If you have gallbladder symptoms, your doctor will examine you and decide what treatment is needed, if any.
If your symptoms are severe, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove your gallbladder known as cholecystectomy. The gallbladder is an organ that you can live without.
Cholecystectomy can be performed using open surgery through a large incision or minimally invasive surgery.
With open surgery, your surgeon makes a long abdominal cut/incision to reach your gallbladder. The incision must be large enough for your surgeon to fit his or her hands and surgical instruments inside your body. The open incision allows doctors to see and touch your organs while operating.
Minimally Invasive Surgery
The goal of minimally invasive surgery is to reduce your pain, hospital stay and recovery time. However, people who are obese or have a severe infection or inflammation in the gallbladder may not be candidates for minimally invasive surgery.
- Traditional Laparoscopic Surgery: With laparoscopic surgery, your surgeon operates through a few small incisions. Long-handled instruments are inserted through the incisions. One of the instruments is a laparoscope a thin, lighted tube with a tiny camera at the end. The camera takes images inside your body and sends them to a video monitor to guide doctors as they operate.
- da Vinci® (Cholecystectomy) Surgery: Using the da Vinci® Surgical System, your surgeon makes just a few small incisions – similar to traditional laparoscopy. Minimally invasive da Vinci® Surgery uses the latest in surgical and robotics technologies, and is beneficial for performing complex surgery. Your surgeon is 100% in control of the da Vinci® System, which translates his or her hand movements into smaller, more precise movements of tiny instruments inside your body.
- Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery: With single incision laparoscopy, your surgeon operates through one small incision in the navel (belly button). As with traditional laparoscopy, a tiny camera sends images to a video monitor in the operating room to guide doctors as they remove your gallbladder.
- da Vinci® Single-Site™ Surgery: Another minimally invasive surgical option is da Vinci® Single-Site Surgery. With the da Vinci® Single Site Surgical System, surgeons make one small incision in your belly button to remove your gallbladder similar to single incision laparoscopy. The da Vinci® System features a magnified 3D high-definition vision system. As a result, da Vinci® enables your doctor to operate with enhanced vision and precision.