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Why Can I Live Without My Gallbladder?

Why Can I Live Without My Gallbladder?

Your gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ tucked just beneath the liver. It plays an important role in digestion, storing, and releasing bile to digest fatty foods. 

Living without this organ may sound impossible, but about 1.2 million people have their gallbladder removed each year and go on to live perfectly normal lives. 

At Lakeland Surgical Clinic, PLLC, located in Jackson, Mississippi, our experts want to help you understand the gallbladder's function and how your body can still thrive if removal is needed for medical reasons. 

The role of the gallbladder in digestion

The gallbladder serves as a reservoir for bile — a digestive fluid produced by the liver. When you consume fatty foods, the gallbladder releases bile into the small intestine to help you digest these fats and facilitate their absorption.

Although the gallbladder stores excess bile and plays a role in digestion, removing it doesn’t compromise the digestive process. 

After your gallbladder is removed, you can still live a healthy and normal life. Your digestive system adjusts to the absence of the gallbladder, and the liver releases bile steadily, so none needs to be stored. 

Why you may have your gallbladder removed

Gallstones – hardened deposits that form in the gallbladder – are a common reason for gallbladder removal. They can cause pain, inflammation, and other complications. 

We may also recommend gallbladder surgery if you have gallbladder dysfunction, an infection, or inflammation.

What it’s like to live a gallbladder-free life

You might experience changes in bowel habits following gallbladder removal. If you find certain foods trigger nausea or diarrhea following the removal of your gallbladder, avoid them in the future. 

People often benefit from dietary adjustments, such as consuming smaller and more frequent meals to aid in digestion. You’ll also want to avoid consuming large amounts of fatty, greasy, or high-fiber food because your body may not be able to produce adequate bile to facilitate digestion. Large portions of rich foods can make you experience gas, diarrhea, and bloating. 

How gallbladder removal helps

Removing the gallbladder eases gallbladder-related issues. It relieves persistent pain and discomfort and eliminates the risk of recurrent gallstones and associated complications. When you’re gallbladder-free, you can resume daily activities without the irritation of gallbladder-related symptoms.

If you’re considering gallbladder surgery, consult with our team at Lakeland Surgical Clinic, PLLC. We work closely with you to ensure the best outcomes for your health and well-being. Call today or use the online tool to schedule your appointment at Lakeland Surgical Clinic, PLLC.

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