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Cholecystectomy

The prefix 'Cholec' refers to gall bladder. Gall bladder is an organ that is shaped like a pear. The location of this organ is to the right side of abdomen, just below the liver. The function of the gall bladder is to store bile secreted by the liver.

Cholecystectomy is surgical excision of gall bladder. The frequently experienced condition in the gall bladder is the formation of gallstones. These stones are deposits formed by the accumulation of excess bile, cholesterol etc.

The necessity of this surgical procedure may arise when intense pain in felt from gallstones. This situation can reduce or stagnate the bile flow, an essential component is digestion. The other conditions that can lead to cholecystectomy are:

  • Choledocolithiasis: Condition of gallstones in the bile canal/duct.
  • Cholecystitis: Inflammation on the gall bladder.
  • Pancreatitis: Inflammation in the pancreas.

Certain preparations are required before the surgery. The patient has to refrain from eating before 24 hours. Drinking has to be stopped before 4 hours before the surgery. In case the patient is taking any medications, these have to be stopped. This must be done so that any possibility of bleeding is reduced. It is also probable for the doctor to prescribe solutions that can completely empty the bowel.

The procedure can be done either using open surgery or using a laparoscope. The latter procedure is preferred over the open procedure due to fact that the open procedure to more prone to infection.

Prior to the surgery, the patient is made to lie down in the supine position. In this position, the patient lies down with face up. Small incisions are made using a scalpel. The abdominal cavity is inflated so as to create a working space. The fundus in the gallbladder is identified and it is folded back firmly. The gallbladder infundibulum is then folded and grasped tightly so that the Calot's triangle is exposed. Calot's triangle is that portion bounded by liver, hepatic duct and bile duct. This area is then dissected and the peritoneal covering is taken away. This helps in identifying the cystic artery and cystic duct and they are clipped. The gallbladder is dissected and is removed from one of the incisions through the ports. The surgery takes about 1 hour to complete.

The risks for post-operative complications are very small. Even though this is the case, some complications can occur in rare cases. These shall include blood cloth, bile leak, bleeding etc.