some liquid ( possibly a blood clot ) around the liver area. He says that this liquid/blood clot could be the cause of the pain as it rubs against the exposed area of where the gall bladder was.

Q - Is such pain associated with this procedure ?
Q - What may be the cause of such a reaction ?
Q - Are there any known cases of complications that may develop in such cases ?
Q - Is there a diet that needs to be followed in order to recover faster ?
Q - Why would fluid be formed after the laparoscopic procedure ?

Please advise at your earliest by email to philip@logon-int.com. Your help and advice will be sincerely appreciated.

Thank you in advance for your time.

Concerned Husband
Avatar universal
I had gallbladder disease back in May of 1990.  I was only 18.  I was in the hospital for several days.  The quack Dr. that was treating me for Hep. C  which I did not have.  I found a good Doctor and found I only had a diseased gallbladder which was diseased for so long it diseased my liver also.  Some of the symptoms that I had were excessive vomiting, orange urination, flu like symptoms, very high fever of 140.5, and about one week before all of these symptoms my hands and feet started peeling BAD.I am talking layers. No stomach pain what so ever, odd huh? I have not had any problems since I had my gallbladder removed.  Except a few days ago my hands started peeling again.  The Dr. that treated me (the good Doctor, not the quack)  told me that peeling hands and feet was a sign of liver disease.  Do any of you know if this is true?   I hate to phone my Dr. and have a liver function test ran because my husband is currently disabled and I can not afford the test.  The peeling could be weather related.  But it is a scary thing.  Please respond to me at ***@****  Or on here will be fine. Thank you all.
Avatar universal
I am being scheduled for gall bladder surgery in a week or so.  My stones are calcified versus the cholesteral variety.  I have been told that there is a noninvasive way of removing the stones and keeping the gall bladder.  Do you have any information to this effect? Also, I have heard that people without gall bladders are more prone to have problems with the pancreas. Any facts to support this opinion? Thank you for your consideration.
Avatar universal
Reply to D. Marshall who had gallbaldder surgery and now
experiences diaherra.  I too have the same symtoms.  I usually
eat before I leave the house because I can never be sure what is
going to happen.  I have some days that are okay, but most of the
time I experience severe abdominal pain during, or right
after eating.  I have had several tests to determine if there
is a problem with my colon, and everything checks out okay.
Avatar universal
Someone please help.  I had my gall bladder taken out January 2000 because of stones.  I never had any pain just severe nausea and diarreah.  Since the operation I still feel terrible.  My bilirubin count remains high, I'm slightly jaundiced all the time and I've had to go to the ER because of vomiting and diarreah.  I can't eat hardly anything without having these problems.  What can I do?  My GI has been little help.  I also had an ERCP done prior to the operation that was fine.  I've had all sorts of tests since, ultrasound, xrays, blood, urine, etc.

I am 29 and female.  Before the surgery I weighed 125 and now I'm at 118 and continuing to lose.  

Any information would be greatly appreciated.
Avatar universal
Is Gallblader surgery necessary?  Is removal the only solution?  If not what is the alternative to removal? Are there any proceedures that can prevent removal? If someone has answers to these questions or can lead me to the informations I would appreciate it very much.

Thank you
Avatar universal
I had my gall bladder surgically removed in 1981, prior to all of this laparoscopic magic.  I too have diarrhea that makes me run to the bathroom immediately after lunch.  Finally, I have a possible cause.
Avatar universal
can a problem with the gall bladder cause weight gain
Avatar universal
hi my name is stephanie. I am doing a research on the gall bladder. I was wondering if you could replace the organ with an artificial one? Although this question may seem stupid, it can't be answered by any one else but my physician but he's gone on a vacation and won't be back for a while. You're the only one that can answer this question. I think i already know the answer to it but i just wanted to make reference, so i checked out this site. I really learned alot from the other individual's comments and it really helped with my project. Please answer this as soon as possible. Thank you.  05/24/00
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