Food after gallbladder surgery

Posted , 7 users are following.

Hi all,

I had my gallbladder out a week and a half ago. My doctor told me I could eat whatever I want, but I have been very, very cautious in an effort to avoid the nausea I was having before.

I've read people say after the surgery they can't eat this or that, or "you'll learn what you can and can't eat." What does that mean? What happens to you if you eat those foods? Diarrhea? Pain? Nausea? Vomiting? Several or all of these? I have had no negative reactions to food so far, but again, I'm being very cautious. I want to know what could happen if I start branching out and go a little to far. I'm already getting tired of chicken soup!



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20 Replies

  • Posted

    I think you're wise to be cautious.  Some people develop bile salt malobsorption, which means that their intestines can't reabsorb the bile that's being released during digestion.  Without the gallbladder, bile flows  constantly into the small intestine, triggering nausea and diarreha, as well as cramping.  

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  • Posted

    You start out eating whatever you want. They may work and your fine. Other people have what's Calle " dumping syndrome "! Not a pretty word. When they eat fatty foods they have to go to the bathroom pretty quick. Hope all is good

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  • Posted

    Hi, I had my GB removed end of April.  Like you, I was cautious and felt quite nervous of eating just after the op.  At first I found I could only eat very small portions before my digestive system told me I’d had enough, although now I’m back to normal portions again.

    I did get a few occasions after the op when I had very loose bowels and felt queasy for a few hours but haven’t had these for several months now (am I tempting fate by saying that?).

    On a couple of occasions about a month after the op, a meal in a café turned out to be greasier than I’d expected or hoped.  Afterwards, the food hung around a bit and it felt almost as though my digestion was debating whether to pass it or not!  It did eventually though without any ill effects.  In the end I just tried a little of something new each time to see what would happen, choosing a day when I didn’t have to go anywhere just in case.

    Everyone’s digestions vary so much.  I can now eat fat without any problems although I try to limit it mainly because of the cholesterol.

    Hope you'll soon be able to find something more than chicken soup to eat! 


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    • Posted

      Thanks for sharing your experience! I am glad you are feeling well and eating normally again. I have started experimenting with small amounts of other foods - I tried a couple of pieces of cheese and had butter on my toast today, with no ill effects! Your advice is good, to try things on a day when I can get to a bathroom if I need it. So far it's going well but I will proceed cautiously!

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  • Posted


    I had mine GB out about nov 19th i was so tired from being in so much pain for 3 days that even though my surgery was at 8 am I did not wake up till about 5pm so they kept me another night. so i stayed 4 nights there. my sugeon told me to eat fat free and i am having a hard time trying to find things i can eat like that. if i try to eat anything else i run to the bathroom and i have had a stomache ache side ache back pain for the last three nights. i am so tired and want to feel normal and have some chocolate ice cream in the fridge. you said you were told you could eat anything? does it not mane you run to the bathroom. 

    good luck to you. 


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    • Posted

      Hi Terry

      So sorry to hear that. I do not have the bathroom issue. They call it the "dumping syndrome"! I had a second surgery called SOD. I can't tell if that was a success or not but I don't have a food issue as much as I have that pain in my side. I went to Mayo and they think it is a spine issue. Been through spine pain Doctor. After epidurals very little success. Now I'm at an orthopedic surgeon. Getting MRI of lumbar and CT of thoracic rib. If they don't see anything I have an appointment with the surgeon who did the initial surgery in Jan. Try eating scrambled eggs, Mac and cheese in the box. Fat free jello fat free pudding.

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  • Posted

    Hey Sadtum! Glad to see you posting that your surgery went well. I was told to eat no fat/low fat for atleast 1-2 weeks but I found that hard as my lack of appetite disappeared and I wanted to eat everything in sight! smile I had some heartburn after eating certain foods (never lasted long enough for me to pin down what it was) but that issue is gone now. Most people have nausea/bloating and some people have the dumping syndrome where they have to use the bathroom urgently after eating (mainly greasy/fatty foods). I've been taking a probiotic everyday to try to prevent the bloating (so not sure if I would've ever had the issue) and I also had weird stomach gurgling after the surgery for a few days. A few times after I've eaten out, I'll notice that I need to go to the bathroom but it's not urgent, it's not EVERY time I eat out and I'm not sure if it's just a coincidence that I need to go or not. Guess that's the paranoia after knowing it could happen smile Test a small amount of something at a time and if you have a bad reaction, avoid it for 1-2 more months and try it again. A lot of people that have reactions (which isn't many) take some time to adjust and may take up to a year to be back to normal.

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    • Posted

      Thanks! I have started testing foods and have been tolerating everything quite well, only a few times I've had to use the bathroom soon afterwards but it wasn't a problem. I'm now able to eat pretty normally though still low fat, although my appetite still isn't great. I might be one of those people who continues to have nausea for a few months after surgery - it's not as bad as before but it's still there.

      Thanks for the great advice, I will keep trying things and see how it goes! I'm so glad you've felt better and have been able to eat pretty normally!

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    • Posted

      Hi Sadtum  /  cnross1108  sorry to get in on your conversation,

      but it was like what I am going through. I am not hungry at all.

      I had my GB out a month ago and still can not eat right.

      If I eat something with any fat in it like mashed potatoes

      that had butter in it I did not know I was cramped over all

      night and could not go to the bathroom. this has got to the

      point where I have lost weight and I am really scared to eat

      anything. I had thanksgiving nibbleing on food and today 

      Christmas same thing i had a little plain turkey on a small

      roll with cranberry sauce and a little stuffing and I can not 

      stand my how I feel. I hope it goes away soon. I have the

      burning also when I try to eat. my doctor told me to get lacataid

      that i did and if you take a pill before you eat it helps some. 

      so i am working on it. I never got the got the nausea/bloating. do you still have it bad and can I please ask you what probiotic you take. I hope you are doing better. Terry 

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    • Posted

      Sorry to hear you're going through this. I am taking Align, but I think any generic probiotic will be a start. There are many different strains so you may have to experiment. Hope you get better soon.

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    • Posted

      My Doctor told me to try lactaid and it works some times. 

      I do feel some what better but I lost over 10 pounds so that

      is a good thing, I am never hungry I have to make myself eat.

      Thank You for writing back and good luck to you also. 

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