A cholecystectomy is surgery to remove the gallbladder (a pear-shaped sac near the right lobe of the liver that holds bile). A gallbladder may need to be removed if the organ is prone to troublesome gallstones, if it is infected, or becomes cancerous.
Traditional open cholecystectomy is a major abdominal surgery in which the surgeon removes the gallbladder through a 10 to 18 cm (4- to 7-inch) incision. Patients usually remain in the hospital overnight and may require several additional weeks to recover at home. It takes a minimum of 7 to 15 days to complete the treatment.
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy has now replaced open cholecystectomy as the first-choice of treatment for gallstones unless there are contraindications to the laparoscopic approach. Sometimes, a laparoscopic cholecystectomy will be converted to an open cholecystectomy for technical reasons or safety.
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