Gall bladder removal surgery is a procedure that requires general anesthesia and takes around 60 to 90 minutes to finish. The gall bladder is a pear-shaped organ located at the right side of the liver whose main function is to collect bile produced by the liver. Gall bladder problems usually come from the presence of gallstones blocking the flow of bile out of the gallbladder. The gallbladder may swell and cause abdominal pains, indigestion, vomiting or fever.  Thus, removing the gall bladder through surgery is nowadays the safest treatment of gallbladder disease.

Gall bladder removal still requires a surgical procedure, and all surgeries have risks associated with them. While a gall bladder surgery is considered common and generally safe to perform, it is still important that a patient be aware of the possible risks, side effects and complications from this surgery.

Nausea and Vomiting

Patients undergoing gall bladder removal can expect some discomfort during and after the operation. Nausea and vomiting are common postoperative discomforts felt by patients who have undergone gall bladder removal surgery. Since this surgery is a major abdominal operation, vomiting, dizziness and nausea side effects can be expected after the procedure. However, consult with your doctor if the symptoms are persistent even days after the operation.

Abdominal Pain

During the operation, the surgeon uses carbon dioxide to inflate the abdomen for better visibility of the organs in the specific area being treated. After surgery, you may feel pain in the abdomen and the shoulders because of the gas used during the procedure. The pain should naturally disappear within 48 hours post-operation. If the pain increases after this time, immediately call your physician to report this symptom.


The bile salts can irritate your digestive system and lead to diarrhea after the removal of your gall bladder. High fiber food like wheat bread, brown rice and pasta can help with the absorption of excess water, making your bowel movement firmer. Bulking agents may be recommended like methyl cellulose, or a medicine can be prescribed to help with this condition.

Post-Operative Complications

While extremely rare, problems can occur after a gall bladder operation. The onset of fever or worsening abdominal pain can lead to further complications. Distention, drainage from the incision or persistent nausea and vomiting are also symptoms of complications that a patient need to be aware of.

The incisions made during procedure can cause bleeding and infection. Proper post operative care of the wounds should help avoid these problems. Persistent chills, cough or shortness of breath can also be signs of other post operative problems; these will need further treatment.

The bile duct and other organs can also be damaged during surgery, and another surgery will be needed to correct the condition. There is also the risk of blood vessel blockage with carbon dioxide gas bubble. These risks and conditions can vary with every patient, and should be extensively discussed with a surgeon before having the surgical procedure.  It is imperative to choose a highly qualified surgeon for any kind of procedure to avoid further complications and help ensure the success of the operation.