Surgical removal of the gallbladder can be done by one of two ways:
Open method involves a 5-7 inch incision in the upper right-hand side of the abdomen, below the ribs. Your surgeon removes the gallbladder through the large, open incision.
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a less invasive surgical method that uses a device called a laparoscope. The laparoscope is a small, thin tube with a light and tiny video camera (connected to a television monitor) attached at the end, which helps visualise inside the abdomen during the operation.
The surgery is performed under general anaesthesia. Your surgeon makes 3-4 small incisions in the abdomen. The laparoscope is inserted into the body through one of the incisions. The television monitor will guide the surgeon to insert other surgical instruments through the other incisions. Air or carbon-dioxide is injected into the abdomen to inflate the abdominal cavity so that the gallbladder and other adjacent organs can be visualised easily. Your surgeon first cuts the bile duct and blood vessels leading to the gallbladder, and then removes the gallbladder.
Your surgeon may also perform a procedure called a cholangiogram during the surgery, which uses X-rays and a dye injected into the body to view the bile ducts. This is done to identify gallstones that could have been missed, obstructions or narrowing of the bile ducts. If stones are present, the surgeon uses a special instrument and removes them.
Following laparoscopic surgery, you can go home on the same day or the next day after recovering from the effects of anaesthesia. You can return to normal activities within 24 hours and resume work in a week. However, you should not engage in strenuous activities for a few more weeks.