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.
A cholecystectomy is an operation to remove the gallbladder. It is performed when the gallbladder requires removal due to inflammation (cholecystitis), stones (cholelithiasis), or both.
- Gallstones in the gallbladder (cholelithiasis)
- Gallstones in the bile duct (choledocholithiasis)
- Gallbladder inflammation (cholecystitis)
- Pancreas inflammation (pancreatitis)
- Injury to other nearby structures or organs
- Reactions to general anesthesia
- Blood clots
- Age: 60 or older
- Recent or chronic illness
- Heart or lung problems
- Bleeding disorders
- Alcoholism and use of street drugs
- Use of certain medicines
- (Open) Cholecystectomy: During open cholecystectomy your surgeon makes a 6-inch (15-centimeter) incision in your abdomen below your ribs on your right side. The muscle and tissue are pulled back to reveal your liver and gallbladder. Your surgeon then removes the gallbladder. The incision is sutured, and you’re taken to a recovery area. Open cholecystectomy takes one or two hours.
- (Laparoscopic) Cholecystectomy:During laparoscopic cholecystectomy, the surgeon makes four small incisions in your abdomen. A tube with a tiny video camera is inserted into your abdomen through one of the incisions. Your surgeon watches a video monitor in the operating room as special surgical tools are inserted through the other incisions in your abdomen and your gallbladder is removed.