What is laparoscopic cholecystectomy?
The surgery to remove the gallbladder is called a cholecystectomy (chol-e-cys-tec-toe-mee). The gallbladder is removed through a 5 to 8 inch long incision, or cut, in your abdomen. During an open cholecystectomy, the cut is made just below your ribs on the right side and goes to just below your waist.
A less invasive way to remove the gallbladder is called laparoscopic cholecystectomy. This surgery uses a laparoscope (an instrument used to see the inside of your body) to remove the gallbladder. It is performed through several small incisions rather than through one large incision, usually 4 incisions, each one inch or less in length.
What is a laparoscope and how is it used to remove the gallbladder?
A laparoscope is a small, thin tube that is put into your body through a tiny cut made just below your navel. Your surgeon can then see your gallbladder on a television screen and do the surgery with tools inserted in three other small cuts made in the right upper part of your abdomen. Your gallbladder is then taken out through one of the incisions.
Are there any benefits of laparoscopic cholecystectomy compared with open cholecystectomy?
With laparoscopic cholecystectomy, you may return to work sooner, have less pain after surgery, and have a shorter hospital stay and a shorter recovery time. Surgery to remove the gallbladder with a laparoscope does not require that the muscles of your abdomen be cut, as they are in open surgery. The incision is much smaller, which makes recovery go quicker.
With laparoscopic cholecystectomy, you probably will only have to stay in the hospital for a few hours or overnight. With open cholecystectomy, you would have to stay in the hospital for about five days. Because the incisions are smaller with laparoscopic cholecystectomy, there isn't as much pain after this operation as after open cholecystectomy.
Is there any reason why I wouldn't be able to have a laparoscopic cholecystectomy?
If you have previously had surgery in the area of your gallbladder, if you tend to bleed a lot or if you have any problem that would make it hard for your doctor to see your gallbladder, an open surgery may be better for you. Sometimes, your surgeon may begin doing the procedure laparoscopically and then convert to an open procedure. Your doctor will decide which type of surgery is best for you.
What are the complications of laparoscopic cholecystectomy?
Complications may include bleeding, infection and injury to the duct (tube) that carries bile from your gallbladder to your duodeunum (small intestine). Also, during laparoscopic cholecystectomy, the intestines or major blood vessels may be injured when the instruments are inserted into the abdomen. All of these complications are rare.
- Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy Center
- Take the Pancreatitis Quiz
- Boost Digestive Health
- Digestive Distress Slideshow: Problem Foods to Avoid
- Patient Comments: Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy -- Patient Experience
- Patient Comments: Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy - Complications
- Find a local Surgeon in your town
- What is laparoscopic cholecystectomy?
- What is a laparoscope and how is it used to remove the gallbladder?
- Are there any benefits of laparoscopic cholecystectomy compared with open cholecystectomy?
- Is there any reason why I wouldn't be able to have a laparoscopic cholecystectomy?
- What are the complications of laparoscopic cholecystectomy?
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Soper, Nathaniel J. Et al. "Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy." UptoDate. Feb. 22, 2016.
Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy -- Patient Experience
Did surgeons remove your gallbladder using laparoscopic cholecystectomy? Please describe your experience.Post View 12 Comments
Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy - Complications
Have you suffered any complications from laparoscopic cholecystectomy? Please describe your experience.Post View 2 Comments
Top Cholecystectomy Related Articles
Abdominal Pain (Causes, Remedies, Treatment)
Abdominal pain can have many causes that range from mild to severe. Some of these causes include bloating, gas, colitis, endometriosis, food poisoning, GERD, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), ovarian cysts, abdominal adhesions, diverticulitis, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, gallbladder disease, liver disease, and cancers.
Signs and symptoms of the more serious causes include dehydration, bloody or black tarry stools, severe abdominal pain, pain with no urination or painful urination.
Treatment for abdominal pain depends upon the cause.
CholescintigraphyA cholescintigraphy is a test that diagnoses obstructed bile ducts. Cholescintigraphy is most commonly used to diagnose problems with the gallbladder when other more commonly-performed tests, particularly ultrasonography, are normal.
Gallbladder PictureFront View of the Gallbladder. The gallbladder is a small pouch that sits just under the liver. See a picture of the Gallbladder and learn more about the health topic.
GallstonesGallstones are stones that form when substances in the bile harden. Gallstones (formed in the gallbladder) can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a golf ball. There can be just one large stone, hundreds of tiny stones, or any combination. The majority of gallstones do not cause signs or symptoms; however, when they do occur the primary sign is biliary colic. Symptoms of biliary colic are constant pain for 15 minutes to 4-5 hours, and it may vary in intensity; nausea, severe pain that does not worsen with movement; and pain beneath the sternum. Treatment of gallstones depends upon the patient and the clinical situation.
Jaundice in Adults
Jaundice (hyperbilirubinemia) in adults may be caused by a variety of medical diseases or conditions. Some cases of jaundice can be managed at home with a doctor's supervision, while other causes of jaundice may be life-threatening. Symptoms of jaundice are:
- Yellow skin
- Yellowing of the whites of the eyes
- Pale colored stools
- Dark urine
- Itchy skin
- Rectal bleeding
Treatment of jaundice is focused on the disease or condition that is causing jaundice.
LaparoscopyA laparoscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that is used to treat diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Surgery is performed through three or more 5 to 10 mm incisions in the abdomen. A blood test, lung function test, ECG, chest X-ray, and other tests may be performed prior to surgery.
Pancreatitis is a rare disease in which the pancreas becomes inflamed. There are two types of pancreatitis: acute and chronic. Symptoms of pancreatitis include abdominal pain, fever, nausea, vomiting, and a rapid pulse. Treatment of pancreatitis often requires hospitalization.
The Digestion Process (Organs and Functions)Digestion is the complex process of turning the food you eat into the energy you need to survive. The digestive process also involves creating waste to be eliminated, and is made of a series of muscles that coordinate the movement of food. Learn more about digestion and the body parts that make it possible, including the:
- small intestine,
- liver, and
UltrasoundUltrasound (and ultrasonography) is imaging of the body used in the medical diagnosis and screening of diseases and conditions such as:
- heart valve irregularities,
- carotid artery disease,
- heart disease,
- kidney stones,
- liver disease,
- diseases of the female reproductive, and
- diseases of the male reproductive organs.