Mercy Hospital & Health Services Contact Us
MyChart
About Mercy
Join Our Team
set font size large set font size medium set font size small
email this page print this page
Health Illustrated Encyclopedia Banner
Health Illustrated Encyclopedia

Disclaimer:
Our Health Information Database is provided by A.D.A.M. the leading provider of electronic and printed information for professionals and consumers in healthcare and industry. It provides authoritative, reliable content written and reviewed by an editorial board who represent a variety of specialty areas. This board reviews and evaluates all healthcare information to ensure it is accurate, reliable, and can be used with complete confidence. And now you have access to the same authoritative, trusted clinical information relied upon by health professionals around the world.
Gallbladder removal - open

Definition

Open gallbladder removal is surgery to remove the gallbladder.

Alternative Names

Cholecystectomy - open

Description

In gallbladder removal surgery, a surgeon makes a large incision (cut) in your belly to open it up and see the area. The surgeon then removes your gallbladder by reaching in through the incision and gently lifting it out.

Surgery is done while you are under general anesthesia (unconscious and unable to feel pain).

The surgeon will make a 5 to 7 inch incision 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 will be done during the surgery. This involves squirting some dye into your common bile duct. This duct will be left inside you after your gallbladder has been removed. The dye helps locate other stones that may be outside your gallbladder. If any are found, the surgeon may be able to remove these other stones with a special medical instrument.

Open gallbladder removal surgery takes about an hour.

Why the Procedure Is Performed

Your doctor may recommend gallbladder removal surgery if you have gallstones or your gallbladder is not functioning normally (biliary dyskinesia).

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. See also: Gallbladder removal - laparoscopic

Other reasons for this surgery may be:

Risks

Talk with your doctor about any of these risks.

The risks for any anesthesia are:

The risks for gallbladder surgery are:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Injury to the common bile duct
  • Injury to the small intestine
  • Pancreatitis (inflammation in the pancreas)

Before the Procedure

Your doctor may ask you to have these medical tests done before you have surgery:

Always tell your doctor or nurse:

  • If you are or might be pregnant
  • What drugs, vitamins, and other supplements you are taking, even ones you bought without a prescription

During the week before your surgery:

  • You may be asked to stop taking aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), vitamin E, warfarin (Coumadin), and any other drugs that make it hard for your blood to clot.
  • Your doctor may ask you to "clean out" your colon or intestines.
  • Ask your doctor which drugs you should still take on the day of your surgery.

On the day of the surgery:

  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your surgery.
  • Take the drugs your doctor told you to take with a small sip of water.
  • Shower the night before or the morning of your surgery
  • Your doctor or nurse will tell you when to arrive at the hospital.

Prepare your home for after the surgery.

After the Procedure

People usually stay in the hospital for 2 to 6 days after open gallbladder removal. During that time:

  • You will be asked to breathe into a medical device called an incentive spirometer. This helps keep your lungs working well so that you do not get pneumonia.
  • The nurse will help you sit up in bed, hang your legs over the side, and then stand up and start to walk.
  • At first you will receive fluids into your vein through an intravenous tube (IV). Soon, though, the doctors and nurses will ask you to start drinking liquids and then eat other foods.
  • You will be able to begin showering again while you are still in the hospital.
  • You may be asked to wear pressure stockings on your legs to help prevent a blood clot from forming. These help keep your blood circulating well.

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.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Most people do very well and recover quickly.

References

Chari RS, Shah SA. Biliary system. In: Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 18th ed. St. Louis, Mo: WB Saunders; 2008:chap 54.

Afdhal N. Diseases of the gallbladder and bile ducts. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 159.

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.

View Spanish Version

Encyclopedia Home
Drug Note Home
Health Information Home

Images

Care PointsRead More

Review Date: 11/15/2008

Review By: A.D.A.M. Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz. Previously reviewed by Robert J. Fitzgibbons, Jr., MD, FACS, Harry E. Stuckenhoff Professor of Surgery, Chief of General Surgery, and Associate Chairman, Department of Surgery, Creighton University School of Medicine (11/15/2008).

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2010 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

www.adam.com
www.mercyweb.org
follow us online
facebook youtube


Contact us
Home  |  Sitemap

Disclaimer & Terms of Use  |  Privacy Statement  |  Notice of Privacy Practices
Copyright ©2013 Mercy. Last modified 2/16/2011