After the gallbladder is removed, the liver continues to make the same amount of bile as always, but since the gallbladder is no longer there to collect and store the bile, it continuously drains into the digestive system, explains Liver Doctor. Sometimes bile flows back into the stomach, called bile reflux, and it occurs more often in people whose gallbladders are removed, notes Mayo Clinic. Bile reflux symptoms include severe upper abdominal pain, a sour taste and vomiting bile.
Early post-surgery discomfort may occur, states Liver Doctor. For example, when the patient eats a high-fat meal, there isn't enough bile for proper digestion, leading to diarrhea, bloating, indigestion or nausea. Some individuals notice that the uncomfortable symptoms ease up over time, but others may need to make a few lifestyle changes in order to live comfortably.
To ease digestive symptoms when there is no gallbladder to regulate the body's bile storage and use, some helpful lifestyle changes include switching to a low-fat diet and passing up the fried foods, says Liver Doctor. About 90 percent of gallbladder surgery patients resume their usual diet after their bodies adjust to living without the gallbladder, but some individuals may feel better by skipping large, infrequent meals in favor of smaller, frequent meals.