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Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy

Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a minimally invasive surgical technique used to remove the gallbladder. The gallbladder is on the underside of the liver and is used to store the bile made by the liver. During digestion it goes to the intestine. 

Gallstones are solid stones that form in the gallbladder and block the flow of bile. They can cause inflammation and acute abdominal pain, vomiting, indigestion and, occasionally, fever.  If the stone obstructs the bile duct it can cause jaundice and the best option is to remove the gall bladder.

Benefits of the operation

This operation involves making small incisions are made in the abdomen whereas traditional open surgery requires a very large incision.  This means that the scars are very small. It also reduces post-operative pain to a minimum and allows a very quick recovery.

Medical-technical description

Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is an innovative surgical technique that uses a laparoscope (tiny telescope) to allow removal of the entire gall bladder with fewer risks and less discomfort that with open surgery.

About the operation

The surgery is performed under general anaesthesia and consists of inserting a laparoscope connected to a special camera through a small tube or cannula, which gives the surgeon a magnified view of the patient's internal organs on a television screen. Then other cannulas are inserted that allow the gallbladder to be separated from its adjoining structures and to remove it through one of the incisions. These are then closed with one or two stitches, or with surgical tape. 

Patients generally stay in the clinic for one day.

Before the operation

  • You will have a blood test, medical examination, chest X-ray and electrocardiogram.
  • You must not eat or drink for 12 hours before your operation.
  • You must stop taking drugs such as aspirin, anticoagulants, anti-inflammatories and vitamin E, one week before the surgery.
  • You must remove all metal objects during the operation (rings, bracelets, earrings, body piercings, etc.).

Post-operative care

  • You will be released after approximately 12 hours.
  • You will need to follow a special diet for a few weeks.
  • The level of activity depends on how the patient feels. Walking is recommended.
  • You will probably be able to resume your normal activity after 7-10 days (climb stairs, lift light objects and work).

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