Sick man having pain due to gallstones. Latin young man with a gallbladder disease touching a side of his stomach

Signs You Need Your Gallbladder Removed

At Birmingham HPB Clinic, we understand the importance of a healthy gallbladder in your digestive system. However, in certain cases, the gallbladder can become problematic and may need to be removed through a procedure called cholecystectomy. In this article, we will discuss some common signs and symptoms that may indicate the need for gallbladder removal.

What does the gallbladder do?

Before diving into the signs, let’s briefly understand the role of the gallbladder. The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ located beneath your liver. Its primary function is to store bile, a digestive fluid produced by the liver. When you eat fatty foods, the gallbladder releases bile into the small intestine to help break down fats.

Signs you need your gallbladder removed

While the gallbladder is a crucial part of digestion, it can sometimes malfunction. Here are some signs that may indicate you need your gallbladder removed.

Frequent and severe abdominal pain

One of the most common signs is intense, recurrent pain in the upper right side of the abdomen, often radiating to the back or shoulder. This pain, known as biliary colic, can last from a few minutes to several hours and is usually triggered by fatty meals.

Nausea and vomiting

If you experience persistent nausea and vomiting, especially after eating greasy or fatty foods, it could be a sign of gallbladder issues. Bile flow disruptions can lead to digestive problems and discomfort.

Indigestion and bloating

Chronic indigestion, accompanied by bloating and a feeling of fullness, might indicate gallbladder trouble. The inability to properly process fats can lead to these uncomfortable symptoms.


Jaundice, a yellowing of the skin and eyes, can occur when gallstones block the bile ducts. This is a more severe sign that requires immediate medical attention.

Sudden and sharp pain

If you experience a sudden, sharp, and persistent pain in your upper abdomen, it could be a sign of gallbladder inflammation, known as cholecystitis. This condition often requires urgent surgical intervention.

Frequent gallstone attacks

Recurrent gallstone attacks, characterised by severe pain and discomfort, are a clear indication that your gallbladder may need removal. These attacks can become more frequent and severe over time.

Your gallbladder plays a vital role in your digestive system, but when it starts causing you pain and discomfort, it’s essential to address the issue promptly. If you recognize any of these signs, don’t hesitate to reach out to Birmingham HPB Clinic for expert advice and treatment options. Our priority is your health and well-being, and we are here to help you make the best decision for your digestive health.