(Gallbladder Removal—Open Surgery)
|Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy vs. Open Cholecystectomy|
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Reasons for Procedure
- Gallstones that have entered the abdominal cavity
- Injury to other nearby structures or organs
- Reactions to general anesthesia
- Blood clots
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Blood tests to evaluate liver function
- Ultrasound to view gallstones
- Hepatobiliary iminodiacetic acid (HIDA) scan—an x-ray test that uses a chemical injected into the gall bladder to create pictures of your liver, gallbladder, ducts, and small intestines
- MRI or CT scan to better view the gallbladder
- EKG and chest x-ray to make sure that your heart and lungs are healthy enough before surgery
Talk to your doctor about your current medicines. Certain medicines may need to be stopped before the procedure, such as:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen
- Blood-thinning drugs
- Anti-platelet medications
- Arrange for a ride to and from the procedure. Also arrange for help at home when you return from the hospital.
- The night before, eat a light meal. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
- You may be given laxatives and/or an enema to clean out your intestines.
- You may be given antibiotics.
- You may be asked to shower the morning before surgery. You may be given a special soap to use.
Description of Procedure
Immediately After Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
How Much Will It Hurt?
Average Hospital Stay
- You will be monitored for problems.
- You may need medications for pain and nausea.
- You may have a nasogastric tube, which is a tube that will go from your nose, down your throat, and into your stomach. The tube will help to drain fluids and stomach acid. You will not be able to eat or drink until this is removed and you are no longer nauseated. You will continue to receive fluids and sugar through an IV.
- When you are able to take things by mouth, you will be started on a liquid diet. Your diet will be progressed through soft foods to a regular diet.
- Ask your doctor about when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water.
- Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.
- You will get a diet and physical activity plan to help you through recovery. Following the plan will help you recover.
- Your liver will take over the functions of the gallbladder. Some people notice that they have a little more trouble digesting fatty foods, particularly for the first month after surgery.
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or discharge at the incision site
- Cough, shortness of breath, chest pain
- Increased abdominal pain
- Pain that you cannot control with the medications you have been given
- Blood in the stool
- Nausea and/or vomiting that you cannot control with the medications you were given after surgery, or which last for more than two days after you leave the hospital
- Bloating and gas that last for more than a month
- Pain and/or swelling in your feet, calves, or legs
- Dark urine, light stools, or yellowing of the skin or eyes
American Gastroenterological Association http://www.gastro.org
National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov
The Canadian Association of Gastroenterology http://www.cag-acg.org
Canadian Digestive Health Foundation http://www.cdhf.ca
Cholecystectomy. American College of Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.facs.org/public%5Finfo/operation/cholesys.pdf. Accessed May 28, 2013.
Cholecystectomy. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated May 17, 2013. Accessed May 28, 2013.
Clayton ES, Connor S, Alexakis N, Leandros E. Meta-analysis of endoscopy and surgery versus surgery alone for common bile duct stones with the gallbladder in situ . Br J Surg . 2006;93:1185-91.
Gallbladder surgery: laparoscopic cholecystectomy. University of California at Davis website. Available at: http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/surgery/specialties/gastro/gall.html. Accessed May 28, 2013.
Martin DJ, Wernon DR, Toouli J. Surgical versus endoscopic treatment of bile duct stones. Cochrane Database Syst Rev . Apr 2006;19(2):CD003327.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 02/2014 -
- Update Date: 03/18/2013 -