An incision will be made in the upper right side of the abdomen. The gallbladder is removed. Any ducts are clamped off. The incision will be closed with stitches or staples. A bandage will be placed over the site. A tube may be placed to drain fluids from the area. It will be removed before leaving the hospital.
Small incisions will be made in the abdomen. A tube will be passed through one of the incisions. It will push gas into the belly. This will make it easier for the doctor to view the area. A camera will allow the doctor to see inside the belly. Other tools will be passed through the incisions. They will be used to remove the gallbladder. Any ducts will also be clamped off. The incision will be closed with stitches. A bandage will be placed over the site. A tube may be placed to drain fluids from the area. It will be removed before leaving the hospital.
How Long Will It Take?
30 to 60 minutes
Will It Hurt?
Pain and swelling are common in the first 1 to 2 weeks. Medicine and home care help.
Average Hospital Stay
The usual length of stay is 2 to 6 days. If there are any problems, you may need to stay longer.
At the Hospital
Right after the procedure, the staff may give you pain medicine.
During your stay, the hospital staff will take steps to lower your risk of infection such as:
Washing their hands
Wearing gloves or masks
Keeping your incisions covered
There are also steps you can take to lower your risk of infection such as:
Washing your hands often and reminding visitors and staff to do the same
Reminding staff to wear gloves or masks
Not letting others touch your incisions
It will take about 4 to 6 weeks to recover. Physical activity will be limited during this time. A special diet may be needed for a few weeks or longer. You will need to delay your return to work for one week.
Call Your Doctor
Call your doctor if you are not getting better or you have:
Signs of infection, such as fever and chills
Redness, swelling, excess bleeding, or discharge from the incision
Lasting nausea or vomiting
Pain that you cannot control with medicine
Problems passing stool, including bleeding
Bloating and gas that last for more than a month
Dark urine, light stools, or yellowing of the skin or eyes
If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.
Cholecystectomy. American College of Surgeons website. Available at: https://www.facs.org/~/media/files/education/patient%20ed/cholesys.ashx. Accessed January 14, 2021.
Cholecystectomy. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/procedure/cholecystectomy . Accessed January 14, 2021.
Moody N, Adiamah A, et. al. Meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials of early versus delayed cholecystectomy for mild gallstone pancreatitis. Br J Surg. 2019 Oct;106(11):1442-1451.
Last reviewed February 2020 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Marcin Chwistek, MD
Last Updated: 1/14/2021
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