Gallbladder Removal – open

Open gallbladder removal is surgery to remove the gallbladder through a large cut in your abdomen.

What to Expect:

Gallbladder removal surgery is done while you are under general anesthesia so you will be asleep and pain-free.
To perform the surgery:

  • The surgeon makes a 5 to 7 inch (12.5 to 17.5 centimeters) cut in the upper right part of your belly, just below your ribs.
  • The area is opened up so the surgeon can view the gallbladder and separate it from the other organs.
  • The surgeon cuts the bile duct and blood vessels that lead to the gallbladder.
  • The gallbladder is gently lifted out and removed from your body.

An x-ray called a cholangiogram may be done during your surgery.

  • To do this test, dye is injected into your common bile duct and an x-ray is taken. The dye helps find stones that may be outside your gallbladder.
  • If other stones are found, the surgeon may remove them with a special instrument.

The surgery takes about 1 hour.
Source: Medlineplus.gov