Colorectal Surgeon and General Surgeon, Dr Stephen Allison






Surgery for Gallstones and Cholecystitis

Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy

What is a Cholecystectomy?

Cholecystectomy is the removal of the gall bladder. The gall bladder is a small bag attached to the ducts coming out of the liver. It is designed to store the products from the liver that aid digestion of food (bile) and to release the bile into the gut after eating. It is not necessary for adequate digestion and can be safely removed.

Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy Explained

Four ports (tubes) are placed into the abdomen through small cuts on the skin. Through these ports a telescope and operating instruments are placed.

The gallbladder is identified. The cystic duct (tube from the gallbladder draining the bile into the bile duct) and the cystic artery (blood supply to the gallbladder) are both identified. A cholangiogram (dye test of the bile duct) is sometimes performed to ensure there are no stones in the bile duct. The cystic duct and artery are then ligated and divided. The gallbladder is then dissected from the liver and removed via a port. Occasionally a drain is inserted for temporary drainage of blood or bile.

 

For a consultation, diagnosis and further advice on gallbladder conditions, please contact us on (07) 3397 2634 for an appointment with Dr Allison.

 

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If there are stones in the bile duct, they are usually removed at the same operation laparoscopically. Occasionally they are unable to be removed laparoscopically. If this is the case Dr Allison may involve a gastroenterologist in your care after the operation to attempt to remove them via ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatoscopy). This is performed via a telescope down the mouth, into the small intestine and up the common bile duct. Rarely an open operation is required to address large, obstructing bile stones.