Medical Q&As

Gallbladder - keyhole surgery?

I have to have my gallbladder removed and I am trying to find out a little bit about keyhole surgery. What does it involve and how long is recovery? Also can you get pain in the chest or upper abdomen from gallbladder disease?

The gallbladder is tucked under the lower right ribs and is attached to the underside of the liver. It is possible to get pain in the chest and the upper abdomen from gallbladder disease. Many people also experience pain under the right shoulder blade. Keyhole surgery is a great advance in surgical technique for removing the gallbladder. Post operative recovery and hospital stay are shorter than with the more traditional forms of surgery. Total hospital stay is usually less than a week. The technique involves creating several small incisions through which the surgeon passes a laparoscope and various surgical instruments. The laparoscope is the instrument that allows the surgeon to visualise directly the interior of the abdomen without having to make the traditional large surgical incision. The surgeon inserts the other surgical instruments through the other small incisions and detaches the gallbladder from its various connections. It is then removed through one of the small abdominal incisions. The severity and duration of postoperative pain is less with keyhole surgery than with the traditional surgical approach.