Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy


Catherine Spader, RN

What is a laparoscopic cholecystectomy?

A laparoscopic cholecystectomy is the surgical removal of your gallbladder through several small incisions and a laparoscope. A laparoscope is a long, thin camera that allows your doctor to see the surgical area on the video screen during gallbladder removal. Your doctor may recommend a laparoscopic gallbladder surgery if you develop gallstones (cholelithiasis) that cause pain. 

The gallbladder is located in the upper right side of your abdomen under the liver. The pear-shaped gallbladder is a hollow sac that concentrates and stores bile produced by the liver. Bile moves from the gallbladder through the bile duct into the small intestine during digestion. A gallstone can move from the gallbladder and block a bile duct, causing irritation, pain and swelling of the gallbladder (cholecystitis) .

A laparoscopic cholecystectomy—as called lap cholecystectomy—is a common but major surgery with serious risks and potential complications. You may have less invasive treatment options. Consider getting a second opinion about all of your treatment choices before having a laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

Other procedures that may be performed

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Your doctor may perform other procedures in addition to a laparoscopic cholecys