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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What are the side effects of gallbladder removal?

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  • 2


    Joseph Zacks

    HealthShare Member

    I had my gall bladder removed about seven months ago and have absolutely no eveidence of side effects to report.  

  • 6


    Mr Dean Spilias

    Upper GI Surgeon (Abdominal)

    Dean graduated from the University of Melbourne in 1997 and went on to surgical training at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. During his residency he had … View Profile

    Most people who have their gall bladder removed have no side effects at all, other than some discomfort from the surgery. 

    It is usual to have pain in the incisions and in the right shoulder for about three days after surgery; the shoulder pain is caused by irritation of the diaphragm by gas, this irritation causes “referred pain” which is experienced as shoulder pain. After the initial pain has settled, there is usually some mild discomfort in the incisions for two to three weeks. 

    Pain can sometimes continue after surgery. Severe attacks of pain are uncommon; they can be caused by spasm of the bile duct, by stones or scarring affecting the bile duct, or by unrelated conditions that can mimic gallstone pain. 

    About 15% of people find oily or fatty foods disagree with them, causing bloating or diarrhoea. This is usually mild, but can vary depending on the foods eaten. Younger people are at a slightly higher risk:

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