Having Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy
You've had painful attacks caused by gallstones. Because of this, you
are having surgery to remove your gallbladder. This is called
cholecystecomy. A technique called laparoscopy will be used. This allows surgery to be
done through a few small incisions.
Before Your Surgery
Tell your provider what medications you take. Include those bought over
the counter. Also include herbs or supplements. Be sure to mention if
you take prescription blood thinners. This includes Coumadin (warfarin).
Have any tests your provider asks for, such as blood tests.
Don't eat or drink after midnight the night before your surgery. This
includes water, coffee, and mints.
The Day of Surgery
When you arrive, you will prepare for surgery.
An IV line will be put into a vein in your arm or hand. This gives you
fluids and medication.
An anesthesiologist will talk with you about anesthesia. This is medication
used to prevent pain. You will receive general anesthesia. This puts you
into a state like deep sleep through the procedure.
During Laparoscopic Surgery
For this surgery, a thin tube with a camera is used. This is called a
laparoscope. The scope sends images from inside the body to a video screen. It allows
the surgeon to view and work on your gallbladder.
Small incisions are made in your abdomen. The scope is put through one
of the incisions. Surgical tools are put through other incisions.
Small clips are used to close off the bile duct and blood vessels. The
gallbladder is then detached from the liver.
The gallbladder is removed through one of the incisions. Bile still flows
from the liver to the small intestine.
When the surgery is one, all tools are removed. Incisions are closed with
sutures or staples.
You will be sent to a room to wake up from the anesthesia. You will likely
go home the same day. In some cases, an overnight stay is needed. When
you are released to go home, have a family member or friend ready to drive you.
Risks and Possible Complications of Gallbladder Surgery
All surgeries have risks. The risks of gallbladder surgery include: