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Had gall bladder removed, hiatal hernia repaired. Had nausea, acid reflux, diarrhea, weakness. Taking liquid diet. What should I do?

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Gastroenterologist, Surgical
Practicing since : 1989
Answered : 883 Questions
Last week I had my gall bladder removed and a hiatal hernia repair. I had this done because I have had nausea, acid reflux, etc. Now, I have diarrhea, hot flashes (even though I am 65 years old) and weakness. I have been on a liquid diet but have no appetite. I just want to die! My doctors and family aren't hearing me. What should I do?
Posted Wed, 23 May 2012 in Chron's Disease
Answered by Dr. Ketan Vagholkar 9 hours later

You don't have to worry. Medical science will help you out of this. I understand the physical and mental stress that you are undergoing at present. I would address all your concerns sequentially.

1. Removal of the gall bladder was justified only if you had symptomatic stones. Otherwise at this age an asymptomatic gall bladder is not removed. The fall out of removal of the gall bladder is diarrhea. This is due to alteration in the digestive process caused by diluted bile entering the intestine. This will stop in due course as soon as the intestines get acclimatized to the diluted bile. So you need not worry about it.

2. Lap repair of hiatus hernia is known to cause upper gastrointestinal symptoms.
It typically causes a condition called gas bloat syndrome in which the patient feels distended with intake of very little food. As a result of the upper fullness you have a persistent feeling of nausea. Ideally it would have been a good practice to keep a ryle's tube for about 3 days after surgery in order to allow the stomach to regain its function after the anatomical distortion caused by the surgical procedure. This again is a self remitting condition. If it persists and causes vomiting then it merits further investigation. In the mean time you should stick to a liquid diet preferably multiple small feeds rather than a big feed.

3. In order to improve your appetite you should start liver tonics such as those containing ornithine and high concentration of B complex vitamins.

4. Hot flushes are due to hormonal changes. You need not worry about them. Don’t forget to take calcium supplements.

I hope my advice gives you a road map to resolve your symptoms.

With regards
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