Why Is My Stomach Bigger After Gallbladder Surgery?

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Why Is My Stomach Bigger After Gallbladder Surgery?

Having a major operation like gallbladder surgery is always full of apprehension. Not just during the time of surgery but even after it! Patients who already underwent this surgery and are in the recovery period often surf through the net with deep concern; why is my stomach bigger after gallbladder surgery?

I know you are here for the same!


The answer to this is diverse & I can pinpoint them all for you in detail! Additionally, you can learn a few coping remedies for this bigger stomach that showed up after your gallbladder surgery.

Trust me; it is not that difficult to get rid of belly fat or swollen stomach after your surgery!

Overview: Gallbladder Anatomy and Requirement of Surgery!

Gallbladder is typically the pear-shaped organ residing right below your liver. This small organ stores the liver-produced bile (a yellow fluid) until it is requisite for digestion.

While you eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, or maybe an evening snack, your gallbladder releases this bile to your small intestine. Herein, the bile helps break down fats and allows your body to absorb the nutrients. Furthermore, it removes toxins from your body and ensures normal health conditions.

This means you need to have a healthy gallbladder to remain healthy!

Alas! Sometimes, your gallbladder can fall susceptible to abnormal growths, like stones, tumors, cancers, or other infectious lesions. It can also get inflamed or swollen! That is when your doctor may opt to conduct surgery to treat your health condition.

But, like any surgical procedure, gallbladder surgery does hold some side effects. A bulging out stomach is one of them!

Why Is My Stomach Bigger After Gallbladder Surgery: Four Main Reasons!

After gallbladder surgery, your stomach may expand or increase in size due to four main reasons, and they are as follows.

1. Remaining Scar Tissues

If the gallbladder surgery fails to remove all the scar tissues, the remaining ones may trigger stomach enlargement. These scar tissues tend to bind or stick together (called adhesions), acting as a blockage and causing the abdominal organs to swell.

Doctors take special care not to leave any scar tissue inside your body during a gallbladder operation. However, as tissues are very delicate in kind, scars may occur.

If severe abdominal cramps, constipation, and nausea accompany your bigger stomach after your gallbladder surgery, do not miss the sign of remaining scar tissue! Do consult your doctor.

2. Dietary Issue 

After gallbladder surgery, like any other, you need a proper diet to avoid further health complications. Your diet must include more nutrients and less unhealthy fats and carbohydrates. That can only contribute to belly fat, bloating, and constipation, I must say!

Instead, you need to alter such a diet with enough fiber intake, vitamins, and minerals for your body, especially the affected organ, to function properly.

3. Continuous Bile Production 

Your liver keeps producing bile; there is no pause to it even after your gallbladder surgery. But when your gallbladder is removed, where would this bile go now? Straightaway to your small intestine.

As a result, your small intestine, facing increasing bile, leads to bloating and a bigger-looking tummy!

How To Reduce Bigger Stomach After Gallbladder Surgery?

If you are determined to reduce your post-surgical bigger stomach, or to be precise, after gallbladder surgery, adopting the below-given strategies and following them consistently may aid!

4. Regular Exercise 

Can you start exercising daily? The simple ones, like walking, cycling, or swimming, to begin with! This can help enhance blood circulation in your body and to your digestive organs, thereupon stimulating fat breakdown.

A 15 to 30-minute time investment would be enough!

Daily exercise can also reduce bloating and constipation after your gallbladder surgery.

5. Eat Healthy, Small, and Frequent 

If you want to reduce the extra belly added to your body after gallbladder surgery, you must give up on carbohydrates and saturated fats. It means no red meat, chicken skin, oils, dairy products, frozen ready-to-eat foods, biscuits, cakes, pastries, etc.

Moreover, eating healthy implies excluding sugar intake. In fact, you get many healthier options, like herbal tea, smoothies, dry fruits, seeds, and more.

You also need to avoid large meals. Instead, try taking small and frequent ones!

6. Stay Hydrated 

Hydration stands essential for your body to break down foods and fight against harmful microorganisms inside your body. After a serious surgery like that of a gallbladder, you ought to stay hydrated.

Yes. Drinking around 8 to 10 glasses of water daily can help flush out excess bile, thus eliminating conditions like bloating, constipation, and a bigger stomach.

7. Takeaway: 

Do not panic over the question – Why is my stomach bigger after gallbladder surgery? You must be aware by now; a bigger stomach appearance is normal and expected after this surgery. You must have already identified the reasons!

What you need to do and can do is most important over here. Start with the self-care remedies today. For guidance, your healthcare providers are just a call away!

8. Temporary Post-Surgical Inflammation

The first reason is common. It is the wear and tear or intervention in your body through multiple layers of tissue. I mean, the surgery itself, the cutting through your abdomen.

After gallbladder surgery, inflammation may occur in the surrounding tissues, causing fluid accumulation in your abdominal cavity. This is what leads to bloating and a bigger stomach. However, this is temporary and likely to get reduced with proper medical and self-care.

That is why we call it a temporary post-surgical inflammation.

For more healthcare awareness, stay tuned to


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About author
Hi, I’m Alka Tiwari, healthcare marketer at HealthFinder. I started this blog to help you provide better healthcare information directly from the doctors.
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