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Cholecystectomy is the surgical removal of the gallbladder. The gallbladder's main function is to store and concentrate bile, which is produced by the liver, and to release it for digestion. While the gallbladder performs an important function, it is not an essential organ.

It may be necessary to remove the gallbladder in patients with gallstones or those with a gallbladder that is not functioning normally (biliary dyskinesia). Gallstones — small, solid formations composed of cholesterol, pigment and bile salts — are a common disorder that can cause problems in the gallbladder and the rest of the biliary system, including the pancreas.

Laparoscopic gallbladder and biliary surgery

The following procedures can be performed laparoscopically:

  • Removal of the gallbladder
  • Exploration and removal of obstructions of the bile ducts
  • Correction of the connection between the bile duct and part of the small intestine, also known as a choledochojejunostomy or choledochoduodenostomy, to allow drainage

Robot-assisted gallbladder surgery

Surgical removal is the most common therapy for gallbladder disorders, and can be accomplished by robot-assisted surgery.

Related conditions & treatments

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News and Patient Stories: Cholecystectomy

More Cholecystectomy stories