Cholecystectomy is the surgical removal of the gallbladder. The gallbladder is a small pear-shaped storage organ located under the liver on the right side of the abdomen. It stores bile (yellowish-brown fluid) produced by the liver, which is required to digest fat. Major gallbladder diseases include cholelithiasis (gallstones), chronic cholecystitis (inflammation of the gall bladder), and gall bladder cancer. Cholecystectomy is the most effective way to treat gallbladder diseases. This procedure is traditionally performed by making a large abdominal incision; however, advances in surgical techniques have resulted in minimally invasive laparoscopic technique being the preferred choice of treatment of most patients and surgeons due to its advantages over open surgery.
- Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a minimally invasive surgical technique that uses a device called a laparoscope - a small, thin tube with a light and tiny video camera (connected to a television monitor) attached at the end, which helps visualize inside the abdomen during the operation.
- The surgery is performed under general anesthesia.
- Your surgeon makes 3-4 small incisions in the abdomen.
- The laparoscope is inserted into the body through one of the incisions. The television monitor will guide the surgeon to insert miniature surgical instruments through the other incisions.
- Air or carbon-dioxide is injected into the abdomen to inflate the abdominal cavity so that the gallbladder and other adjacent organs can be visualized easily.
- Your surgeon first cuts the bile duct and blood vessels leading to the gallbladder, and then removes the diseased gallbladder.
- The scope and the instruments are withdrawn, and the incisions are closed with a sterile dressing.
- The benefits of minimally invasive laparoscopic cholecystectomy include small surgical cuts, minimal pain, shorter hospital stay, faster recovery, reduced scarring, minimal risk of infection, minimal blood loss, minimal damage to surrounding tissues, and you will probably be able to get back to most of your normal activities in a couple of weeks’ time.
- Ask your doctor to know more about minimally invasive laparoscopic cholecystectomy.