If there comes a time when you experience a series of different symptoms that makes you feel strange after the removal of your gallbladder, then you may be experiencing Post-cholecystectomy Syndrome (PCS). The process of Cholecystectomy refers to the basic removal of the gallbladder. It is often done to remove gallstones that most likely develop within your gallbladder. This article helps you learn more about the series of symptoms and how you can deal with it properly without experiencing any complications that might end up hurting you in the process.
What is the gallbladder?
Before we go any further, let us first define what the gallbladder is. It is referred to as a small pear shaped sac that is located under the liver. This organ helps store and transport much needed bile to the first part of the small intestine (duodenum). The bile is a certain kind of yellow-green substance that carries away waste products from different parts of the body.
The liver is the largest organ in the body that helps filter the waste products that is produced after all the nutrients have been taken away from the food that people eat. It will help remove harmful chemicals within the body that will be responsible for the protection of the patient against various types of infection.
This is a specific part of the intestines that absorbs all the nutrients from the food source before digestion that the body would need eventually. Now that you know the basic parts of the digestive tract which would be affected by the post cholecystectomy procedure, we can now proceed to finding out some of the possible symptoms that you may experience if you have this condition.
Possible Symptoms Of Post-cholecystectomy Syndrome
One of the most prominent symptoms of the disease would be irritable bowel syndrome. This is most likely because PCS is usually centered upon the digestive tract of the patient. In addition, some patients may also experience muscle spasms within the stomach as well as pain in the upper right abdominal area. In addition to these symptoms, the patients also have a different type bowel quality. Here are some basic characteristics of patients that may have PCS, particularly in terms of their bowel.
- Bowel may have large amounts of mucus
- He or she may not have control over bowel movement (diarrhea)
In order to find out more about the condition, the doctors will have to let the patients undergo some tests. Here are some of the major blood tests that patients may have to undergo to confirm their condition.
- Complete blood count
- Basic metabolic panel
- Hepatic function panel
- Amylase Test
- Prothrombin Time Test
These are just some of the specific types of blood tests that can determine whether or not a patient post cholecystectomy syndrome. Aside from these tests, some doctors may also offer to lead the patients undergo scans to be as thorough as possible. Here are some of the additional scans that a patient with suspected PCS may have to be subjected to.
- Computerized Tomography scans
- X-rays of the affected area
Treatment of Post-cholecystectomy Syndrome
Once the condition has been confirmed without any doubt, treatment will soon follow. Here are some of the basic treatment methods that doctors can recommend for patients with post cholecystectomy syndrome.
If after the battery tests, there still was no possible cause of PCS found, a specific type of surgery called sphincteroplasty is recommended. This surgery involves removing one or more of the patient’s sphincters from inside the body. A sphincter is a specific type of muscle that forms a whole that serves as an opening for the various tubes inside the body.
Most of the time, sphincteroplasty is performed around the pancreas or the bile ducts. In other cases depending on accompanying conditions, patients with Post-cholecystectomy syndrome would be advised to take medications (antacids) particularly if PCS is accompanied by Gastroesophaegeal Reflux Disease (GERD). This also goes for other stomach symptoms that may come with the disease.
Other medications include:
- Proton pump inhibitors
These medications may help lower the level of body fat as well as cholesterol which directly affect the liver. In addition to this, patients who experience the aforementioned upper abdominal pain may also undergo a barium swallow. In this procedure, a series of pictures will be taken which will help the doctors assess the basic condition of the gastrointestinal tract of each patient.
Unfortunately, Post-cholecystectomy syndrome cannot be prevented completely. However, the more accurate the diagnosis prior to the removal of the gallbladder, the less chances the patient can have of developing the condition.
For further information, here are some of the major risk factors that you need to remember if you want to learn more about Post-cholecystectomy Syndrome.
As mentioned earlier, an inaccurate diagnosis prior to gallbladder removal is one of the many risk factors for developing PCS. In addition to this, if you are going to have an emergency gallbladder removal procedure, you will be most likely prone to having PCS as well.
Furthermore, if the above mentioned symptoms have been present a year before gallbladder removal, it is most likely that the patient in question can develop PCS. If you see symptoms a few months before the procedure, again you will be prone to Post-cholecystectomy Syndrome.
Younger patients also have a bigger risk of developing this disease. Aside from this, studies have shown that patients of the female gender are also more prone to developing this condition. This being said, what is important is that you are able to detect specific changes in your body that can help determine whether or not you would be prone to this condition.
If you feel any kind of symptoms pertaining to your gallbladder, do not hesitate to go to the doctor right away to find out what your next step will be. In addition, make sure that you only let the best doctors perform surgeries on you so that you will not have various complications which may eventually lead to Post-cholecystectomy Syndrome