Cholecystectomy (Gallbladder Removal)
A cholecystectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the gallbladder, a small, pear-shaped organ located in the upper right abdomen—the area between the chest and hips—below the liver. The gallbladder collects and stores bile, a digestive fluid produced in the liver.Cholecystectomy may be required where there is pain from gallstones that block the flow of bile.
Cholecystectomy is used to treat symptomatic gallstones; that is, those causing pain and/or inflammation in the gallbladder, bile ducts or pancreas:
- Gallstones in the Gallbladder (Cholelithiasis)
- Gallstones in the Bile Duct (Choledocholithiasis)
- Gallbladder Inflammation (Cholecystitis)
- Pancreas Inflammation (Pancreatitis)
Conservative treatments, such as dietary modifications, usually do not stop gallstones from recurring. Cholecystectomy is the only way to prevent the new formation of gallstones.
Cholecystectomy is a common surgical procedure, carrying only a small risk of complications. Cholecystectomy is most often a minimally invasive surgery (MIS) performed by inserting a tiny video camera (a laparoscope) and special surgical tools through four small incisions so the surgeon can visualize the abdomen and remove the gallbladder. This is called a laparoscopic cholecystectomy. The benefits of this surgery include less pain, a shorter hospital stay, and a faster return to work and normal activities.
Where the surgery cannot be performed laparoscopically, an operation using a single large incision, called an open cholecystectomy, is used to remove the gallbladder.
For more information, see:
Cholecystectomy Surgical Removal of the Gallbladder - American College Of Surgeons
The following is syndicated content from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)