Open gallbladder removal is surgery to remove the gallbladder that uses an open surgical cut instead of a scope.
Cholecystectomy - open
In open gallbladder removal surgery, a surgeon makes a large surgical cut in your belly to open it up and see the area. The surgeon then removes your gallbladder by reaching in through the cut, separating it from other organs, and gently lifting it out.
The surgeon will make a 5- to 7-inch cut in the upper right part of your belly, just below your ribs. The surgeon will cut the bile duct and blood vessels that lead to the gallbladder. Then your gallbladder will be removed.
A special x-ray called a cholangiogram may be done during the surgery. This involves squirting some dye into your common bile duct. The dye helps give the surgeon a roadmap of your gallbladder area. It also helps find other stones that may be outside your gallbladder. If any stones are found, the surgeon may be able to remove them with a special medical instrument.
Open gallbladder removal surgery takes about 1 hour.
Why the Procedure Is Performed
Your doctor may recommend gallbladder removal surgery if you have gallstones that bother you or your gallbladder is not working normally (biliary dyskinesia).
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Ann Rogers, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery; Director, Penn State Surgical Weight Loss Program, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.