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Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy 

Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to treat gallbladder disease.  Your gallbladder is a small organ located in your right upper abdomen.  Your gallbladder works with your liver and pancreas to produce bile and digestive enzymes to help break down the food that you eat for digestion.  Gallbladder disease is caused by conditions that slow or block the flow of bile from the gallbladder.  Bile is a fluid that breaks down the fat in foods.  Inflammation or gallstones can block the bile flow.  Gallstones are solid particles that result from an imbalance of bile components.  When bile accumulates, the gallbladder can become painful and inflamed.  The most common treatment for significant disease is surgical removal of the gallbladder.
Traditional open surgical methods use a large incision to allow a surgeon to access the gallbladder and remove it.  Traditional surgery requires several days in the hospital and a longer time for recovery.  Laparoscopic cholecystectomy has several advantages over traditional open surgical methods.  Laparoscopic cholecystectomy uses a small-lighted camera, a laparoscope, to guide the surgery.  Thin surgical instruments are passed through small incisions.  The smaller incisions shorten the recovery time.  It is feasible to have the surgery in the morning and return home on the same day or spend just one night in the hospital.

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General anesthesia is used for laparoscopic cholecystectomy.  Your surgeon will make several small incisions in your abdomen near your belly button to insert the laparoscope and remove your gallbladder.  People are usually discharged from the hospital about 24 hours after their procedure.

Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is associated with a lower risk of infection and other complications than traditional surgery methods.  You can also expect a shorter recovery time.  Your doctor will temporarily restrict your activities, but you should be able to resume your regular routine in one to two weeks.

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This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.

The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Authors Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and Valerie K. Clark, and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on April 13th, 2016. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit