Post-Cholecystectomy Syndrome

After gallbladder surgery, up to 10% of people experience Post-Cholecystectomy Syndrome.ย  Bile, which is made in the liver and normally stored in the gallbladder, now gets dumped directly into the small intestine (see Diagrams — Gastrointestinal Anatomy).ย  Since bile may be heavily concentrated, it pulls in water to dilute it (an imperative of physics), hence the diarrheal stools.ย  If itโ€™s going to occur, it tends to begin soon after surgery, not years later.

Post-Cholecystectomy Syndrome is harmless, but may be disliked by those who have it.  The medicine cholestyramine may help, but causes a variety of mild but unpleasant effects which may be perceived as worse than the diarrhea.  We could gradually build up to the highest dose tolerated; but since the syndrome may eventually go away on its own, we might have to stop & start a few times to figure it out.

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