Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy (Gallbladder Removal)
Typical Patient Experience
Gallstones are one of the most common surgically-treated diseases. Patients meet with their surgeon, decide to proceed with surgery, and plan a surgical date.
The patient reports to the Same Day Surgery Department at Peninsula Regional Medical Center at the appointed time on the day of surgery. After changing and settling into a holding room, a pre-surgery meeting with both the anesthesiologist and the surgeon occurs to answer any last-minute questions and complete any remaining paperwork. The patient is then brought to the operating room, given sedation medicine and a general anesthetic.
The operation begins with the insertion of 4 laparoscopic surgical instruments into the abdomen through tiny incisions. The abdomen is filled with carbon dioxide gas to create a safe space in which the surgeon can work. The gallbladder is dissected from its anatomic location underneath the liver, and is then removed though one of the small incisions. The gas is removed, the instruments are removed, and incisions closed. The operation takes less than an hour to complete in most cases.
Most patients will go home within a few hours. They can drink and eat when fully awake. Patients are discharged home once the pain is adequately controlled and they can eat without nausea. Oral pain medications are prescribed along with a low fat diet. Patients can expect to be off work for about a week, and should expect a full recovery and a return to all normal activities within two weeks