The removal of the gallbladder, the pear-shaped sac that collects and stores bile (a digestive fluid) is a fairly common surgical procedure that is usually performed with minimally invasive methods. The surgery is needed for gallbladder stone treatment which can cause intense abdominal pain, discomfort and sometimes even infection.
Gallbladder surgery is relatively safe, and most patients experience practically no adverse effects. They are often discharged within a day and can return to their normal regimen fairly quickly. However, as with any kind of surgery, the risk of complications in gallbladder operation also exist. Hence, it’s prudent to take some precautions. Let’s dwell on a few measures, especially dietary that need to be strictly adhered to after the procedure.
Refrain from strenuous Activity
Most patients return to their normal routine within a couple of weeks. However, after gallbladder stone removal, it’s best to refrain from strenuous activity or lifting heavy objects until your body recovers well. Meanwhile, walking and moderate exercise are encouraged since it perks up blood circulation.
Gradual Intake of Solids
The gallbladder operation can affect food tolerance and proper digestion. While there are no specific dietary guidelines, medics often recommend a liquid diet for a few days after the surgery. Solid food can be incorporated gradually into the diet in small amounts.
While the liver continues to produce bile after the gallbladder surgery, the body’s ability to break-down and absorb fat from meals weakens considerably. As a result, consumption of fried, fatty and spicy food can cause bloating and gas. It is therefore imperative to steer clear of greasy food items with high-fat content.
The gallbladder is not essential for digestion, but it plays a role in storing and releasing bile that in turn helps the body process fat. Some people may thus experience constipation and diarrhea after the organ is removed. It is important to limit intake of caffeine-containing drinks like coffee, tea, soda or chocolate as excessive consumption can worsen the situation. Doctors often suggest a daily intake of probiotic supplements which reportedly helps break down food and aids in healthy digestion.
Other Restrictive Food
It’s best to avoid dairy/poultry products and refined carbohydrates post-surgery. In addition, hold back on consuming processed foods, artificial sweeteners, and nuts which can be difficult to digest directly after the procedure. Also, vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and beans are best shunned as they tend to be gaseous.
Smaller Frequent Meals
Following the gallbladder stones surgery, it may be difficult to eat a large amount of food at one sitting due to less concentrated bile. Refrain from having three large meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) daily as this can strain the digestive tract. Nonetheless, nutrition is needed by the body; hence doctors recommend eating small healthy meals at frequent intervals throughout the day.
Eat High-Fibre Food
Slowly start adding fiber to your daily diet. Foodstuff like brown rice, vegetables, wholemeal bread, legumes, Omega 3 fatty acid, and fresh fruits packed with antioxidants are helpful. High-fiber food assists in absorbing excess water and thickening up the stool which helps in tackling issues like diarrhea.
It’s vital to remain hydrated after undergoing gallbladder removal. In fact, during the process of recuperation after the operation, intake of drinks laden with electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and chloride is extremely beneficial as they prevent dehydration.
If despite following the above dietary guideline, the symptoms do not diminish and you are unable to eat properly, it’s important to consult your personal physician. He will chalk out a diet plan along with supplements to help resolve the issues you are facing after the gallbladder surgery.