Gallbladder Removal Complications

The gallbladder is a pear-shaped sac-like organ that is responsible for the collection of bile. It is located on the right side of the upper abdomen, below the liver.

The main function of the gallbladder is to help the body in digesting fats, with the help of bile released from the liver.

Bilirubin and its effect on the gallbladder

Bilirubin is a pigment in the liver. When this is present in excess or when people have cholesterol, they are prone to problems associated with the gallbladder like bile duct stones, gallstones and inflammation because of these.

Also Read: Painful Gallstones Choking Your Life? Know About Its Treatment

Why you would need gallbladder surgery?

In case any of the above situations pose a risk or become unmanageable, undergoing a gallbladder removal surgery becomes inevitable. The cholecystectomy is a common procedure which is very simple. People can still live a very healthy life even without the gallbladder.

Also ReadHow to Get Rid of Gallstones Naturally

Procedure for gallbladder surgery

Cholecystectomy is the medical term for gallbladder surgery. This procedure is less invasive than most. First, the general surgeon makes four small incisions on your abdomen, and through this, he/she inserts a tube that contains a light and a camera. Then, using special tools, the gallbladder is removed. Because of this laparoscopic procedure, the recovery time is reduced, and the infection is also controlled.

Although gallbladder surgery is a relatively safe procedure, it does have some complications.

Complications of gallbladder removal


A few people are prone to an internal infection post the surgery. Sometimes, there might also be a wound. The symptoms of an infection may be swelling, redness and increasing pain. Pus oozing out from the wound can also happen. Consult your doctor about these. To control the infection, you might need to take antibiotics.


Sometimes, post the operation, people might experience bleeding. Although this is a rare phenomenon, there is a possibility of it happening. In case it does happen, you will probably need another operation to control the bleeding.

Bile leakage

This is also a very rare occurrence, seen in one percent of the cases. The doctor seals the tube connecting the bile duct and the liver after the operation. However, sometimes, the bile fluid can leak out into your abdomen. This might cause severe pain and also fever, leading to a swollen abdomen. This fluid can be cleared out, and your abdomen can be washed with an operation.

Bile duct injury

In some occasions, your bile duct can be damaged because of the surgery. If this happens during the surgery, it can easily be fixed. However, during some other occasions, you might need another operation to repair this.

Injury to surrounding organs

With gallbladder surgery, the other organs such as blood vessels, the intestines and bowels- surrounding it can also be injured. However, these kinds of injuries do not happen often and can be fixed at the time of the surgery itself. In case they occur after the surgery, the patients need to undergo another operation to repair them.

Deep vein thrombosis

With the surgery, you can develop blood clots in your leg vein, a condition known as deep vein thrombosis. This is very dangerous since it can prevent the flow of blood to your lungs. Patients can prevent this by wearing special compression stockings after the operation.

Reaction to anesthesia

Although the chances of any reaction to the anesthesia are very low, there can be an allergic reaction or even worse-death. 

Problems in the heart

Due to the overstressing of removing a whole organ, a condition of a patient with cardiac problems can worsen. 


During the laparoscopic gallbladder removal surgery, some patients are ventilated using a breathing tube through the mouth that can increase the risk of pneumonia.

In more severe cases, one can also develop a lung infection after the surgery. For this, the doctor can recommend antibiotics on the basis of the severity. 

Scars and Numbness

For the initial week after the laparoscopic cholecystectomy, there will be possible scarring and numbness near or on the incision site. 


Near the incision site, apart of the intestine or fatty tissue can bulge through the abdominal wall. This is known as an incisional hernia. An incisional hernia cannot cure on its own and requires undergoing another surgery. 

Although these complications might scare you out, you need to remind yourself that these are rare occurrences. A good recovery plan will help you through any of it.

Read More:  10 Side effects of Removing Gallbladder

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