Gallbladder disease can cause severe stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, food intolerances and other unpleasant problems. To resolve these problems, you may need to have your gallbladder removed. This used to be done through a single long incision in your abdomen (open surgery). But now your gallbladder can be removed through a newer type of surgery called laparoscopic cholecystectomy. This form of surgery allows patients to recover more quickly and have less discomfort than with open surgery. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy allows the surgeon to remove your gallbladder through several very small incisions in your abdomen instead of through one large one.
During the surgery, a laparoscope (a small camera) along with other small instruments are inserted through these incisions. The camera picture allows the surgeon to visualize the gallbladder and then complete the surgery with the use of the other instruments. The gallbladder is then removed through one of the small incisions.
This surgery generally takes between one and two hours to perform and is done under general anesthesia. The advantages of having your gallbladder removed laparoscopically include: shorter hospital stay, less pain during recovery, shorter recovery period, smaller incisions. Most patients go home the same day as surgery and return to normal activity within 1-2 weeks.