Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy is a commonly performed procedure to treat symptoms arising from gallstones as well as to prevent the more serious complications that gallstones can cause.
The laparoscopic (keyhole) approach uses 4 small cuts on the tummy wall to introduce a camera and instruments into the abdomen. The gall bladder is separated from the liver and removed along with the gallstones within it. The whole operation is performed under a general anaesthetic and usually lasts between 1 and 2 hours. It is commonly performed as day case which means that most patients can go home the same day, a few hours after the operation.
While most operations are completed laparoscopically, on occasion it is necessary to carry this out as an open procedure. The decision to do this depends on various factors that the surgeon will discuss with the patient prior to the operation. An open cholecystectomy requires a longer recovery period necessitating a few days stay in hospital.
Following the operation, walking should be possible later the same day. You should be able to go back to desk-based work in a couple of weeks, although jobs requiring heavy lifting may require a little more time. A normal diet can be resumed soon after the operation.
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