The standard procedure for gallbladder surgery is a laparoscopic (minimally invasive) cholecystectomy, where both the gallstones and the gallbladder are removed.
A laparoscopic cholecystectomy is conducted under general anaesthetic. The procedure involves four small incisions to the abdomen allowing the introduction of the laparoscopic instruments. Using these instruments, the gallbladder is removed. A cholangiogram (a type of x-ray) may also be performed during the procedure. This allows any gallstones present in the common bile, the main drainage tube of bile from the liver into the bowel, to be seen. If stones are detected on cholangiogram, they may be able to be removed /during the surgery or at a later stage with a procedure called ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio-Pancreatography).
Please refer to the page Going Home After Gallbladder Surgery.
The risks of gallbladder surgery include:
- Bleeding / blood clotting.
- Bile duct injury.
- Bile leaks.
- Injury to blood vessels, small intestine and / or liver.
- Post-cholecystectomy syndrome (abdominal bloating, nausea, diarrhea following meals).