Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy (Gallbladder Removal)
The name pertains to the process of gall bladder removal from the body. It involves making five small incisions instead of one large one in the abdomen. A laparoscope is a tubular structure which has a camera at one end. This tube is inserted into the abdomen. The doctor is able to see the gallbladder on the screen of the camera. Another small incision is made to remove the gall bladder.
When is the process of laparoscopic cholecystectomy used?
If the patient has stones in his or her gall bladder, then this process is used to remove them. The gall bladder performs the function of storing bile. Bile is a digestive fluid made by the liver which is essential for digesting the fats in our diet. If a person has stones in the gall bladder, it can affect the flow of bile in the digestive system. This can lead to pain in the abdomen, nausea, and vomiting. The stones can also block the ducts which channelize the flow of bile from the liver to the intestine. The gall bladder stones can cause infection in the gall bladder. They may also lead to jaundice. They may cause irritation in the pancreas.
DURING THE LAPAROSCOPIC SURGERY
The surgery requires general anesthesia. This will help you in relaxing the muscles and prevent you from sensing pain during the surgery. The surgeon inflates the abdomen using carbon dioxide. The surgeon inserts the laparoscope through a cut in the navel. He has a good look inside and may conduct a cholangiogram, which is a special x-ray which checks for the presence of stones. It may be done while the surgery is being conducted. Additional small incisions are made through which the gall bladder is removed.
If the surgery is done through conventional surgery, then it is called open cholecystectomy. The open surgery may be chosen instead of laparoscopy if
- There is scarring from a previous surgery
- Bleeding disorder
- There is difficulty in seeing through the laparoscope
DURING THE OPEN CHOLECYSTECTOMY
This procedure also requires the use of anesthesia. The surgeon makes a cut near the right side of the rib cage or at the center of the abdomen. Then the doctor can see the gall bladder after opening up the area. The surgeon cuts the gall bladder from the surrounding tissue. After tying off the blood supply, the cholangiogram may be done. It is done to check the presence of stones in the common bile duct. The stones in the bile duct are removed at this stage. The skin is then closed up with the help of surgical clips and stitches.