Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy

(Key Hole Surgery for Removal of Gall Bladder)

When do you need this operation?

Patients with gallbladder stones that cause pain or polyps (growth in lining of gallbladder), patients who have suffered attack of pancreatitis secondary to gallstones or other complications of gallstones would benefit from this operation.

How is this surgery performed?

The patient is given a general anaesthetic (this operation cannot be performed while the patient is awake). The surgeon then makes a small incision to introduce instruments that fill the tummy with gas. The gallbladder is then visualised, the small artery and connection to main bile duct are located, dissected free and clipped with surgical clips and divided. The gallbladder is separated from the liver and removed in a bag through a skin incision. The whole gallbladder has to be removed, only stones cannot be removed. The gas is then removed and the anaesthetic is discontinued, thus awakening the patient.

What about recovery?

Patients can go home the same day as the operation. Pain killers are required and there may be some abdominal or shoulder pain or achiness. Pain killers causes constipation relieved by drinking enough fluids, healthy diet and taking laxatives. Patients can look after themselves and walk around soon after the operation. Patients may return to full-time work within two weeks.

Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy
Royal College of Surgeons American College of Surgeons University of Liverpool Mayo Clinic