Did you just have gallbladder removal surgery and are now seeing yellow bowel movements?

Your poops are supposed to be brown—ranging from light brown to very dark brown—and anything in between.

A green tinge is normal as well. In fact, green never means anything serious is wrong.

It means either a fast transit through the GI tract, and/or something you ate such as spinach or asparagus.

When stools appear black and also have a sticky-looking, goopy black substance mixed in with them, this indicates bleeding in the upper GI tract. Another color that indicates pathology is grey.

But what about yellow?

This is a very unusual color for bowel movements.

Gallbladder removal surgery can cause your stools to appear yellow.

“The mechanism for this effect is from excess bile in the intestinal tract, which then leads to a laxative-like effect with increased contractions (peristalsis), and more undigested fats and other matter ending up in the colon,” explains Nadeem Baig, MD, a board certified gastroenterologist and hepatologist at Monmouth Gastroenterology, a division of Allied Digestive Health.

Bile is a substance that’s vital to the digestive process. It’s produced in the liver and gets stored in the gallbladder.

When you no longer have a gallbladder, the bile that’s produced by the liver flows straight into the intestines.

This liquid substance will then mix with food—including any fats that it contains.

“It’s particularly the undigested fats that would give stool a yellowish color,” says Dr. Baig.

But do not let this yellowish hue alarm you. Nevertheless, there are a few ways to treat this occurrence.

“Ways to correct this nuisance is to A) consume less fats or B) take medicine that removes excess bile from the intestines,” says Dr. Baig.

Such drugs can be purchased online, but before doing so, you should consult with the physician who removed your gallbladder regarding which may be the best for your particular situation.

Dr. Baig’s specialties include gastrointestinal cancers and liver disease, plus gallbladder, biliary tract and pancreatic disorders. He is an assistant clinical professor of medicine at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ/Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  


Top image: Shutterstock/Andreas Poertner