Constipation after removal of the gallbladder is actually common, and is not an indication that something went wrong during the surgery.
For the procedure, an anesthetic is required to paralyze the bowel so that the gallbladder can be removed.
The paralysis of the bowel (sounds worse than it actually is) is what may cause constipation following gallbladder removal.
This side effect may last a week.
An indirect cause of constipation following gallbladder removal is the use of painkillers after the procedure.
If the patient is on narcotic painkillers such as Percocet or Vicodin, these may cause slower movement of the bowel—leading to constipation.
To combat backed-up stools or stools that are hard and difficult to void, the patient can take Colace, Metamucil or milk of magnesia, along with high fiber juice such as apple or prune to improve bowel movements.