Cholecystectomy is the medical term for removal of the gall bladder (also spelt gallbladder). This organ may be removed because of gallstones or because it is unable to properly store bile. After the gall bladder is removed, you should pay careful attention to what you are eating and drinking to prevent complications. This involves drinking enough liquid, eating fruits and vegetables and avoiding foods with high levels of fat.
It is important to get enough liquid after you have had your gall bladder removed. The University of Wisconsin recommends drinking a minimum of 6 to 8 glasses of fluid each day. Water is the best choice, but low-fat milk and natural fruit juices can also be consumed. You should avoid soft drinks and limit coffee and tea since caffeine can cause fluid loss. Drinking enough liquid can help to prevent constipation, which is a possible side effect of an abdominal procedure such as gall bladder surgery.
Fruits, Vegetables and Whole Grains
Getting enough fruits, vegetables and whole grains is important for maintaining health and preventing constipation after gall bladder surgery. The University of Wisconsin recommends eating four servings of fruits or vegetables and four servings of breads and cereals. Two servings of breads and cereals should be whole grains. Fruits and vegetables offer a lot of variety in colour and flavour, so you can eat different types each day.
Examples of good fruits and vegetables to eat after gall bladder surgery include watermelon, apples, bananas, peaches, cucumbers, tomatoes, green beans, carrots and broccoli. Eat these foods raw or prepare them without butter and sauces to get all of the nutritional benefits without extra fat, cholesterol and calories. Whole grains include the entire grain kernel, which consists of the bran, germ and endosperm. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, examples of whole grains include whole-wheat flour, oatmeal, whole cornmeal, cracked wheat and brown rice.
People who have gall bladder problems often have difficulty processing fatty foods since fat digestion requires more bile than foods high in protein or carbohydrates. The University of Wisconsin recommends limiting fatty foods following the surgery and then slowly reintroducing them to your diet. This particularly applies to foods high in saturated fat. According to Elizabeth Scherer from Discovery Health's Heart Health Center, foods that are high in saturated fat include fatty cuts of meat, bacon, sausage, hydrogenated vegetable oil, whole-milk dairy products and processed grain products like cookies and cakes. Information from the UC Davis Health System Department of Surgery indicates that some patients may experience gas and bloating following meals for several months after the gall bladder has been removed. If this becomes bothersome, contact your physician to discuss possible treatment options.