The gallbladder is an organ that normally functions to store bile excreted from the liver. If the gallbladder is inflamed, blocked, filled with gallstones, or cancerous, gallbladder surgery is recommended.
Gallbladder removal (cholecystectomy) is done while the patient is under general anesthesia (unconscious and pain-free). It can be done through an abdominal incision (open cholecystectomy) or through smaller incisions near the gallbladder using a small video camera on a tube called a laparoscope (laparoscopic cholecystectomy).
In very complex or complicated gallbladder cases, open cholecystectomy is usually recommended. An incision is made just below the ribs on the right side of the abdomen. The liver is moved to expose the gallbladder. The vessels and ducts to and from the gallbladder (cystic duct and artery) are cut and tied off, and the gallbladder is removed. The incision is closed.