Gallbladder surgery is necessary in people who have gallstones or some type of gallbladder dysfunction, according to MedlinePlus. Gallbladder problems may cause indigestion, vomiting, nausea and pain after eating. In some cases, the presence of gallstones leads to an infection of the gallbladder.
The medical term for gallbladder removal is cholecystectomy. As of 2014, most surgeons perform the laparoscopic cholecystectomy, which is a minimally invasive procedure. During laparoscopic gallbladder removal, the surgeon makes four small incisions at the surgical site, according to Mayo Clinic. Then, a tube with a small video camera is inserted into one of the incisions. The video feed from the camera helps the surgeon remove the gallbladder without damaging any other structures. The patient typically leaves the hospital the same day, but it may be necessary to stay overnight for observation.
Some people are ineligible for laparoscopic cholecystectomy. In this case, the surgeon uses an open procedure. During the open procedure, the surgeon makes a 6-inch incision in the abdomen. Once the gallbladder is exposed, the surgeon removes the organ and sutures the incision shut. Someone who has this procedure typically stays in the hospital for two or three days, notes Mayo Clinic. It may take up to six weeks to recover fully after being discharged from the hospital.