Open gallbladder removal is surgery to remove the gallbladder through a large cut in your abdomen.
In open gallbladder removal surgery, a surgeon makes a large surgical cut in your belly. Surgery is done while you are under general anesthesia so you will be asleep and pain-free.
To perform the surgery:
An x-ray called a cholangiogram may be done during your surgery. To do this test, dye is injected into your common bile duct and an x-ray picture is taken. The dye helps find stones that may be outside your gallbladder. It also helps identify the branches of the bile duct. If other stones are found, the surgeon may remove them with a special instrument.
Open gallbladder removal surgery takes about 1 hour.
You may need gallbladder removal surgery if you have pain or other symptoms from gallstones. You may also need it if your gallbladder is not working normally.
You may have some or all of these symptoms:
The most common way to remove the gallbladder is by using a medical instrument called a laparoscope (laparoscopic cholecystectomy). Open gallbladder surgery is used in cases where laparoscopic surgery is not safely possible. The surgeon may switch to an open surgery if removing it through a laparascope is unsuccessful.
Other reasons for the need to remove the gallbladder by open surgery may be:
Talk with your doctor about any of these risks.
The risks of any anesthesia are:
The risks of gallbladder surgery are:
Your doctor may ask you to have these medical tests done before your surgery:
Always tell your doctor or nurse:
During the week before your surgery:
On the day of the surgery:
Prepare your home for any problems you might have in getting around after the surgery.
People usually stay in the hospital for 1 to 4 days after open gallbladder removal. During that time:
If there were problems during your surgery, or if you have bleeding, a lot of pain, or a fever, you may need to stay in the hospital longer. Your doctor or nurses will tell you how to care for yourself when you leave the hospital.
Most patients recover quickly and have good results from this procedure.
Cholecystectomy - open
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Gurusamy KS. Surgical treatment of gallstones. Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2010;39:229-244.
Keus F, Gooszen HG, van Laarhoven CJ. Open, small-incision, or laparoscopic cholecystectomy for patients with symptomatic cholecystolithiasis. An overview of Cochraine Hepato-Biliary Group reviews. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010:(1):CD008318. Review.
Siddiqui T. Early versus delayed laparoscopic cholecystectomy for acute cholecystitis: a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. Am J Surg. 2008;195(1):40-47.
Updated by: Joshua Kunin, MD, Consulting Colorectal Surgeon, Zichron Yaakov, Israel. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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