So the pain is gone, but the nausea remains after your gallbladder surgery? Nausea is a common complaint after gallbladder removal, also called cholecystectomy, and may take some time to subside as your body adjusts to functioning without a gallbladder. The length of time it will take for this unpleasant symptom to resolve varies from patient to patient and there are a number of reasons why nausea persists after surgery, but there are ways to cope with or reduce it.
Tell your health-care provider. If you experience nausea immediately after surgery, you should let the recovery room staff know, so they can monitor your condition and administer medications, such as benzodiazepines or tricyclic antidepressants, to address nausea and vomiting. If your nausea persists more than a few days or cannot be controlled with the medications you were given, contact your physician for guidance. Your nausea could signal a more serious condition that should be addressed.
Phase solid foods in gradually. Start with ice chips and liquids, which will be tolerated better at first. If you can keep these down, graduate to soft, bland foods before resuming your regular diet. Because you are recovering from an invasive procedure in the abdominal area, eat smaller meals at first to help your system readjust.
Adjust your diet. Because there is no longer a gallbladder to store bile, the secretion that helps you break down fats in your food, you may encounter nausea when you eat a high-fat meal. A diet that is low in fat and high in fibre can reduce nausea and bloating and prevent constipation, as well. Choose low-fat dairy products and meats, fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains to increase your fibre intake. Smaller, more frequent meals may help because less fat will be present to be broken down. Pay attention to whether certain foods seem to induce nausea, and consider cutting back or avoiding them altogether.
Consider alternative treatments. Ginger is reputed to have a settling effect on the stomach, and vitamin B6 is helpful, as well. Acupressure has been recommended for mild nausea. Simply apply firm pressure with your first two fingers to the inside of your wrist between the two large tendons that begin at the base of your palm. Inexpensive acupressure wristbands are also available at many stores and may be helpful.