Diagnosis and treatment of post-cholecystectomy diarrhoea

World J Gastrointest Surg. 2023 Nov 27;15(11):2398-2405. doi: 10.4240/wjgs.v15.i11.2398.


The incidence of cholecystitis is relatively high in developed countries and may usually be attributed to gallstones, the treatment for which involves complete surgical removal of the gallbladder (cholecystectomy). Bile acids produced following cholecystectomy continue to flow into the duodenum but are poorly absorbed by the colon. Excessive bile acids in the colon stimulate mucosal secretion of water and electrolytes leading, in severe cases, to diarrhoea. Bile acid diarrhoea (BAD) is difficult to diagnose, requiring a comprehensive medical history and physical examination in combination with laboratory evaluation. The current work reviews the diagnosis and treatment of BAD following cholecystectomy.

Keywords: Bile acid diarrhoea; Bile acids; Cholecystitis; Colon; Gallstones.

Publication types

  • Review