Overview

A cholecystectomy (koh-luh-sis-TEK-tuh-me) is a surgical procedure to remove your gallbladder — a pear-shaped organ that sits just below your liver on the upper right side of your abdomen. Your gallbladder collects and stores bile — a digestive fluid produced in your liver.

A cholecystectomy may be necessary if you experience pain from gallstones that block the flow of bile. A cholecystectomy is a common surgery, and it carries only a small risk of complications. In most cases, you can go home the same day of your cholecystectomy.

A cholecystectomy is most commonly performed by inserting a tiny video camera and special surgical tools through four small incisions to see inside your abdomen and remove the gallbladder. Doctors call this a laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

In some cases, one large incision may be used to remove the gallbladder. This is called an open cholecystectomy.

Oct. 21, 2016
References
  1. Gallstones. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/digestive-diseases/gallstones/Pages/facts.aspx. Accessed June 15, 2016.
  2. Understanding gallstones. American Gastroenterological Association. http://www.gastro.org/info_for_patients/2013/6/6/understanding-gallstones. Accessed June 15, 2016.
  3. Feldman M, et al. Gallstone disease. In: Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed June 16, 2016.
  4. Patient information for laparoscopic gall bladder removal (cholecystectomy) from SAGES. Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons. http://www.sages.org/publications/patient-information/patient-information-for-laparoscopic-gallbladder-removal-cholecystectomy-from-sages. Accessed June 15, 2016.
  5. Feldman M, et al. Gallstone disease. In: Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal Cholecystectomy. American College of Surgeons. https://www.facs.org/education/patient-education/patient-resources/operations. Accessed June 15, 2016.
  6. Picco MF (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 22, 2016.