The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ situated below the liver. Its primary function is to store and concentrate bile, a yellow-brown digestive enzyme produced by the liver. Bile helps the digestive process by breaking down fats. At times, small and hard deposits called gallstones can form in the gallbladder. If the gallstones cause health problems, the doctor may suggest removing the gallbladder.
Called a cholecystectomy, during this procedure, the gallbladder is either removed through a 5 to 8 inch long incision in the abdomen or through a less invasive way called laparoscopic cholecystectomy. It is performed through several small incisions rather than through one large incision.
In the first few weeks after surgery, a low-fat diet is generally suggested as it takes the body time to adjust to living without a gallbladder. With time, almost all gallbladder removal-related digestive symptoms go away, however some people might be required to take medication or make lifestyle changes to help manage their symptoms.