What is a cholecystectomy?

A cholecystectomy is surgery to remove your gallbladder. The gallbladder is a small organ under your liver. It is on the upper right side of your belly or abdomen. The gallbladder stores a digestive juice called bile which is made in the liver. There are 2 types of minimally invasive surgery to remove the gallbladder with Dr. Schultzel and Dr. Burgess:

Robotic Multiport Surgery

This method uses 3 to 4 very small incisions. With the help of a robot and a long, thin tube called a laparoscope, the gallbladder is removed from the body. The tube has a tiny video camera and surgical tools. The tube, camera and tools are put in through the incisions which interact with the robot. The surgeon does the surgery while looking at a TV monitor through a robotic console. The gallbladder is removed through 1 of the incisions. This is typically a same day surgery.Robotic Single Port (SP) Surgery

Dr. Schultzel and Dr. Burgess are two of the few surgeons in the US whom routinely remove gallbladders via the Single Port Robotic Approach. This approach uses one small incision in the umbilicus (belly button), where the gallbladder is removed. This allows for less pain, better cosmetics, and faster return to work. This approach is for select patients. Dr. Schultzel and Dr. Burgess have the largest case volume of this approach in the US.

Why might I need a cholecystectomy?

A cholecystectomy may be done if your gallbladder:

  • Has lumps of solid material (gallstones/Cholelithiasis)
  • Is red or swollen (inflamed), or infected (cholecystitis)
  • Is cancerous

Gallbladder problems may cause pain which:

  • Is usually on the right side or middle of your upper belly
  • May be constant or may get worse after a heavy meal
  • May sometimes feel more like fullness than pain
  • May be felt in your back and in the tip of your right shoulder blade

Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, fever, and chills. The symptoms of gallbladder problems may look like other health problems. Always see your healthcare provider to be sure. Your healthcare provider may have other reasons to recommend a cholecystectomy.

What are the risks of a cholecystectomy?

Some possible complications of a cholecystectomy may include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Injury to the tube (the bile duct) that carries bile from the gallbladder to the small intestine
  • Liver injury
  • Scars and a numb feeling at the incision site
  • A bulging of organ or tissue (a hernia) at the incision site

During a minimally invasive procedure, surgical tools are put into your belly. This may hurt your intestines or blood vessels. You may have other risks that are unique to you. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider before the procedure.

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Please call our office for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Call 858-207-3117