Gallbladder removal (cholecystectomy) is done while the patient is under general anesthesia. It is most commonly performed through four small incisions, using a small video camera called a laparoscope.
In laparoscopic surgery, the abdomen is inflated with carbon dioxide to provide more space for the surgeon to work.
The laparoscope is inserted through small incisions. The vessels and duct going to the gallbladder (cystic duct and artery) are identified, clipped, and cut. The gallbladder is removed and the incisions are closed.
In complicated cases, an open cholecystectomy may be performed. A larger incision is made just below the ribs on the right side of the abdomen.
As with laparoscopic surgery, the vessels and ducts going to the gallbladder are identified, clipped, and cut. The gallbladder is removed. The incisions are closed.
Laparoscopic surgery often has a lower rate of complications, a shorter hospital stay, and better cosmetic results than the open procedure.