Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy for Gallbladder Removal

Has this article been insightful? Share it!

What is laparoscopic cholecystectomy for gallbladder removal?

Laparoscopic surgery, or minimally invasive surgery (MIS), is a modern surgical technique that uses small incisions and specialised instruments to perform various surgical procedures, such as gallbladder removal or cholecystectomy

The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ located beneath the liver. It is responsible for storing and concentrating bile, a digestive fluid produced by the liver, and releasing it into the small intestine to help digest fats. 

Gallstones, which are crystalline particles formed from bile components, can develop in the gallbladder. These gallstones can cause blockages in the bile ducts, which may result in severe pain, inflammation, and potential complications, such as infections or pancreatitis

Gallbladder removal, or cholecystectomy, is necessary when these gallstones cause recurrent and debilitating symptoms like severe abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. 

 laparoscopic cholecystectomy
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy allows for a less invasive and efficient removal of the gallbladder.

How does laparoscopic cholecystectomy work?

The surgeon makes small incisions in your abdomen during a laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Through one of those incisions, a laparoscope, a thin tube with a camera and light source, is inserted in your abdomen, which provides a clear and magnified view of the internal organs on a video monitor. 

Specialised instruments are inserted through one of the other small incisions to remove your gallbladder. If your surgeon is worried about further complications in your bile duct, they may perform an imaging test or an ultrasound. 

Once the procedure is complete, the small incisions are closed with stitches or surgical glue. A laparoscopic cholecystectomy typically takes 1 to 2 hours to complete and usually results in minimal scarring. 

laparoscopic cholecystectomy procedure
A laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a minimally invasive procedure used to remove the gallbladder. 

Benefits of laparoscopic cholecystectomy

  • Smaller incisions
  • Reduced pain
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Faster recovery
  • Less scarring
  • Lower risk of infection
  • Fewer complications
  • Quicker return to a regular diet
  • Less pain and discomfort

What conditions can a laparoscopic cholecystectomy treat?

Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is primarily used to treat conditions related to the gallbladder, including:

  • Gallstones: also known as cholelithiasis, gallstones are solid particles that can form in the gallbladder from the components of bile. They can lead to various symptoms, such as abdominal pain, nausea, and jaundice. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a common treatment for individuals with symptomatic gallstones.
  • Inflammation of the gallbladder: also known as cholecystitis, gallbladder inflammation is often caused by gallstones blocking the bile flow. This condition can be painful and cause complications like infection or gallbladder rupture. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is typically performed to treat acute or chronic cholecystitis.
  • Gallbladder polyps: these are growths that develop on the inner lining of the gallbladder. While most gallbladder polyps are benign, some may become cancerous. If gallbladder polyps are detected, your specialist may recommend their removal through a cholecystectomy. 
  • Biliary dyskinesia: some individuals may experience symptoms similar to gallstone-related pain, even without gallstones. This may be due to gallbladder motility disorders, where the gallbladder does not contract and release bile properly. In these cases, a laparoscopic cholecystectomy may be recommended to alleviate symptoms.
 gallbladder disorders
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy can be used to treat various gallbladder diseases. 

It is important to note that the decision to perform a laparoscopic cholecystectomy is typically made based on the presence of gallstones or symptomatic gallbladder issues, as determined by your endocrinologist  through a detailed medical evaluation. 

In some cases, the surgery may be recommended as a preventive measure for individuals at high risk of developing gallbladder problems, even if they have yet to experience symptoms. 

If you suffer from gallbladder conditions, schedule an appointment with ACE Specialist Surgery and Endoscopy for a laparoscopic cholecystectomy and personalised treatment options tailored to your needs.

What results can I expect from a laparoscopic cholecystectomy? 

Upon hospital admission for laparoscopic cholecystectomy, you will be prepared for surgery, including IV placement and anaesthesia. After the procedure, you will wake up in a recovery area, and in most cases, you can go home the same day or after a brief hospital stay.

The recovery period varies from person to person, but typically, patients can resume normal daily activities within a week or two. 

Before discharging you from the hospital, your doctor will provide instructions regarding pain management, wound care, and dietary guidelines. They may also recommend you monitor any signs of infection or complications and promptly consult your medical team if any concerns arise. 

How many laparoscopic cholecystectomy sessions are required?

Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is typically performed as a one-time surgery to remove the gallbladder, and for most patients, only one laparoscopic cholecystectomy session is enough to cure the condition. 

Once the gallbladder is removed, the issues associated with gallstones, cholecystitis, or other gallbladder-related problems are resolved. 

However, it is essential to discuss your specific condition and treatment plan with your doctor , as there may be rare instances where a second surgery or follow-up procedures are needed due to unexpected complications. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Is laparoscopic cholecystectomy a major surgery?

No, laparoscopic cholecystectomy is minimally invasive and is considered a minor surgery. It involves small incisions and typically results in a quicker recovery than traditional open surgery.

Will I need to make significant changes to my diet after gallbladder removal?

Initially, you may need to follow a low-fat diet and gradually reintroduce regular foods. Most patients can eventually resume a normal diet, but dietary recommendations may vary, so consult your doctor for specific guidance.

How long does the surgery take, and when can I return to work?

The surgery typically takes about 1-2 hours. Many patients can return to work and normal activities within a week or two, depending on their recovery progress and the nature of their job.

Has this article been insightful? Share it!

Reyaz Moiz

Dr Reyaz Singaporewalla
Senior Consultant Endocrine and General Surgeon

MBBS (Bom), MS (Surg), DNB (Surg), FRCS (Edin), MMed (Singapore), FRCSEd.