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What causes constant abdominal bloating after gallbladder surgery?

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Posted on Wed, 1 Feb 2017
Question: I had gall bladder removal in 02-2015. I had been able to maintain weight within 3 pounds for 20+ years with NO abdominal swelling of "overlap" over my hip hugger panties. Since 2015 I have gained 10 pounds. The most troublesome is that I maintain a constant abdominal bloating and I can eat basically 2 bites of food and my abdomen swells tremendously under my breast. It is almost like my abdomen is "segmented" at umbilicus level and another huge swelling below in my stomach. I have made myself gluten free, very low diary and found supplements from UniKey Bile builder and Liver Lovin' that seem to help, but something is still "not right." Frustrating that the GI doctor just smiles with no answer(when I could see him): I had to go HMO with obamacare and he won't take HMO any longer. Sometimes I wonder if fluid is leaking into my abdomen? I had laparoscopic surgery: the surgeon wasn't certain that he could do it without opening me because the gall bladder was so enlarged and bile duct occluded that bile was spilling onto the liver and pancreas. I had a pancreatic cyst which I was told is resolved.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ramesh Kumar (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Problem in fat digestion post gall bladder removal.

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Thanks for selecting HCM for your query!
Gallbladder surgery can cure gallstones and help relieve pain, but this procedure is has it's own cons.Having digestive problems is very common after gallbladder surgery and if patient is old the intensity of problem further increases.
Your gallbladder stores bile that your liver produces. When your body needs it, the gallbladder releases it into your small intestine. Bile helps break down fats from meals.
Since an adequate amount of bile can flow out of your liver and through your bile ducts to the intestine without having to enter the gallbladder first. So most people do not have any problems eating or digesting food after having gallbladder removal surgery.But as age progresses the capacity of liver to produce bile decreases.So after surgery on the one hand liver is producing less bile and on the other hand gallbladder is not there to store bile,Hence digestion of fats become problematic.Constant bloating,belching and abdominal distention is because of the formation of large amount of gas due to improper digestion of fats.Don't worry its not the fluid which is leaking,Fluid leakage in abdomen leads to ascitis which is a very painful condition.

I would suggest you to-
Take a diet which is very low in Fat.
Avoid eating too much fibres in your diet.
Add lot of vegetables and fruits to your diet.
Fruit juices should be taken.
Frequent and small meals should be taken.
Take small amount of food every 2 hours,Don't take large meals at one time.
Cap. Pantoprazole can be taken once daily empty stomach after consulting your gastroenterologist to relieve you from bloating and belching.
Try to walk at least 30 minutes a day.

Thank you!

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Remy Koshy
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Follow up: Dr. Ramesh Kumar (10 hours later)
Thanks for your great response. I have had chronic constipation all my life and had (prior to surgery)and now, have been taking fiber tablets everyday as well as a Weight Watchers type diet which promotes fresh fruits, vegetables, higher fiber, lower fat and higher protein. I feel I already have a low fat diet. But, I will try even harder. I can say I almost never, ever eat fried food, no potato chips, etc.

Since the gallbladder surgery my BM's have been very erratic. Sometimes hard smaller stool, no BM everyday, but, then, too, many times floating, "furry" looser stools with a GREAT urgency 1-2 times per day. I am able to hold until I get to the BR, but, I better get there SOON! I have not had any incontinent accidents.

I was on Nexium for GERD for years (when it was still expensive non- OTC), but have been on Pantoprazole daily now for about 3 years.

I am taking simethicone, OTC as well.

I am a physical therapist and don't work FT, but between 20-39 hours per week in an acute rehab. hospital: generally 3 days per week and on those days do 8-10 K steps(fitbit) and at home/days off very active w yard, house work, etc.

I have a stationary bike and treadmill and will make an effort to be more consistent in using these on my days off.

I know there is no magic formula, but, in general, how much fiber should I ingest: I am 5'3", 148 pounds. Pantoprozole is the only prescribed medication I take. I do take vit D, multiple vitamen, Mg, cranberry tablet, lutein, B12, hydolyzed collagen w hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate supplements.

I appreciate this format.

doctor
Answered by Dr. Ramesh Kumar (10 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Gastro intestinal flora need to be reprenished!

Detailed Answer:
Hello again,
You should not ingest more then 25 grams of fibres every day.
You are on a strict diet control.However off and on constipation and loose stools can be because of disturbed gastrointestinal flora.Gut flora is the complex community of microorganisms that live in the digestive tracts of humans,The intestinal microflora is a complex ecosystem containing over 400 bacterial species. Anaerobes outnumber facultative anaerobes. The flora is sparse in the stomach and upper intestine, but luxuriant in the lower bowel.Any disturbance in this flora causes various problems with digestive system including loose stools or constipation.I would recommend you to take a course of probiotics so that the destroyed flora can be replenished ,once the intestinal flora will become normal,Gut mobility and digestion will improve and things will be much better.
Apart from medicines following should be done-
-Take two tea spoon isphagula husk with 200 to 300 mL water once while going to bed every day.
- Increase XXXXXXX warm water intake
- Eat small meals ,Try to eat vegetable,Take a lot of Yoghurt along with food.
- Eat plentiful "fresh oranges" and "pear "
- do some exercise everyday as per your capacity try to take a 20 minute walk.
Don't worry too much ,Take probiotics for 2 weeks(after consulting your gastro).Your gastric flora is very disturbed from years,once it will become normal,Your problem will settle down.

Though there is NO MAGICAL formula yet the patient and doctor should try their best,Remain motivated!

Good luck,
Wish you a happy and fast recovery!

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Remy Koshy
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Ramesh Kumar (13 hours later)
Thank you SO much: what a great and comprehensive reply to my questions. In my personal physician/patient and professional observation of physicians with my clients in the healthcare setting, you are one of the best in educating.

You have given me a good, common-sense explanation of my GI functioning specific for my concerns.

I appreciate your response and greeting. Happy, healthy and prosperous New Year to you. XXXXXXX DeLong
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ramesh Kumar (13 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Thank you!

Detailed Answer:
Thank you dear and wish you the same.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Remy Koshy
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Answered by
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Dr. Ramesh Kumar

Gastroenterologist

Practicing since :1986

Answered : 2516 Questions

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What causes constant abdominal bloating after gallbladder surgery?

Brief Answer: Problem in fat digestion post gall bladder removal. Detailed Answer: Hi, Thanks for selecting HCM for your query! Gallbladder surgery can cure gallstones and help relieve pain, but this procedure is has it's own cons.Having digestive problems is very common after gallbladder surgery and if patient is old the intensity of problem further increases. Your gallbladder stores bile that your liver produces. When your body needs it, the gallbladder releases it into your small intestine. Bile helps break down fats from meals. Since an adequate amount of bile can flow out of your liver and through your bile ducts to the intestine without having to enter the gallbladder first. So most people do not have any problems eating or digesting food after having gallbladder removal surgery.But as age progresses the capacity of liver to produce bile decreases.So after surgery on the one hand liver is producing less bile and on the other hand gallbladder is not there to store bile,Hence digestion of fats become problematic.Constant bloating,belching and abdominal distention is because of the formation of large amount of gas due to improper digestion of fats.Don't worry its not the fluid which is leaking,Fluid leakage in abdomen leads to ascitis which is a very painful condition. I would suggest you to- Take a diet which is very low in Fat. Avoid eating too much fibres in your diet. Add lot of vegetables and fruits to your diet. Fruit juices should be taken. Frequent and small meals should be taken. Take small amount of food every 2 hours,Don't take large meals at one time. Cap. Pantoprazole can be taken once daily empty stomach after consulting your gastroenterologist to relieve you from bloating and belching. Try to walk at least 30 minutes a day. Thank you!