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Cholecystectomy​​ Overview

Cholecystectomy is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of the gallbladder. The gallbladder is an organ located under your liver that stores and collects bile. By utilizing a minimally invasive procedure, a single two centimeter incision in the belly button can now treat conditions of the gallbladder. This eliminates the standard open cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal) that uses a larger incision made in the lower abdomen. The SILS procedure removes the gallbladder by inserting a SILS Port, a soft, flexible instrument, into the belly button. This instrument has three distinct openings that allow the surgeon to operate three surgical devices simultaneously. Once the surgery is complete, the SILS Port is removed leaving one small incision. It eliminates visible scars, by hiding this small incision within the belly button. This also requires shorter hospital stay of one to three days and a faster recovery time of about two weeks when compared to the typical open cholecystectomy.

Table of Contents

Why might I need my gallbladder removed?

The doctor may consider a Cholecystectomy​​ if a patient’s gallbladder has:

  • Has gallstones
  • Is infected or inflamed
  • Is cancerous

Gallbladder symptoms and problems

Gallbladder problems usually exhibit pain on your upper abdomen’s middle or right side. Sometimes pain can also be felt in your right shoulder blade. Meals high in fat may trigger the pain or make the pain worse. 

When a stone becomes lodged in one of the ducts that carry bile from the liver to the small intestine, these stones can cause the following symptoms:

  • Severe pain in the upper right abdomen that can travel to the upper back.
  • Fever and chills
  • Nausea that also my by accompanied by vomiting
  • Yellowing of the eyes or skin, also know as jaundice
  • Dark urine or clay colored stools


Talk to your doctor if you experience these types of issues.

Types of surgery offered​ for cholecystectomy

Cholecystectomy is offered in multiple variants, SILS, laparoscopic and open surgery. The laparoscopic method involves a few tiny incisions in your abdomen to perform the surgery.

SILS or the laparoscopic method is preferred as it lowers the risk of infection and speeds up healing time compared to traditional open surgery.

Risks of a cholecystectomy

Cholecystectomy is a major surgery which means it carries the risks of any other surgery which may include:
  • Infection
  • Liver Injury
  • Bleeding
  • Injury to the bile duct
  • Scars
  • Hernia in the incision site

How is the recovery after surgery?

The hospital stay is about a day or two. Open surgery may increase the hospital stay to a few days. Recovery usually takes about four to six weeks. Recovery time may vary depending on the type of surgical method.

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