to view an animated version of this procedure.
Cholecystectomy is the surgical removal of the gallbladder organ. This organ lies near the liver. It stores bile that is made by the liver. Bile helps in the digestion of fatty foods. The gallbladder releases bile into a system of ducts that lead to the small intestine.
The open version of this surgery is done when the surgeon may not be able to perform a less invasive version called
Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy vs. Open Cholecystectomy
This surgery is used to remove a diseased or damaged gallbladder. The damage is typically caused by infection or inflammation.
The damage is often due to
which are crystals of bile that can form in the gall bladder. Sometimes these get stuck in the ducts that bile normally flows through. This blockage in the ducts can damage the gallbladder and the liver.
Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have a cholecystectomy, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:
Gallstones that have accidentally spilled into the abdominal cavity
Injury to other nearby structures or organs
Reactions to general anesthesia
Some factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
The doctor will make an incision in the upper right area of your abdomen. The gallbladder will be separated from the surrounding structures, including the liver, bile ducts, and arteries.
Once the gallbladder is gone, your doctor may squirt dye into the remaining ducts. This will help show if there is a gallstone in the ducts. The duct may be opened to remove any stones. While your abdomen is open, your doctor will carefully examine the other organs and structures in the area. This will be done to make sure that you do not have any other problems. The incision will be closed with either sutures or staples. It will then be covered with a bandage.
Your doctor may place a tiny, flexible tube into the area where the gallbladder was removed. This tube will exit from your abdomen into a little bulb. This is to drain any fluids that may build during the first few days after surgery. The tube is usually removed within one week after your operation.
Immediately After Procedure
The gallbladder will be examined by a pathologist. You will be taken to a room to recover where you will be monitored closely.
How Long Will It Take?
About 30-60 minutes
How Much Will It Hurt?
You will most likely feel some pain after the surgery. Your doctor will arrange for pain medicines.
Average Hospital Stay
At the Hospital
You will be monitored for any problems.
You may need medicines for nausea.
You may have a nasogastric tube, which is a tube that will go from your nose, down your throat, and into your stomach. The tube will help to drain fluids and stomach acid. You will not be able to eat or drink until this is removed and you are no longer nauseated. You will continue to receive fluids and sugar through an IV.
Once you are able to take things by mouth, you will be started on a liquid diet. Your diet will be progressed through soft foods to a regular diet.
Recovery takes about 4-6 weeks.
When you return home, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:
Be sure to follow your doctor’s
You will get a diet and physical activity plan to help you through recovery. Following the plan will help your recovery.
Your liver will take over the functions of the gallbladder. Some people notice that they have a little more trouble digesting fatty foods, particularly for the first month after surgery.
Call Your Doctor
After you leave the hospital, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:
Signs of infection, including fever and chills
Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or discharge at the incision site
Cough, shortness of breath, chest pain
Increased abdominal pain
Pain that you cannot control with the medicines you' have been given
Blood in the stool
Nausea and/or vomiting that you cannot control with the medicines you were given after surgery, or which persist for more than two days after discharge from the hospital
Bloating and gas that persist for more than a month
Pain, burning, urgency or frequency of urination, or blood in the urine
Pain and/or swelling in your feet, calves, or legs
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a