Bile duct stones after gallbladder removal is a condition that sometimes occurs after gallbladder surgery. Bile duct stones are simply gallstones located in the common bile duct. There are two types of stones that may be found in the bile duct: cholesterol stones and pigment stones. Cholesterol stones are caused by bile which contains too much cholesterol, too much bilirubin and not enough bile salts. The causes of pigment stones are unknown, but they seem to occur most often in patients suffering from cirrhosis of the liver, infections of the biliary tract, and hereditary blood disorders which cause the liver to make too much bilirubin.
The most common symptoms of bile duct stones after gallbladder removal are pain in the upper right or upper middle of the abdomen which lasts for at least 30 minutes, which recurs frequently, and also cramping, fever, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes), loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting. Bile duct stones can be treated by removing the gallbladder and gallstones, ERCP or sphincterotomy.
Gallbladder removal surgery is a relatively quick and safe procedure, but it does come with a small risk of complications, as all surgeries do. The most common complication seen with gallbladder removal is infection, which is typical for any surgery done in the abdominal area. Infections can be easily treated with antibiotics.
Another rare complication that can occur with gallbladder removal is bleeding and hemorrhaging. If you experience heavy bleeding after your gallbladder removal surgery, you may need further operation in the same location as your first operation. There are also the risks associated with general anesthesia, which can cause allergic reactions and in some cases, death. Before your surgery, it’s important to be in good general health and physically fit to reduce the risk of complications after your operation.