Can you still have pain after your gallbladder is removed?

So, you’ve just had your gallbladder removed and you’re feeling great… until the pain sets in. Wait a minute, isn’t the whole point of gallbladder removal to eliminate any discomfort? Unfortunately, it’s not always that simple.

The Purpose of Gallbladder Removal

Before we dive into why pain may still be present after surgery, let’s first review what exactly a gallbladder is and why it can cause issues. Your gallbladder is an organ located under your liver that helps with digestion by storing bile produced by the liver to help break down fats in your small intestine.

However, when your body produces too much cholesterol or bilirubin (a component found in bile), it can cause these substances to form crystals which then turns into hardened stones. These stones can block the flow of bile leading to inflammation and even infections.

In order to treat this condition known as cholecystitis or just general gallstones (ouch!), many doctors recommend surgical intervention or laparoscopic cholecystectomy -otherwise known as having ones’ gallflute removed from their bellybutton through tiny incisions.

While this might seem like the end-all solution for those who have long suffered from excruciating gut pains due to aforementioned fiery rocks…there’s no guarantee that all will go smoothly post-op .

Reasons For Continued Symptoms

Now back to our initial question: can you still experience pain after having your toxic time bomb (ahem, I mean gallstone-filled-gallbladder) taken out?

The short answer is yes.

Removing one’s external plumbing won’t automatically fix everything internally! There are several reasons why one might continue experiencing symptoms such as abdominal pain/discomfort:

Residual Inflammation

After surgery there will be some residual inflammation throughout the surgical site. This is a totally normal response by the body as it’s trying to repair tissues that were cut and moved during surgery.

The common gallbladder removal technique, laparoscopic cholecystectomy, involves filling one’s gut void with carbon dioxide gas. While this helps your surgeon see better (that was an unplanned pun), it can also lead to strain on surrounding tissue causing discomfort after surgery.

Nerve Damage

Another reason for continued pain in the post-surgery phase is nerve damage or injury caused during the procedure due to unavoidable proximity between sharp objects and innervated fiber tissues.

Due to its location in close proximity with specifically sensitive nerves within ones belly region- there is always risk of collateral damage when fiddling around near our guts . Around 5% of individuals who undergo cholecystectomy experience long term nerve-related complications such as soreness/tenderness/pain at incision site .

For some patients, this causes not only digestive issues but extended periods of lingering chronic pain post-operative which we like to refer lovingly as “phantom gallstones”.

Other Pathologies

Lastly – There are other pathologies ! Hallelujah! Cholecystitis commonly occurs either alongside something called Choledocholithiasis where stones may remain lodged securely inside their old friend ‘common bile duct’. If doctors don’t catch these rogue operatives before-operation , they could continue clogging/blocking flow even after healing over—causing residual bile buildup along with mild-severe symptoms ranging from tenderness/fullness/nausea/gas.

When Should You Seek Help?

If you’re dealing with persistent abdominal unease days/weeks/months after you’ve had your scoundrel-gallbladder removed—it’s important not simply label yourself insane…yet(!!) —but rather seek follow-up medical care right away .

Granted – healing/healing curves can vary person-to-person based on metabolism/health history/recovery habits but if you’re beginning to feel that something is legit wack, then listen up .

You should absolutely reach out to your physician with questions or if symptoms persist.

Complications To Watch Out For:

Here are the main undesirable symptoms/infections/complications one may encounter post-cholecystectomy:

  1. Increased pain at surgical site (including above/below rib area)
  2. Abdominal cramping
  3. Fever/Nausea/vomiting/chills
  4. Greyish stools/light-colored urine
  5. Discharge/bleeding/drainage around incision sites

If a patient experiences any of these complications – they need to take super seriously and call their doctor right away.

Lifestyle Changes & Pain Relief Options Post-Surgery

If you have recently undergone gallbladder removal surgery, here are some helpful tips for reducing residue inflammation after surgery :

  • Avoid irritants such as smoking / strong perfumes /caffeine /fried foods for week 1 following procedure.
  • Staying hydrated helps recovery process immensely so don’t skimp on H20 during this delicate period.
  • Resist heavy lifting – (more than a gallon of milk) keeping mind hefting anything over 10 lbs can cause strain in abdominal muscles which could slow down healing time along while causing extra stiffness/pain . Leave it all your uncle Frank!

Here’s some good news! If you’re still battling some residual dregs from post-gallbladder surgery—there are many options available now to help with lingering organ-related dis-ease :


First line therapy involves non-opioid analgesics such as Acetaminophen(preferred)/Ibuprofen(for those who can tolerate NSAIDs). Most people find that taking standard doses every four hours do significantly improve pain levels within 24-48 hours.

If pain is severe, an opioid may need to be taken for a day or two post-operation.

Alternative Therapies

For those wary of chemically-based medications – Here are some alternative therapies recommended by medical professionals that might help alleviate symptoms:

  1. Acupuncture – needles used through pressure points can stimulate better blood-flow and promote relaxation in muscle tissue which leads to faster healing times.
    2.AWS (Aromatherapy with essential oils): Lavender/Rose/Jasmine/Peppermint has shown usefulness and efficacy in reducing alike stress responses while alleviating inflammatory processes within human bodies—redicing chronic inflammation levels all-together.
    3.Hypnotherapy guided imagery: For our friends who enjoy meditation & dream-like woo! Guided hypnosis sessions have been recognized as being particularly effective against various sources of pain in the body including post-op areas because we humans connect verbally as well as emotionally!


While gallbladder removal surgery is generally considered safe and an excellent means by which to seek relief from biliary colic—sometimes complications happen.

Pain after removing your pebble pouch couldn’t always dissipate altogether due residual inflammation / nerve damage/or continuing pathology not fully resolved .Your doctor will tell you frankly what they think based on additional tests undertaken / belly-prodding during appointments .

Just remember : if you’re experiencing residual issues following this complete removal —talk candidly with your physician gentle reader questions about surgery, recovery process timelines, medication options OR any other pressing concerns winding across your mind like these painful ‘serpentine stones’ winding through your abdomen!:

Random Posts