Using a laparoscope is the most common way to remove the gallbladder. A laparoscope is a thin, lighted tube that lets the doctor see inside your belly. Gallbladder removal surgery is done while you are under general anesthesia (asleep and pain-free).
The surgeon will make three to four small cuts in your belly.
The laparoscope will be inserted through one of the cuts. Other medical instruments will be inserted through the other cuts.
Gas will be pumped into your belly to expand it. This gives the surgeon more space to work.
First, the surgeon cuts the bile duct and blood vessels that lead to the gallbladder. Then the surgeon removes the gallbladder, using the laparoscope.
An x-ray called a cholangiogram may be done during your surgery. This involves squirting dye into your common bile duct and taking an x-ray. This duct will be left inside you after your gallbladder has been removed. The dye helps find other stones that may be outside your gallbladder. It also helps identify the branches of the bile duct. If any stones are found, the surgeon may remove these other stones with a special instrument.
Sometimes the surgeon cannot safely take out the gallbladder using a laparoscope. In this case, the surgeon will instead do an open cholecystectomy.
Why the Procedure is Performed
Your doctor may recommend gallbladder removal surgery if you have pain or other symptoms from gallstones or your gallbladder is not working normally (biliary dyskinesia).
After surgery, bile flows from the liver (where it is made) through the common bile duct and into the small intestine. Because the gallbladder has been removed, the body can no longer store bile between meals. In most people, this has little or no effect on digestion.