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Cholecystectomy

What is a laparoscopic cholecystectomy?
A laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a keyhole operation to remove the gallbladder. It is usually undertaken to treat gallstones that are causing symptoms.

What does the operation involve?
A laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a keyhole operation performed under a general anaesthetic. The procedure usually takes about an hour. Whilst you are asleep a small port is put into the abdomen just below the umbilicus and the abdomen is distended with gas carbon dioxide). The surgeon will then look around the abdomen using a telescope. Then several small tubes are inserted through the abdominal wall through which the surgeon puts the instruments.

The gallbladder duct and the artery are freed up and identified before being clipped. Often an x-ray will be performed after injection of fluid into the common bile duct to ensure there are no stones within the bile duct. The gallbladder is then separated form the liver and removed through one of the ports.

The wounds are then closed with glue. Occasionally, in less than 3% of people, it is not possible to complete the operation using keyhole surgery and the operation is then changed into an open procedure.

What are the benefits of surgery?
The aim of surgery is that you should be free of pain and be able to eat a normal diet. You will also be free of the risk of complications from your gallstones.

Keyhole surgery is associated with less post operative pain, scarring and faster return to work than open surgery.

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