What happens during the surgery?

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A general anesthetic is given to relax your muscles, prevent pain, and help you fall asleep. Your abdomen is inflated with carbon dioxide, a harmless gas. The laparoscope is then inserted through a cut in your navel, so your doctor can look inside. A cholangiogram (a special X-ray) may be done while the surgery is going on to check for stones in your common bile duct.

Other instruments are then inserted through additional small incisions. Your gallbladder is removed through one of these incisions.

What happens during an open cholecystectomy?

A general anesthetic is given to relax your muscles, prevent pain, and help you fall asleep. A single cut is made below the right side of your rib cage or in the center of the abdomen. Your doctor can see the gallbladder and surrounding anatomy through the cut. The gallbladder is cut away from surrounding tissue. The blood supply is tied off and divided. Sometimes a cholangiogram (a special X-ray) is done to check for stones in the common bile duct. If there are stones in the common bile duct, they are removed at this time. The skin is closed using surgical clips and stitches.

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