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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 gallbladder is then removed using the laparoscope.
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 cut 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 recover and fewer problems from surgery through a laparoscope than with open surgery.
The risks for any anesthesia include:
The risks for gallbladder surgery include:
You may have the following tests done before your surgery:
Always tell your doctor or nurse:
During the week before your surgery:
On the day of your surgery:
Prepare your home for after the surgery.
If you do not have any signs of problems, you will be able to go home when you are able to drink liquids easily. Most people go home on the same day or the day after this surgery.
If there were problems during your surgery, or if you have bleeding, a lot of pain, or a fever, you may need to stay in the hospital longer.
Most patients recover quickly and have good results from this procedure.
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.
Gurusamy KS. Surgical treatment of gallstones. Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2010;39:229-244.
Keus F, Gooszen HG, van Laarhoven CJ. Open, small-incision, or laparoscopic cholecystectomy for patients with symptomatic cholecystolithiasis. An overview of Cochrane Hepato-Biliary Group reviews. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;(1):CD008318.
Reviewed By: Joshua Kunin, MD, Consulting Colorectal Surgeon, Zichron Yaakov, Israel. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.