Cholecystectomy – Laparoscopic

This page will provide you with information about Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy. For further details, you should speak to your consultant.

What are gallstones?

A common condition, and often hereditary, gallstones are stones that appear in your gallbladder (see figure 1). The likeliness of developing gallstones increases with age and if your diet consists of fatty, rich foods.

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Sometimes, gallstones can result in severe symptoms, with regular abdominal cramps being the typical complaint made by sufferers.

Why should I have surgery?

Following surgery, you should find you are pain-free and able to consume regular foods. Surgery can also help to avoid serious complications that can arise as a result of gallstones.

Are there any other options?

While it is possible to dissolve or shatter gallstones, these methods involve the use of drugs known for their side effects. The chance of failure is also high. Another option is antibiotics, which can be taken to treat any gallbladder infections. Sticking to a low fat diet can also reduce the pain associated with gallstones. Yet, these options will not cure the condition, meaning symptoms are likely to return.

What happens during the operation?

Carried out under general anaesthetic, the procedure usually takes around 60 minutes. After making some small cuts on your abdomen, the surgeon will insert a telescope and surgical instruments inside your abdomen and carry out the procedure. The surgeon will then free up your artery and cystic duct. Your gallbladder will be separated and removed from your gallbladder.

Risks and complications

Any risks or complications will be discussed in advance of your treatment with your expert consultant.

What is the recovery time?

Typically, you should be able to return home the following day, returning to work approximately 2-4 weeks after surgery. This will depend on your job requirements and the extent of the surgery. Regular exercise can help your resume everyday activities quickly, but you must ask your consultant prior to exercising. A full recovery should be made and you should be able to carry out day-to-day activities as normal.


Gallstones are not uncommon. Surgery to remove gallstones can mean a life free of pain and allow you to consume a normal diet.


References: EIDO Healthcare Limited – The operation and treatment information on this website is produced using information from EIDO Healthcare Ltd and is licensed by Aspen Healthcare.

The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.