Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy surgery, popularly referred to as Lap Chole, is a minimally-invasive procedure for removing the gallbladder or gallstones. This procedure utilizes a thin tube with a small camera on the end known as a laparoscope. The laparoscope allows for the removal of the gallbladder in such a way that does not require large incisions. Instead, several smaller incisions are made through which the laparoscope and special instruments are inserted and the gallbladder is removed. This technique greatly reduces recovery time and post-op pain in addition to its very high rate of success. Renowned general and colorectal surgeons at La Peer Health Systems are very experienced with the Lap Chole procedure, making La Peer the top option for gallbladder removal in Los Angeles.
WHAT IS LAPAROSCOPIC CHOLECYSTECTOMY?
The lap chole procedure is performed for the treatment of conditions affecting the gallbladder. This approach is often used to treat gallstones and gallbladder inflammation. Different from the traditional “open” cholecystectomy, this minimally-invasive method is done through multiple smaller incisions less than a half-inch in size. Special instruments and a laparoscope are inserted through these incisions, giving the surgeon access to the abdominal cavity with nominal intrusion. A monitor that displays the detailed picture from the laparoscope is used as the surgeon’s eyes during the procedure.
While the laparoscope is inserted through one of the incisions, specially designed medical instruments are inserted through the others. These small instruments are used to gently disconnect the gallbladder from the liver and the bile duct. From there, the gallbladder is removed through one of the incisions. A special X-Ray known as a cholangiogram may be taken in order for the surgical team to detect any possible stones in the bile duct. Once the gallbladder is extracted, the small incisions are closed and the procedure is complete.
Since the gallbladder has been removed, the patient’s body is no longer able to store bile before releasing it into the small intestine. Instead, after bile is produced in the liver, it will flow through the bile duct directly into the small intestine. This new way of functioning tends to have no issue and goes completely unnoticed in the patient.
WHEN IS A LAPAROSCOPIC CHOLECYSTECTOMY PERFORMED?
The cholecystectomy procedure is performed when conditions or circumstances require the removal of the gallbladder. The laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a newer, minimally-invasive alternative to the traditional cholecystectomy, which requires a much larger incision and more invasive techniques.
Some conditions that would necessitate the removal of the gallbladder include:
- Cholecystitis – Inflammation of the gallbladder
- Gallbladder cancer risks such as calcium deposits (porcelain gallbladder)
- Chronic gallstones – Which can lead to further complications like pancreatitis
- Biliary Colic – Pain caused by gallstones
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF LAPAROSCOPIC CHOLECYSTECTOMY?
There are many benefits to the laparoscopic approach over the traditional cholecystectomy. Much of the benefit resides in the fact that the minimally-invasive laparoscopic procedure requires only three to four tiny incisions in the abdomen, as opposed to the large incision that’s necessary for an open cholecystectomy. Since this type of procedure is minimally-invasive, there is less trauma to the surrounding tissue. The traditional procedure calls for larger incisions, possible movement or displacement of internal organs, and the cutting of abdominal muscles. These lead to increased pain and a longer recovery period. Since there is little disruption to the surrounding tissue and organs, patients are able to return to work and activities a lot quicker. At La Peer, the laparoscopic cholecystectomy is done in an outpatient setting that allows the patient to go home the same day of surgery. The traditional method can come with a hospital stay of up to a week following surgery.
The laparoscopic cholecystectomy benefits include:
- Less Pain
- Shorter Hospital Stay
- Shorter Overall Recovery Time and Faster Return to Activity
- Reduced Risk of Complications
WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF A LAPAROSCOPIC CHOLECYSTECTOMY?
Although there is always some risk associated with a laparoscopic procedure, such as bleeding, complications are rare. An overwhelming majority of patients realize complete symptom relief and make a full recovery. The surgeons at La Peer constantly strive to give every operation the highest probability of success. Some patients needing a cholecystectomy may not be eligible for the laparoscopic approach due to previous surgery in the area or certain anatomical factors. After your examination, your surgeon will discuss all available options for treating your individual case.
CONTACT A LOS ANGELES LAP CHOLE SURGEON
If you or a loved one has been told that you may need a gallbladder removal, or have been experiencing abdominal pain, please call La Peer Health Systems at 855-360-9119 or visit our contact page set up a consultation with one of our experts.
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