A cholecystectomy involves the surgical removal of the gallbladder.

Cholecystectomy are primarily performed due to the presence of gallstones or acute cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder). These are common conditions with risk factors including obesity, being female and being between 35 and 55-years-old. Removal of the gallbladder and gallstones is often undertaken for patients with gallbladder diseases, such as biliary colic, cholecystitis and biliary pancreatitis.

Most cholecystectomies are performed laparoscopically, a less invasive procedure that uses three to four small incisions (5-10mm in size) on the abdomen to access the appendix. The abdominal cavity is inflated with carbon dioxide gas, which allows the surgeon to better access the appendix. If the gallbladder is significantly inflamed an open cholecystectomy, where an incision is made through the skin and abdominal wall on the upper right section of the abdomen, may be required.

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