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Laparoscopic gallbladder removal is surgery to remove the gallbladder using a medical device called a laparoscope.
Cholecystectomy - laparoscopic
Surgery using a laparoscope is the most common way to remove the gallbladder. A laparoscope is a thin, lighted tube that lets the doctor see inside your belly.
Gallbladder removal surgery is done while you are under general anesthesia so you will be asleep and pain-free.
The operation is done the following way:
An x-ray called a cholangiogram may be done during your surgery.
Sometimes the surgeon cannot safely take out the gallbladder using a laparoscope. In this case, the surgeon will use open surgery, in which a larger incision is made.
You may need gallbladder removal surgery if you have pain or other symptoms from gallstones. You may also need it if your gallbladder is not working normally.
Common symptoms may include:
Most people have a quicker recovery and fewer problems from surgery through a laparoscope than with open surgery.
The risks for anesthesia and surgery in general include:
Risks for this surgery include:
You may have the following tests done before your surgery:
Tell your doctor or nurse:
During the week before your surgery:
On the day of your surgery:
If you do not have any problems, you will be able to go home when you are able to drink liquids easily and your pain can be treated with pain pills. Most people go home on the same day or the day after this surgery.
If there were problems during surgery, or if you have bleeding, a lot of pain, or nausea and vomiting, you may need to stay in the hospital longer.
Follow instructions for taking care of yourself at home.
Most people recover quickly and have good results from this procedure.
Blunt LM. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy. In: Cameron JL, Cameron AM, eds. Current Surgical Therapy. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014.
Jackson PG, Evans SRT. Biliary system. In: Townsend CM Jr, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 19th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2012:chap 55.
Reviewed By: Debra G. Wechter, MD, FACS, general surgery practice specializing in breast cancer, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.