Post Cholecystectomy Syndrome


What is Post Cholecystectomy Syndrome?

Post cholecystectomy syndrome is a condition that is acquired after an operative procedure, cholecystectomy. It has been reported, that about 5% to 30% of patients who have had cholecystectomy developed the syndrome. Other patients would even need admission to a hospital when this syndrome arises. But a great percentage of the affected is asymptomatic or presents no symptoms at all. About 28% of those suffering from PCS present mild symptoms while a minute percentage of clients have severe manifestations of the syndrome. It has been reported people are affected by this disease can manifest the symptoms or the syndrome itself after years or even decades later.

The condition can be diagnosed firstly with the collection of medical history. It is noted as PCS if the person has a previous history of cholecystectomy. The patients presenting symptoms are also a help in identifying presence of the syndrome. Tests shall also be essential in the diagnosis of the syndrome. The patient may be subjected for a complete blood count. This test will identify presence of infection which is somehow a sign of PCS.

A basic metabolic panel or BMP is also subjected for patients to undergo. This is a group of tests that shall determine the patient’s kidney status, electrolytes level; and glucose and calcium levels. The state of the liver is also tested with the hepatic function panel test. This is another form of blood test that shall identify or study the state of one’s liver. Imaging tests are also performed in the process of identification of the syndrome. X-ray of the abdomen is performed. GI or gastrointestinal series is performed. CT scan is also done, as well as an MRI.

Post Cholecystectomy Syndrome Symptoms

Those suffering from post cholecystectomy syndrome are similar with the presenting symptoms of gallbladder problem. There are also additional symptoms and manifestation of PCS and these are:

  1. Abdominal discomfort and bloating.
  2. Nausea and vomiting.
  3. Diarrhea may be present.
  4. Pain or abdominal colic. This is a prominent presentation of PCS. The pain is usually found in the upper right quadrant.
  5. Jaundice or yellow discoloration of the skin.
  6. Fever develops as a sign of infection.

Post Cholecystectomy Syndrome Causes

After a cholecystectomy or any form of surgical procedure, complications are possible. Basically, about 5% of PCS cases are from an unknown etiology. A possible cause of PCS is blood flow or circulation problems. Also bile leakage may be rooted for causing PCS. Generally, the condition is caused by conditions that involve our biliary system. Other possible causes are:

  1. Fluid accumulation under the liver area
  2. Underlying condition of the digestive system
  3. Surgical damage or scar

Treatment for Post Cholecystectomy Syndrome

Treatment for post cholecystectomy syndrome is rooted for providing relief to the patient. Identification of the cause should first be done in order to proceed with a suitable treatment course. When the cause of PCS is identified, focus of the treatment shall be projected. Here is the following treatment remedies made ready for post cholecystectomy syndrome:

  1. Surgical intervention: sphincteroplasty, is a surgical removal of a sphincter. The sphincter may be the root cause for bile leakage; correction is intended for this procedure.
  2. Sedatives. This can help patient to become relaxed.
  3. Antispasmodics. This is also a form of relaxant. This is for the sphincter that is unresponsive to some treatments.
  4. Calcium channel blockers or nitrates. These are also found helpful in treating an irritable sphincter.
  5. Antidiarrheal. Cholestyramine shall relieve diarrhea.
  6. Antacids. These will relieve the abdominal discomfort that the client is experiencing.

Recommended Diet

The recommended diet for those who had just their gallbladder removed is the following:

  1. Right after surgery, one should adhere to the strict liquid diet. This can minimize discomfort to the system. The trauma caused by the surgical intervention can also be treated or assisted with an initial liquid diet. One should be weaned food slowly as on recovers.
  2. Soft diet may be next action. This should be well-balanced with nutritious foods. One should start limiting intake of fat, since fat cannot be digested well after the removal of the gallbladder. Less processed foods should be eaten.
  3. Eat fruits and vegetables. This can provide the natural defenses of the body and make one resistant to infection.
  4. Eat high protein food. This is good for the recovery of the client.


There are possible complications after a cholecystectomy. The following are the proposed short-term complications of PCS:

Pancreatitis. This is expected in minute amounts of PCS cases.
Hypermylasemia. This is the increase in the normal amounts of a digestive enzyme, serum amylase.


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