Cholecystectomy – Gall Bladder Removal

Women and Men from Vancouver and all across B.C. choose False Creek Healthcare Centre because of board-certified surgeons Dr. Charles Scudamore and Dr. Donald Cooke. Our team of General surgeons has years of experience and excellence in performing gall bladder removal surgeries.

Cholecystectomy is a surgical procedure designed to remove your gallbladder which often performed if you experience pain caused by gallstones blocking the flow of bile. The procedure is a common surgery, and it carries minimal risk of complications.

Cholecystectomy is most commonly performed using a tiny video camera to see inside your abdomen and special surgical tools to remove the gallbladder. This particular procedure is known as laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

Reasons for a Cholecystectomy

Your doctor may recommend cholecystectomy if you have:

  • Cholelithiasis: gallstones in the gallbladder
  • Choledocholithiasis: gallstones in the bile duct
  • Cholecystitis: inflammation of the gallbladder
  • Pancreatitis: inflammation of the pancreas

What to Expect
Cholecystectomy is performed using general anaesthesia, so you won’t be awake during the procedure. Once the anaesthetic takes affect, your health care team will insert a tube down your throat to aid you with your breathing. Your surgeon then performs the cholecystectomy using either a laparoscope or open procedure.

During open cholecystectomy your surgeon makes a 6-inch incision in your abdomen below your ribs on your right side to reveal your liver and gallbladder. Your surgeon will then remove the gallbladder. Afterwards, the incision is sutured and you’re taken to a recovery area.

During laparoscopic cholecystectomy, the surgeon makes four small incisions in your abdomen. A laparoscope with a tiny video camera attached is inserted into your abdomen through one of the incisions. This allows your surgeon to view inside the abdomen as special surgical tools are inserted through the rest of the incisions and your gallbladder is removed.

Next, a specialized X-ray, called a cholangiography, will be used to examine your bile duct for abnormalities. If your surgeon finds gallstones or other problems in your bile duct, they may also be remedied at the time of the cholecystectomy. Your incisions will then be sutured, and you will be taken to a recovery area.

Both types of cholecystectomy normally take between one to two hours.

How to Prepare

In preparation for your procedure you will be required to take several steps to ensure a safe and successful surgery. You may be given a prescription solution that flushes stool out of your intestines and be asked to avoid eating the night before your surgery. Your doctor may advise you to temporarily stop taking certain medications and supplements that may increase your risk of bleeding.

Next Steps
If you are ready to discuss your surgery needs with our board certified surgeons, request a consultation today. During your consultation your patient care coordinator will discuss:

  • Your medical history
  • Pre and post-operative care
  • Potential risks and complications
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