Gallbladder surgery

After undergoing gallbladder surgery, you may find you experience a few digestive issues. While the body doesn’t need the gallbladder to survive, it can take a while for it to adjust to no longer having one. In some cases, digestive changes will be permanent, while in others they may only last for a few weeks.

It is also worth noting that most patients don’t experience any digestive issues after gallbladder removal. However, if you do, it’s worth chatting with your surgeon to see what dietary changes you should make.

Here, you’ll discover a brief guide on how to manage your diet after gallbladder surgery.

What food should you avoid after gallbladder surgery?

After undergoing gallbladder surgery, there are some foods you might want to avoid in order to reduce the risk of digestive issues. These include high-fat foods such as:

  • Ground beef and other fatty meats
  • Fried foods
  • Full-fat dairy products
  • Chocolate
  • Pizza
  • Chicken or turkey skin

You should ideally avoid high fatty foods for a few weeks after the surgery. You will also want to limit your consumption of gas-inducing foods and high-fibre foods such as:

  • Nuts and seeds
  • Whole Grain bread, pasta, and rice
  • Broccoli and cauliflower
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Legumes

Not all fibre-based foods are bad. If you consume soluble fibre, it can actually help to regulate bowel movements. This is great for avoiding digestive issues after gallbladder surgery. Your healthcare provider will be able to provide a more accurate list of foods you should avoid based upon your specific dietary requirements.

Making the right dietary changes

Now that you don’t have a gallbladder, your body won’t be able to store as much bile as it did before. This means you will need to make some dietary changes to accommodate it.

Ideally, you should switch to having smaller, more frequent meals. These will be much easier for your body to digest. You may also need to avoid spicy foods as these can trigger digestive upset.

Often, it is a process of trial and error to determine which foods cause you the most issues after gallbladder surgery. For this reason, you may find it useful to start keeping a food diary. This will alert you to any patterns linking digestive issues to specific foods you are eating.

Knowing when to seek help

While some digestive issues are to be expected after gallbladder removal, there are some symptoms when you would be advised to seek help. If you experience consistent abdominal pain, severe nausea, or an inability to pass gas for more than three days, it may be time to call the doctor.

These, alongside jaundice and an inability to pass stools for more than three days, could indicate a more serious underlying issue.

For more information on having your gallbladder removed, book a consultation with Mr Woodward today.

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