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Having Laparoscopic CholecystectomyColecistectom­a laparosc³pica

Having Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy

Image of incision sites
Small abdominal incisions are made to insert the laparoscope and other instruments.

If you have painful attacks caused by gallstones, your doctor may recommend removing your gallbladder. This can be done using a type of surgery called laparoscopic cholecystectomy. People who have this procedure usually recover more quickly and have less pain than with open surgery.

Before Surgery

  • Stop taking aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen as directed. Ask your doctor what to do if you take prescription blood thinners such as Coumadin (warfarin).

  • Have any tests, such as blood tests, that your doctor recommends.

  • Don't eat or drink anything after midnight, the night before your surgery.

The Day of Surgery

  • Arrive at the hospital or surgery center on time. You will be given an IV to provide fluids and medication.

  • An anesthesiologist will talk with you about the medications used to prevent pain during surgery. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is done using general anesthesia. This lets you sleep during the procedure.

During Laparoscopic Surgery
Doctor and patient
Your doctor views your gallbladder on a video monitor.

  • Small incisions are made in the abdomen. A harmless gas is then used to lift the abdominal wall away from your internal organs. This helps your doctor see and move instruments inside your body.

  • A laparoscope (a thin, telescope-like device) is inserted through one incision. It sends images of the gallbladder to a video monitor. Surgical instruments are inserted through the other incisions to remove the gallbladder.  

  • Small clips are used to close off the bile duct and blood vessels. The gallbladder is then detached from the liver and removed through one of the incisions. Bile will now flow directly from the liver to the small intestine.

Publication Source: American Academy of Family Physicians

Online Source: American Academy of Family Physicians

Date Last Reviewed: 2007-01-15T00:00:00-07:00

Date Last Modified: 2001-01-01T00:00:00-07:00