What are the functions of the gallbladder?
The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ below the liver, where the bile (a fluid produced by the liver) is stored and concentrated before it is released into the small intestine. The gallbladder is not absolutely necessary for human survival, as bile can reach the small intestine in other ways.
What happens after the removal?
The gallbladder plays an important role in our digestion, so when it is removed you can experience temporary changes in the functions of your digestion. Your recovery begins after the gallbladder removal, you need to recover from the surgery itself as well to adapt your new, gallbladder and gallstones free life.
If the procedure is done laparoscopically you only need to stay for one night at our hospital, and you’ll feel no or very mild pain. When you have open surgery you’ll be advised to stay at our hospital for 2-3 more days.
After going home, you should be able to walk, eat and drink without feeling discomfort or pain. You’ll likely need a week to fully recover from surgery, with an open surgery the suture removal also happens a week after your procedure. There is a strict diet you need to follow after the surgery in order to recover as soon as possible.
Are there any dietary restrictions after surgery?
As you won’t have a gallbladder to store the bile that’s produced, you’ll need some time to adjust to these new changes.
You can help your body to adapt to the circumstances sooner by following a special diet.
You should avoid fatty, spicy, salty and fiber-rich foods. Drinking coffee and alcohol should also be avoided. If your doctor prescribes you medicine that helps your digestion take them regularly.
Your doctor will give you the exact instructions to follow, what to eat and what to avoid, however we’ll cover the basics so you’ll know what to expect:
- The day of surgery you need to fast, not eat but drink plenty of fluids
- From the second day you can drink plain tea, fruit or vegetable juices and low fat soups
- Then, from the third day you can broaden your diet: eat cooked potatoes, steamed rice and vegetables, low-fat dairy products. However avoid fats at all cost to support your gut’s healing process
- Now start to eat lean meat products and dairies if your body’s well enough for them
- You can and advised to eat small portions as much as 5 times a day, drink plenty of fluids and continue to avoid foods which are too fatty or make you bloated
A general good advice is to eat healthy and clean: try to take in as much fruits and vegetables as you can and reduce the amount of fatty, hardly digestible foods. Exercise often as these action will serve your well-being and contribute to your health.