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Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a minimally invasive surgery to remove the gallbladder. In an open cholecystectomy, the surgeon removes the gallbladder through a 5- to 8-inch long incision made on the right side of the abdomen below the ribs. In a laparoscopic cholecystectomy the surgeon makes several small 1 inch long incisions. The surgeon inserts a thin tube with a camera (laparoscope) into the incision and removes the gallbladder with tiny surgical tools, guided by the images on the camera.

Why is a laparoscopic cholecystectomy performed ?

The gallbladder is an organ in the abdomen that produces bile which helps in breaking down the food in the stomach. The most common reason for removal of the gallbladder is the presence of gallstones. Gallstones are hard deposits which form in the gallbladder.

Gallbladder removal is generally not recommended for people without symptoms unless there is a high risk of developing complications from the gallstones, such as when there is associated diabetes. Gallbladder removal is considered for patients with symptoms.

The symptoms of gallstones may include :
  • abdominal pain.
  • indigestion.
  • nausea and vomiting.
  • fever
  • jaundice