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Gallbladder removal - digestive support ?

(75 Posts)
Janus31 Mon 23-Oct-17 09:45:25


I have just had my gallbladder removed, 7 days ago

been in pain (typical gallbladder symptoms) for 12 months on and off, got really bad over past 2 months

I am on mend, is too early to say how successful will be, fingers crossed

I was wondering if anyone who had surgery now takes digestive aids like lecithin for fat emulsifying ?

would like to hear from people who have had cholecystectomy
and have you felt improvement by using lecithin, or other digestive enzymes

Kewcumber Mon 23-Oct-17 09:50:14

Had mine removed 20 years ago. Never had a days problem ever since (bliss) andmever taken any digestive aid for it. It did take a little while for my digestion to settle down but it was really overly problematic.

kaitlinktm Mon 23-Oct-17 09:55:29

Had mine done about 10 years ago and haven't had any of the nasty pain since and have taken no related medication. I do suffer quite badly from heartburn, but I don't think it's related.

dahliaaa Mon 23-Oct-17 11:18:28

Just following this as I had mine removed couple of days ago. Hope you are recovering well OP

ScallopedEdge Mon 23-Oct-17 11:21:13

I had mine removed 5 years ago. No problems, no medication needed.

Carminia Mon 23-Oct-17 15:53:25

I had mine removed with laparoscopic surgery thus last friday (3 days ago), so I am watching this closely. But my brother had his done 4 years ago and has been fine ever since.
I have acid refux as well, but the doctor told me it may improve but is not 100 related so I will still be on meds for tha (lansoprazole).
Btw - i am still really bloated and in pain, mainly due to the gas I think. and also have developed a rash on my abdomen, where they seem to put the surgical cleaning bit, the nurse saw it and said there was no need for concern as I do not have any other symptom.
How is everyone else recovering? How long does the pain last?
Thank you

MelRose28 Mon 23-Oct-17 16:00:37

I had mined removed 8 weeks ago. Thankfully no other issues and i have a nirmal diet. Trying for a little one so not sure if this will affect it. All the best

dahliaaa Mon 23-Oct-17 17:38:00

Hi Carminia I had mine done on Saturday and still quite a lot of pain.
(Including where the original gallbladder pain was ??)
What painkillers are you taking ?

I've also got the oddest sensation under right rib when breathe in - painful and it feels like rib cartledge moving or popping (I think that's just me though !hmm)

Carminia Mon 23-Oct-17 18:20:32

Oh, I feel reassured now Dahliaaa (I do not know how to tag ..,)
I have the same pain you describe under the right rib every time I breathe ?!
I am taking co-dydramol and ibuprofen, the codydramol makes me last pain free around 5ish hs, in the morning I need also the max strength ibuprofen as well, but I try to take it only once as I had bad gastritis in the past.
This am I was feeling rotten, went for a nap and I feel better now. I think we just have to listen to our bodies and do not overdo it or think we can be up and running in a few days.
I heard some people being fine after a week... I can honestly say I cannot see that happening ... I feel I will need more than that! But I will update ❤️

snozzlemaid Mon 23-Oct-17 18:24:05

Had mine removed 18 months ago and never had to take anything after. I just eat a normal diet with absolutely no problems now.

dahliaaa Mon 23-Oct-17 18:30:53

Carminia I think because it's seen as relatively straightforward keyhole surgery it's easy to assume that there will be no pain. Also I was told to expect 'a bit of discomfort' which is not exactly accurate (!)

I mentioned on another thread that the dr said that my gallbladder was stuck to parts of my liver so wondered if that had caused more pain - but another poster said that's the case with everyone (re the sticking to liver.)
I wasn't with it enough after the general anaesthetic to ask the dr any sensible questions.

Hope tomorrow is better.

Pastacube Mon 23-Oct-17 18:39:25

I eat normally but have awful constipation (sorry! ) wondering if I should take a supplement of some kind

MrsRonBurgundy Mon 23-Oct-17 18:39:51

Mine was removed 3 years ago and haven’t had any problems since.
I don’t take any digestion aids or monitor my diet at all. In the first 6 months I would have a bit of an upset stomach if I ate very greasy food, fish and chips or a fry up. However, nothing bad at all and not even enough to put me off those meals blush
Think it was maybe just a period of adjustment as no such issues mown

trinity0097 Mon 23-Oct-17 18:44:24

I went back to doing low carb high fat after 3 weeks, no side effects at all, but I know some people struggle post surgery.

Hulder Mon 23-Oct-17 18:50:32

No. No problems at all unless I eat a really high fat meal - but still treat myself to a load of cream every now and then and just take some Gaviscon it's worth it grin

Janus31 Mon 23-Oct-17 19:38:22

thanks for replies so far,

I am having right side pains, but they are different to pain prior to surgery. The pain before was constant and getting worse by day

pain now feels like surgical tissue repair type pain, fingers crossed

to be fair my digestion hasn't been too bad. I have had some fatty foods past few days, odd treat, been ok. No. 2s have been better for me

I was lose, yellow before operation, now things seem to have improved. I think my gallbladder was causing too little bile to get to intestine

I do not regret having done, my HIDA scan was 12%

I battled hard to get on top of digestive disorders, terrible GERD, right side pain, right shoulder pain, nausea, headaches, feeling faint, all the symptoms of a dysfunctional gallbladder and positive Murphys sign test

my GERD was reduced significantly by eliminating wheat/gluten and caffeine

hardly get any acid reflux now

I did take some digestive enzymes before operation, for a while, dont forget poor digestion can be caused by low stomach acid, for some

my gut flora was seriously out of balance. Yogurt and kefir and getting stress down has helped restore balance, and wheat/gluten can damage the intestinal tract, for some. We all different

I am eating healthy as I can, no red meat, fish, chicken, yogurt etc. Just the odd treat. I want to lose weight, so am trying to be extra good

one other thing, ginger tea has helped a lot too. Helps with gut motility and soothes the stomach

these are the things that worked for me and gb out

we all different, what works for you could be something else

is a period of adjustment, for sure. Feels like will take few more weeks yet

my surgeon said my gb showed signs of adhesion too

I have read that these odd, old pains can be related to the CO2 gas they use to pump you up, so they can get to gb under liver

dahliaaa Mon 23-Oct-17 22:08:21

Janus31 I've been drinking peppermint tea to try and help digestion.

What is the pain in your right side like. I'm slightly concerned that mine feels quite similar to the 'grumbling gallbladder' pain I had beforehand.

Also I've just realised that you can still get pancreatitis if you have gallbladder out. The reason I had the op was to try and avoid this because my lovely DH has a life limiting cancer and I was trying to avoid any added complications for us and DC. Of course anyone with half an ounce of common sense would have realised this because the pancreas is still there. I shouldn't think a medical career will be in the offing soon ! hmm

Janus31 Tue 24-Oct-17 05:39:02


my post op pain is the odd griping, sharp pain. I only 8 days out from cholecystectomy

think is more aggravated by high fatty foods (as was case before)

I did read it can take 3-6 months for the bile, biliary system to re-adjust

I did not realise until this bout off illness how fragile, complex the digestive system can be. Have so much more respect now for what I shovel down throat

dahliaaa Tue 24-Oct-17 10:17:12

I'm only on day 3/4 at the moment Janus which is why I think my pain is a bit stronger and constant. Are you still taking painkillers ?
I've been eating relatively small lowish fat meals to try not to aggravate things.

Janus31 Tue 24-Oct-17 10:37:35


yes, low fat is way to go, soups, I cut out all red meat, only eat chicken, fish

go easy on things like nuts too

will get better,

most positive threads I have seen on web say they don't regret it. You may get the occasional twinge but is nothing like the pain before the cholecystectomy

here is list I saw other day for gb removal assistance

Stay Hydrated – Dehydration causes bile to thicken and move more slowly.
Use Lemon – Squeeze fresh lemon into water and onto salads and meats. It will improve stomach acid and bile activity.
Eat Bile-Healthy Foods – These include beets, radishes, artichokes, asparagus, celery, lemon, lime, grapefruit, cucumbers, and carrots.
Use Bitter Herbs – They stimulate digestive juices and boost bile flow: ginger, arugula, endive, cilantro, turmeric, dandelion, cumin, fennel, mint, milk thistle, yarrow, leeks, and parsley.
Eat Fermented Veggies – They’re rich in enzymes and help restore bacterial balance in the gut: sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, pickled ginger, etc.
Eat Small Meals – Big meals will cause major digestive stress.
Eat Dark-Green Veggies – They purify the blood and improve bile flow.
Eat Fiber – Soluble fiber like chia, flax, hemp, and pumpkin seeds escorts old bile out of the body. Insoluble fiber is found in fruits and vegetables and sweeps waste and toxins out through the colon.
Minimize Stress – Stress depresses the digestive system and makes proper breakdown of food more difficult.
Take Magnesium – Magnesium is a natural relaxant and can reduce contractile activity in the bile ducts.

I not fan anymore of taking huge amount of supplements, is just my opinion who spent years of money of these things and probably did not help my health one jot.

That said, the odd digestive aid, magnesium, lecithin granules maybe could ease the flow of fats, bile

think in early days I am going to see how good old healthy eating goes, and assess in months time

can weeks to fully heal, is major surgery, even if it is key hole

dahliaaa Tue 24-Oct-17 11:16:08

That's such a useful list - thanks

dahliaaa Wed 25-Oct-17 18:47:50

I've just realised that I didn't find out how many gallstones there were.

The surgeon said that he hasn't seen them 'which is good news because it means they didn't escape from the gallbladder to make a nuisance elsewhere.'

I'd heard of people being given them in a jar as a keepsake (!) but is that just a joke ...

I was really with it so didn't ask any other questions - did any of you get to see yours ?

Carminia Wed 25-Oct-17 20:02:31

I cannot believe someone would want to keep their gallstones in a jar shock
BTW, on day 5 after my op and feeling now a lot better, more myself, I still have not ventured anywhere but I can be around the house and walk in the garden. The swelling in stomach area is also a lot better.
Yesterday had to have the nurse to see the horrible rash on my stomach and I am with antihistaminics, apparently could be a reaction to the surgical gel they use.

Janus31 Wed 25-Oct-17 21:02:29

my scars have been sore today, probably because I am sleeping more on side now

am finding nuts heard to digest at mo, shame because they are powerhouse of nutrition, will take time to adjust

you welcome for the list

trinity0097 Wed 25-Oct-17 21:03:15

I have mine in a jar, actually on the table next to me in the lounge, as my in laws wanted to see them when they visited a while back and I never moved them. They did oayfor half the surgery, so only fair they got to see an end product.

I wanted to see what had caused the problems, and how many of the blighters there were.

Was really upset when the nhs doctor said I couldn’t have them, his SHO agreed to take a photo to show me instead, but I had to end up going private and he let me have them. Came to with them sitting on the table at the end of the bed

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