Life Expectancy after Gallbladder Removal Surgery

Living A Healthy Life After a Gallbladder Removal Surgery

In most cases of a patient with gallbladder issues, surgeons suggest surgical removal of the gallbladder. The gallbladder of a patient is removed for reasons like infections, inflammation, called cholecystitis, gallstones, gallbladder polyp. One does not require a gallbladder to survive. And after a gallbladder removal surgery, many patients do not witness a real change in their digestion too. However, in a few cases, there is a chance that one could experience uncomfortable symptoms from living without a gallbladder. This is very rare though.

Living without a Gallbladder

The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ on the right side of one’s abdomen, beneath the liver. The role of a gallbladder is to hold a digestive fluid called bile which is released into one’s small intestine. Bile is a liquid that aids an individual in digesting fatty foods. Thus, without a gallbladder, bile will not be stored, and the body will not have as much bile in the intestine. As a result, food may not digest as well especially foods that are fatty, greasy, or high-fiber. The patient may experience gas and bloat. After the gallbladder removal surgery, few patients experience the loose motion that usually lasts for a few weeks. In this case, a patient must stay on a low-fat diet.

Digestive problems after gallbladder removal

In the first few weeks after a gallbladder removal surgery, surgeons typically recommend the patients to consume a mostly low-fat diet as the body adjusts to living without a gallbladder. Eventually, most patients resume eating the way they did before. The most common change in the digestion of the patient after the surgery is more frequent bowel movements.

  • Eat small and frequent meals
  • Do not eat a very large dinner after fasting all-day
  • Decrease the amount of fiber intake
  • Lessen the caffeine intake

How long can you live without a gallbladder?

Gallbladder removal does not reduce your life expectancy. The absence of a gallbladder in the body does not reduce the life expectancy of a patient. On the contrary, dietary changes that a patient makes post-removal can increase life expectancy.

Dr ( Major ) R S Rengan MS, DNB, DLS ( France ) HOME OF HEALING SURGICAL CENTRE. General, Laparoscopic and Gastrointestinal surgeon in Chennai, India.