What complications can occur during gallbladder surgery?

Gallbladder Inflammation: Complications, Prognosis & Prevention

Effects & Complications

The excessive pressure on the gallbladder wall and the inflammation of the wall can cause the inflamed gallbladder to rupture. This so-called perforation is feared, as the bile, together with the bacteria, can spread in the peritoneum and cause inflammation of the peritoneum (peritonitis) with life-threatening consequences. Bacteria from the gall bladder can also enter the blood and trigger inflammation that spreads to the entire organism and can lead to blood poisoning (sepsis).

If the inflamed gallbladder wall breaks through at a point that borders the intestine, a connection (fistula) between the two organs can occur. In unfavorable cases, it is possible that a large gallstone could enter the intestine and block it. The result is an intestinal obstruction (ileus), which must be operated on quickly.

Liver abscesses and inflammation of the biliary tract can also develop in the liver.

Chronic gallbladder inflammation

If gallbladder infections occur briefly over the years, what is known as a "porcelain gallbladder" often develops. Limescale deposits in the gallbladder wall mean that the wall becomes white and hard as porcelain. that a gallbladder carcinoma (which is very rare overall) develops.

Forecast & course

An early removal of the gallbladder is the therapy of choice for acute gallbladder inflammation. The surgical procedure is fraught with low risks and after removal of the gallbladder there are usually no new problems. After an operation, patients stay in the hospital for an average of 2-3 days. A few patients continue to suffer from epigastric discomfort after the operation. Causes can be changes in the surgical area due to scarring or other disorders in the biliary system.

The vast majority of patients can continue their lives as usual after removal of the gallbladder. Without a gallbladder, the bile is transported directly from the liver to the duodenum. The bile duct widens and thus at least partially takes over the former storage function of the gallbladder. Digestion is still guaranteed and a special diet is not required.

Prevention & protection

Gallstones are the main cause of inflammation of the gallbladder. To reduce the risk of gallstones, you should pay attention to your diet: A diet high in fiber, low in cholesterol and low in fat is important. Spread out several small meals throughout the day. This relieves the gall bladder. A late meal mixes the bile fluid in the gallbladder by emptying it again; this can also counteract the stone formation that occurs especially during the long nocturnal fasting phase.

Not only being overweight, losing weight too quickly can lead to biliary problems. Fasting and weight loss cause the bile to become oversaturated with cholesterol and stones can form. The same applies to the first few months after gastric bypass operations.
In addition to proper nutrition, regular exercise also counteracts gallstone formation.