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Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy

Synonyms: Minimally Invasive Cholecystectomy, Keyhole Cholecystectomy, Gall Bladder Surgery

What is Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy?

Cholecystectomy is surgical removal of gall bladder. Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy also known as 'keyhole Cholecystectomy' is a surgical procedure to remove the gall bladder with the help of a Laparoscope. A Laparoscope is a telescope like thin tube that is inserted through a small incision to visualize the interior of the abdominal cavity. This instrument is illuminated and has a video camera attached to it on one end. The images of the interior of the abdominal cavity can be visualized with the help of a video camera and projected on to a TV monitor.

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Where can I get Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy?

Country Cost with MedSolution
India $1,843 (inquire)
Cost of procedure performed in the US: $11,000.
All prices are in US dollars and include the cost of the procedure and minimum hospital stay. Estimates and minimum hospital stay will vary depending upon individual needs and requirements.

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Why is Cholecystectomy performed?

Cholecystectomy can be performed for several different reasons; if you have cancer of gall bladder, or inflammation of your gall bladder (cholecystitis) or cholangitis (inflammation of the bile duct), or stones in your gall bladder that obstructs the flow of bile, then there is a definitive indication for Cholecystectomy.

Open Cholecystectomy vs. Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy - what is the difference?

  • Open Cholecystectomy
    • Open procedure (major surgery)
    • Longer hospital stay (5 days)
    • Longer recovery time
    • More pain post-operatively
    • More time under general anesthesia
    • Larger incision therefore, a larger scar
  • Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy
    • Minimally invasive procedure
    • Shorter hospital stay (overnight)
    • Quicker recovery, you can resume your daily activities in about 10 days
    • There is less pain after surgery
    • The incision is much smaller (3 small incisions), small scars
    • Procedure can be performed under spinal anesthesia with sedation, general anesthesia not always required
    • Much reduced risk of post-operative complications

How do I prepare for Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy?

A thorough pre-operative assessment by your physician would comprise of physical examination, blood tests, x-ray chest, urinalysis for the presence of blood and white cells and urine culture for the presence of infection. Inform your surgeon about other health conditions and medications (including all the prescription, non-prescription medications, nutritional supplements i.e. vitamins, minerals and herbal products). Refrain from taking aspirin or Ibuprofen at least 2 weeks before Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy. Stop smoking a few weeks before Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy to prevent healing problems during recovery period. Do not eat or drink any thing for at least 10 - 12 hours before the Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy.

What does the procedure for Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy involve?

Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy can be performed under general anesthesia or spinal anesthesia with sedation. Three small incisions (half an inch) will be made in the abdominal area. A thin tube carrying a video camera will be inserted through one of the incisions. With the help of the video camera, the interior of the abdominal cavity will be visualized and the images will be projected on the TV monitor. Through the second incision two needle like instruments will be inserted which will serve as tiny robotic hands to perform the procedure. The third incision is used to insert the instrument that would clip the gallbladder artery and bile duct, remove the gallbladder and stones. Once the gall bladder is freed from it's connections, it will be gently eased out through the navel incision. The incisions will be stapled (if needed). The entire procedure of Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy can take about one hour to complete.

What to expect during the recovery period following Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy?

You will spend the next few hours following Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy, in the recovery room to monitor your vital signs and observe for immediate post-operative complications. You will be hospitalized for 24 - 48 hours following Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy. Pain medication and antibiotics will be given post-operatively. Avoid performing strenuous activities like lifting something heavy, jogging, treadmill or playing sports for at least 2 weeks after Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy. You will be instructed to move around, avoid getting constipated, do some simple breathing exercises to help prevent respiratory infections. You will be able to perform all your routine daily activities in about 2 weeks time after Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy.

What is the outcome of Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy?

The success rate of Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy is about 90%. In 5 - 10% of patients the gall bladder cannot be removed by Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy and an Open Cholecystectomy procedure has to be performed. Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy has a lower rate of complications, a shorter hospital stay, and better cosmetic results than the Open Cholecystectomy.

B . R . A . N . D . of Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy

Benefits of Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy

  • Shorter hospital stay (overnight)
  • Quicker recovery, you can resume your daily activities in about 10 days
  • There is less pain after surgery
  • The incisions are much smaller (3 small incisions), small scars
  • Procedure can be performed under spinal anesthesia with sedation, general anesthesia not always required
  • Much reduced risk of post-operative complications

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Risks of Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy

  • Failure of Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Infection
  • Allergic reaction to anesthesia
  • Injury to bile duct and other internal structures like intestines, blood vessels

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Alternatives to Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy

  • Drug Therapy - Medical treatment with drugs to dissolve the gall bladder stones (small ones) is an option. This treatment entails taking the medication for 12 - 18 months. The downside to this treatment is that there is a high rate of recurrence after this treatment.
  • Open Cholecystectomy - This treatment option is available if you have had a previous abdominal surgery that has resulted in adhesions, if you have cardiac diseases or COPD, then your surgeon may advise you not to have Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy, instead go for a Open Cholecystectomy.

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Now or Never

  • Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy is a very safe operation with the overall complication rate of less than 2% which is similar to Open Cholecystectomy. Thousands of Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy procedures have been performed worldwide and this operation has an excellent safety record.

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Decision to have Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy

  • Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy is an exciting innovative procedure with several benefits. Your surgeon will carefully evaluate the feasibility of this procedure with you. While unforeseen rare complications can occur with Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy, most of the patients experience excellent results and resume their normal activities very quickly.

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Keywords: Cholecystitis, Gallbladder Stones (Gallstones), Gall bladder Cancer, Laparoscope, Minimally Invasive Surgery, Laparoscopic Surgery

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