Gallstones - Surgery
Surgery to remove the gallbladder
(cholecystectomy) is the treatment of choice for
gallstones that cause moderate to severe pain or other
symptoms. Symptoms usually do not return after the gallbladder has been
removed. In a small number of cases, surgery may be done to prevent
complications of gallstones.
Laparoscopic surgery is often the best
method to remove the gallbladder. Open gallbladder surgery requires a longer
recovery period and causes more pain.
See more information about when
surgery is needed for:
Gallstones: Should I Have Gallbladder Surgery?
Laparoscopic gallbladder surgery is
the most common surgery done to remove the gallbladder. In this type of
surgery, a doctor inserts a lighted viewing instrument called a laparoscope and
surgical tools into your abdomen through several small cuts (incisions). This
type of surgery is very safe, and people who have it usually recover enough in
about one week to go back to work or to their normal
Open gallbladder surgery involves one larger incision through which the gallbladder is
removed. It may be done if laparoscopic surgery is not an option or when
complications are found during laparoscopic surgery. Most open surgeries occur
after trying to do a laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Open surgery also may be the
best choice if the blood won't clot well, the anatomy is not normal, or there
is too much scarring from previous surgery.