Constipation After Gallbladder Removal


Gallbladder removal, also called a cholecystectomy, is a surgery performed in response to gallstones or an inflamed gallbladder. The symptoms that may lead to this surgery include intense abdominal pain, discomfort under the right ribcage and severe nausea and gas. If a gallstone is blocking the flow of bile through the gallbladder, you may experience the above symptoms and need this procedure. Unfortunately, several side effects are associated with gallbladder removal.

Side Effects

Some side effects of cholecystectomy are caused by the narcotic painkillers necessary to perform the procedure. These include fatigue, lowered heart rate and constipation. Talk to your doctor about additional medications that can prevent these side effects.

Treatment and prevention

To prevent constipation, increase the amount of fiber in your diet. Fiber accelerates the digestion process by absorbing water and creating soft excrement. Foods high in fiber include dried fruit, whole grains, peas, strawberries, nuts, greens and baked potatoes. If constipation continues to be a problem, ask your doctor for a stool-softening medication. However, use stool-softening medication with caution; cholecystectomies, while sometimes causing constipation, can sometimes cause diarrhea instead. First, try to produce a balanced stool with a fiber-rich diet, turning to medication if constipation continues.

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