Gallbladder Surgery: Foods You Should Eat After Your Gallbladder Removal Surgery
After a person has laparoscopic gallbladder surgery or another procedure to remove the gallbladder, they will need to watch their diet carefully for a time afterward. Eating small meals and limiting high-fat, gas-producing foods will help the body to gradually adjust to digestive changes and recover healthy, normal digestion.
Gallstones are a common problem related to hardened deposits of bile material which can range in size from grains of sand to golf balls. They can begin to cause pain and inflammation when shifting position to travel into bile ducts. These become more common as people age and more than 600,000 gallbladders are removed each year to alleviate this condition. We can live and go on digesting our food without this tiny, stretchy organ because digestive bile will continue to be produced by the liver and enter the intestines, however the concentration and timing was carefully regulated by the gallbladder before surgery and after, more than half of people without a gallbladder will have trouble digesting the fat in their meals and any of the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, K.
There are ways to ease back into normal eating habits and minimize the discomfort post-surgery. Clear fluids such as juice water and broths are recommended immediately post procedure- for the first few days.
Food To Avoid After Gallbladder Surgery
After gallbladder surgery, consuming certain foods can lead to more discomfort than is necessary. Some of those would include:
– Animal lard
– Gravy and creamy soups
– Potato chips
– Meats which are high in fat and processed meat
– High-fat dairy, such as cheese, cream and milk
– Spicy foods
– Chicken or turkey skin
Foods To Include After Gallbladder Surgery
Reintroducing whole grain and high fiber foods to your diet will be the healthiest first step as you start eating solid foods again. These can include:
– Cruciferous vegetables
– Whole-grain breads
It is a good idea to add foods back to your diet slowly over the first month after your gallbladder removal and even keep a journal of what you eat. Adding multiple foods too quickly- even healthy and low-fat foods- can cause cramping and diarrhea.
Over time, you should be able to resume a normal diet, including healthy fats. Most people find that they have minimal digestive issues when reintroducing foods in this way, however if you have ongoing issues or any of the following symptoms, talk to your physician:
– No bowel movements for 3 days or more post-surgery
– Persistent, abdominal pain which is severe or worsening.
– Persistent, severe nausea/ vomiting
– The inability to pass gas more than 3 days post-surgery.
– Diarrhea lasting more than three days post-surgery