Gallbladder Removal Surgery: Causes, Procedure, Recovery

is a very common and a very safe procedure, done when medical treatment does not help alleviate the symptoms of pain and inflammation from gallstones. 

In this blog we will explain the purpose of gallbladder removal surgery, what to expect during the procedure, potential side effects, and the recovery process.

What is the Purpose of Gallbladder Removal Surgery?

Gall bladder is present right below the liver. It stores and releases just 50 ml of bile. The bile also contains excess cholesterol or a liver pigment named bilirubin which can result in various gallbladder problems such as: Gallstones, Chronic or acute inflammation and pain due to the presence of gallbladder stones and Stones in the bile duct.

Many times symptoms do not improve with medical treatment instead worsen in case of symptomatic gallbladder stone, gallbladder removal surgery is the definitive and gold standard treatment

What is Gallbladder Stone? When Do You Need Surgery?

Gallstones are formed when the digestive fluid in the gallbladder gets hardened and cannot be released into the small intestine. They vary in size from as small as a grain of salt to as big as a gold ball. the causes of gallstones are multifactorial, studies suggest that gallbladder stones may form when: The bile contains excessive bilirubin, The bile contains excessive cholesterol and The gallbladder fails to release the bile completely or frequently.

In most cases, gallbladder stones are asymptomatic. However, if the condition worsens and you experience any of the following symptoms, then it is recommended to get surgery for gallbladder stone removal:-

  • Sharp pain that rapidly intensifies in the centre and upper right portion of the abdomen

  • Pain in the right shoulder

  • Back pain between the shoulder blades

  • Vomiting or nausea

Types of Gallbladder Removal Surgery

Gallbladder removal surgery is called cholecystectomy

Laparoscopic cholecystectomy: The laparoscopic surgeon makes 3-4 very small incisions of 5mm, then uses laparoscopic instruments to remove the gallbladder.

Laparoscopic gallbladder removal surgery is more popular because it is safe and less invasive than open surgery. Also, recovery is faster in laparoscopic cholecystectomy, we give just 3-4 very small incision and after surgery they are closed in stitch-free and probably scar-free closure, after a few weeks ports sites are barely happen to visible.

How is Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy Performed?

Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is minimally invasive and a safer procedure to remove the gallbladder with fewer complications.

During the procedure, the doctor will make small incisions on the right side of the abdomen. He will then insert a thin tube that has a tiny video camera on its end. This is called the laparoscope.

The video camera helps see the gallbladder on a computer screen. The surgeon will remove the gallbladder through another incision using special tools.Whether you undergo open surgery or a laparoscopic procedure for gallbladder stone removal, general anaesthesia is used for improved comfort of the patients.

Are There Any Risks of Gallbladder Removal Surgery?

Just like any other surgery, a cholecystectomy may also have certain risks. These include:-

  • Bleeding

  • Bile leaking from the gallbladder

  • Injury or infection to nearby organs such as the small intestine, liver, or the bile duct

  • Risks of general anaesthesia such as pneumonia or blood clots

Recovery After the Surgery

The time taken to recover after gallbladder surgery will depend on whether you had an open or laparoscopic procedure. It also depends on why you need gallbladder removal surgery and your overall health.

If you have open surgery, you may need to stay in the hospital for at least 3-5 days. Open surgery’s recovery time is longer because a large single incision is made in the abdomen. It may take around 3-4 weeks to get back to normal activities if you do a desk job. However, if your job or daily chores involve more manual effort, it may take around 6 to 8 weeks to recover fully.

For laparoscopic surgery, the recovery is faster. In most cases, you may return home on the same day of the operation. It takes less than 1 weeks to get back to normal activities. Even if you return home the same day after the surgery, you will need someone to attend to you for at least 24 hours. This is because you may still have the effects of anaesthesia. 

Gallbladder stones can be a recurring problem, causing significant damage to your gallbladder, bile ducts, or the liver. To avoid these, it is crucial to get gallstone surgery done. Here are the benefits of undergoing this procedure:-

  • Reduce pain– A gallstone surgery can help alleviate the symptoms of pain and inflammation, providing relief from the infection caused by gallbladder stones. Gallbladder stones can cause excruciating pain if the infection spreads and causes acute inflammation. Gallbladder removal through surgery is an effective way to get relief from the pain and other symptoms of gallstones

  • Prevent Several Complications– Surgically removing gallstones helps prevent complications such as empyema, acute inflammation, pancreatitis, or jaundice, improve digestive dysfunction, dyspepsia, and bloating

  • Life Saving– If gallbladder stones are not treated timely, the infection may worsen and cause the gallbladder to burst. This can be life-threatening

  • Prevent Biliary Tract Infection– Eliminating gallstones or removing the gallbladder entirely may help prevent recurring infections of the biliary tract and gallbladder

  • Reduces the risk of gallbladder cancer– yes surgical removal of gallstone prevent gallbladder cancer, damaged blood vessels, tumours, or scarring in the bile duct 

Do you have signs of gallbladder stones, including rapidly intensifying pain, indigestion, and cramping? Consult your healthcare provider for a medical diagnosis. Depending on your symptoms, your doctor may recommend getting gallstone surgery.


Though gallbladder removal surgery is a safe procedure, it is important that you choose a highly experienced surgeon such as Dr. Aloy J Mukherjee. He is the best laparoscopic surgeon in Delhi, accredited by the Association of Surgeons of India and other premier institutions. He has decades of experience performing cholecystectomy with utmost precision, ensuring minimal discomfort and faster recovery.