Parkinson's Movement
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Shortness of breath after gallbladder removal

I had my gallbladder removed in Nov of 2012 and have increased difficulty in breathing with exertion since. If I walk too fast, climb a set of stairs, or just move around, my chest tightens, I begin panting and can't catch my breath. The center of my chest hurts to the touch and is tender, I can only sleep on my back. I have been treated with inhalers, which work for 1 - 2 weeks and the symptoms return full force, all X-rays are clear, CT scan is clear, echo-stress test shows the heart is fine but that I hit aerobic very quickly and my oxygen levels drop. All doctors say there is nothing wrong with me and can't explain why I am experiencing shortness of breath. This issue is ruining my life. Has anyone else experienced shortness of breath after having your gallbladder removed?

7 Replies

Hi LW. I have not had my gallbladder removed, but my late wife did. She was unable to do very much afterwards because the operation was not a complete success. However! She did start to walk again, albeit not very far. She managed to overcome all the physical pain and discomfort with the walking and stuck to her guns until she was walking normally again.

Don't give in to it. If there is nothing physically wrong you should not be doing any harm to yourself. Keep a record of how long you are able to walk and don't do it every day, do it every 2nd day.

Good luck



Thankyou John Pepper for your great attitude, compassion and encouragement to all.


Hi, this was posted a long time ago but I wondered if you found out the problem because I am suffering in just the same way, 3 months post gall bladder removal and have had the same scans etc. as you which all show clear. My physician says dripping bile is causing swelling of the intestine which is putting pressure on the diaphragm hence making breathing difficult. I'm also constantly clearing my throat of phlegm. Like you, this is ruining my life. Any useful information gratefully received. Thanks.


Hi, Unfortunately nothing new to report. Am seeing a new ENT at the end of this month and am hopeful that they might see something different. The bile/swelling of the intestines sounds like at least they are identifying a possible cause...

Good luck, will update you if anything new is discovered with ENT.

Feel better.

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My daughter had her gall bladder removed over 10 years ago and from the first week, has had occasional bouts of difficulty breathing that sounds like what your doctor described. She has had to visit the ER at least twice and no explanation has ever been offered. Have you had any progress with this? Thanks.


I have been told that my vocal cords are the cause. If you make an appointment with a speech therapist, there are exercises that you can do which seem to help.


I had my gall bladder removed using endoscope. Apart from small discomfort for about a week I am keeping well. I feel the symptoms as described above may be due to some other reasons and very unlikely due to the cholecystectomy.


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