At present, approximately 750,000 people will get their gallbladder removed this year in America alone. Thanks to popularity of laparoscopic surgeries, many people think that removing their gallbladder is a simple procedure. Though the procedure itself is not very risky, complications after gallbladder removal surgery affect about 10-15% of patients and it is known as postcholecystectomy syndrome.
Even after perfectly performed surgeries, some people develop post-op symptoms. These symptoms may last for many months, or even years. Such symptoms may include abdominal bloating and discomfort after eating, pain, usually in the right upper part of the abdomen.
There are many potential reasons for pain after gallbladder removal (cholecystectomy). For example, a wide range of nerves branches surrounds the gallbladder. They regulate not only the gallbladder, but also the duodenum, pancreas, stomach. The accidental cutting of these nerves can cause pain, and disrupt the normal work of these organs.
Common problem after surgery is that it disrupts the function of the sphincter of Oddi, the muscle valve between the bile duct, pancreatic duct, and duodenum. If the valve becomes spasmodic, the bile and pancreatic juice cannot be properly eliminated. It is called Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction. The back-up of bile raises the pressure inside the ducts, leading to pain, and can cause severe inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) or bile ducts. Sphincter of Oddi dysfunction can be aggravated by using painkillers, which can lead to spasm of the sphincter.
The Sphincter of Oddi is the muscle valve which regulates the flow of bile and pancreatic juice into the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). The nervous system and special messengers- digestive hormones regulate the proper work of the Sphincter of Oddi.
The Sphincter of Oddi is closed if there is no food in the intestine. At this time, bile is remained in the gallbladder and pancreatic juice is retained in the pancreas. Spasms and blockage of valve may cause back up of the bile and pancreatic juice. If a small amount of bile reaches the pancreatic duct, severe trouble can ensue. Bile activates the digestive enzymes inside the pancreas so these enzymes start to digest their own pancreatic tissue, causing pain, congestion, inflammation (pancreatitis).
Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction can affect people after abdominal surgeries. For example, statistics show that almost 20% of individuals after gallbladder removal have the Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction.
Here are some examples of what can make the Sphincter of Oddi spasmodic:
• Conditions such as mental stress, depression and anxiety
• Irregular eating, fasting, eating on the go or while watching television, dieting, and bad combinations of foods such as eating starches with fatty foods and sugars
• Using alcohol and nicotine, taking some drugs, medication,
• Lower thyroid function or menopause
• Acidic, aggressive, corrosive bile with sand, sludge in it, and more
Usually there are combinations of these factors in predisposed people with sedentary lifestyles overweight, chronic stress. The Standard American Diet, which is consist of processed and acid-forming foods such as sweets, red meat, alcohol, bad fats, white flour increases acidity in the whole body.
The Standard American Diet leads to acidic changes in the bile and pancreatic juice too. The bile is getting acidic and the quantity of bile acids in the bile rises as well. Aggressive bile acids irritate the wall of the Sphincter of Oddi leading to muscle spasms.
3-4 quarts of blend of the pancreatic juice and bile travel throughout the Sphincter of Oddi daily. When they become acidic, these fluids are very “aggressive,” corrode and irritate surrounding tissues, mainly the Sphincter of Oddi.
Bile is a vehicle for eliminating of the toxins such as bile pigments, heavy metals, drugs, medications from the body. Bile ducts is often harbor for parasites too. Therefore, is no question that the Sphincter of Oddi is an easy target for irritation and damage.
Gallbladder removal makes people think that “now everything is OK”. Unfortunately, surgery does not eliminate the provocative factors but can create Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction.
The most common and prominent symptom of Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction is upper abdominal pain. This is often experienced like a sharp pain in the middle of the abdomen or below the right rib cage. Pain can be severe, may bring people to the hospital and require taking the pain medication. However, in large number of cases, pain may be mild and usually does not need painkillers. Pain is accompanied often by bloating, nausea and vomiting and can be worse after consumption of the fatty food or alcohol.
If pain and other symptoms after gallbladder surgery continue non-drug, alternative treatment may be helpful. Alternative medicine for healing of the Sphincter Oddi Dysfunction is widely used in other countries all over the globe.
The healing program of the Sphincter Oddi Dysfunction may include:
• Nutritional Supplementation
• Customized Healing Diet
• Taking healing mineral water prepared from genuine Karlovy Vary spring salt at home
• European Whole Body Cleansing with Colon Hydrotherapy
• Restoration of Friendly Intestinal Flora
• Various style of the Acupuncture
• Chiropractor’s adjustment
• Abdominal Massage
• Relaxation, Meditation, Hypnosis, Custom Hypnosis CDs
Alternative and holistic medicine can be used independently or as complementary medicine.
The information contained here is presented for educational, informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is not to be used to replace the services or instructions of a physician or qualified health care practitioner.
Peter Melamed, Ph.D. received his medical education first as a registered nurse and then as a medical doctor in Russia. He took specialized training in anesthesiology, intensive care, and internal medicine. Working as a physician he became interested in holistic healing through his clinical experience with herbs, acupuncture, healing mineral water and internal cleansing. He was granted a license to practice acupuncture in Russia in 1978, and from that time he combined conventional Western medical treatment with herbs, acupuncture, and other non-drug healing therapies.
In 1975, Peter Melamed established Biotherapy as a natural holistic approach to healing. Biotherapy combines the wisdom of traditional Russian folk medicine, ancient Oriental medical therapies, and European naturopathy with cutting-edge Western technology.
After immigrating to the USA and passing all the exams Peter Melamed succeeded in starting up a private practice in 1996 at the Biotherapy Alternative Medicine Clinic of San Francisco Bay Area. Get more info at