A cholecystectomy is a surgical procedure which is done to remove the gallbladder — a pear-shaped organ sits just below the liver on the upper right side of the abdomen. The gallbladder collects and stores bile, a digestive fluid produced in the liver.

In case you experience pain from gallstones that block the flow of bile, a cholecystectomy may be necessary. A cholecystectomy is a common surgery and has only a small risk of complications. In most cases, the patient can go home the same day of cholecystectomy.

A cholecystectomy is commonly performed through inserting a very small video camera and special surgical tools by making four small incisions to see inside the abdomen and remove the gallbladder. This is a minimally invasive procedure and is often called a laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

One large incision may also be used for the removal of the gallbladder. This is called an open cholecystectomy.

Symptoms

A cholecystectomy is mostly performed in order to treat gallstones and the complications they cause. The doctors may advise a cholecystectomy if you have:

Gallstones in the gallbladder (cholelithiasis)
Gallbladder inflammation (cholecystitis)
Gallstones in the bile duct (choledocholithiasis)
Pancreas inflammation (pancreatitis) due to gallstones

Causes

Gallstones usually form when cholesterol and other things found in bile make stones. They may also form if the gallbladder doesn’t empty as it should. People who are suffering from obesity or overweight, or who are trying to lose weight quickly are likely to get gallstones.

Procedure

During a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, your surgeon makes several small incisions in your abdomen near the navel and passes the surgical instruments and a light source with a very small camera through them. The surgeon then locates the gallbladder and separates and closes off the vessels and tubes from it. Then, they remove the gallbladder and close the incisions.

Benefits of minimally invasive cholecystectomy:

You will experience less pain and may return to work more quickly
Shorter hospital stay
Quick recovery
Can be done without cutting the muscles of the abdomen
Smaller incision and less noticeable scars
Minimum discomfort and pain after operation

Locations