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Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy: Your questions answered
Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy

Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy: Your questions answered

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Health Information

Considering Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy? Here’s what you need to know. 


What is Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy?

It is a minimally invasive surgery to remove your gallbladder using a few small incisions and a laparoscope (a thin tube with a camera used to guide the surgeon). Robotic-assisted instrumentation may also be used during laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Click here for more about robotic-assisted procedures.


Why would I need this surgery?

This surgery is recommended for gallstones causing pain or infection, poor gallbladder function, cholecystitis (inflamed gallbladder) or pancreatitis from blocked ducks. 


Why choose this over traditional surgery?  

Choosing laparoscopic surgery over traditional open surgery offers several benefits, including less postoperative pain, smaller scars, a quicker recovery time and often the ability to go home the same day as the surgery. 


Is it safe?  

Yes, this surgery is considered very safe, with a low risk of complications. Serious issues, such as infection or bleeding, are rare. 


How should I prepare?  

Preparation involves: 

  • Preoperative tests include blood tests, an EKG or an ultrasound for selective patients. 

  • Informing your doctor about all your medications and supplements, as you may need to stop certain ones before the surgery.

  • Fasting for at least six hours before the procedure is typically required.

  • Arranging for someone to drive you home after surgery. 


What happens during the surgery?  

During the surgery, you receive general anesthesia to ensure you are asleep and pain-free. The surgeon will make four small incisions in your abdomen, through which the laparoscope and other surgical instruments are inserted. The gallbladder is then detached and removed through one of the incisions. Finally, the incisions are closed with stitches or surgical glue. 


What can I expect during recovery?  

After surgery:

  1. Expect mild pain managed with medication.

  2. Start with clear liquids, then gradually reintroduce solid foods.

  3. Resume light activities in a few days but avoid heavy lifting or strenuous activities for a couple of weeks.

  4. Attend follow-up appointments to ensure proper healing. 


How can I reduce anxiety?  

To reduce anxiety about the surgery, educate yourself about the procedure and what to expect, communicate openly with your surgeon and consider practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation. 


Make an appointment

Talk to your doctor to decide if Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy is right for you.