Cholecystectomy is the removal of your gallbladder. Removing the gallbladder can relieve pain. It will also prevent future gallstone attacks. You can live a healthy life without your gallbladder. You may also be able to go back to eating foods you enjoyed before your gallbladder problems started.
Preparing for this procedure
Tell your provider what medications you take. Include those bought over the counter. Also include herbs or supplements. Be sure to mention if you take prescription blood thinners. This includes Coumadin (warfarin).
Have any tests your provider asks for, such as blood tests.
Don’t eat or drink after midnight, the night before your surgery. This includes water, coffee, and mints.
How this procedure is performed
There are two methods for removing the gallbladder. Your doctor will choose which method is safer for you.
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy. This is most common. During surgery, 2 to 4 small incisions are made. A thin tube with a camera is used. This is called a laparoscope. The scope is put through one of the incisions. It sends images to a video screen. Surgical tools are put through other incisions. The gallbladder is removed using the scope and these tools.
Open cholecystectomy. One larger incision is made. The surgeon sees and works through this incision. Open surgery is most often used when scarring or other factors make it a better choice for you.
In some cases, safety requires a change from laparoscopic to open surgery during the procedure.
CPG Physicians who perform this procedure
William M. Carney, MD
Russell Dumire, MD, FACS
D'Arcy Duke, MD, FACS
Patrick Gatmaitan, MD
James S. Gregory, MD, FACS
S. Lee Miller, MD, FACS
Bhaskaran Murali, MD, FACS
Timothy O'Donnell, MD, FASCRS, FACS