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Surgery with the use of a laparoscope is the most common way to remove the gallbladder. A laparoscope is a thin, illuminated camera that allows the doctor to see inside the abdomen. Gallbladder removal surgery is done while you are under general anesthesia, so you will be asleep and pain free.


  • The operation requires only four small incisions in the abdomen, instead of the traditional wound of 13 to 18 cm (5 to 7 inches).
  • Minimal postoperative pain in the vast majority of patients.
  • The patient usually experiences a much faster recovery than patients operated with traditional gallbladder surgery. Most patients return home in a day and enjoy a quick return to normal activities.


The gallbladder is an organ, a sachet, shaped like a pear located under the right side of the liver. Its main function is the collection and concentration of bile (a liquid that helps in the absorption of fats) produced by the liver. Bile is released by the gallbladder after eating and travels through the bile duct (a thin conduit) to the small intestine helping digestion.

Cholelithiasis (vesicular lithiasis) is the appearance of stones  within the gallbladder. When these stones produce symptoms, you must remove the gallbladder with the stones inside. Extraction of the gallbladder was not associated with any damage to digestion.

And cholecystitis is the inflammation with subsequent infection of the gallbladder and its early extraction is necessary in order to prevent it from evolving. The diseased vesicle (cholecystitis) begins with inflammation, progresses to hydrocolecist (accumulation of fluid), piocolecist (abscess within the gallbladder), ischemia, necrosis and perforation; the latter causing biliary peritonitis. That is why it is so important to remove it in time before the worsening progresses and the patient becomes more complicated.

The main symptom of the presence of stones in the gallbladder (cholelithiasis) is pain, biliary colic, also called liver or liver colic. The stones can obstruct the discharge of gall bladder, causing inflammation and producing acute abdominal pain, vomiting, indigestion, and occasionally, fever.

These stones cause inflammation to increase and infect the wall of the gallbladder, producing what is known as a cholecystitis, somewhat similar to an appendicitis but in the gallbladder. This situation can be potentially serious if the infection persists, a collection of pus (abscess) or punctured  gallbladder, might cause peritonitis.

If a stone escapes from the gallbladder and obstructs the common bile duct, a small duct that carries bile from the liver to the duodenum, jaundice (yellow skin and mucous) may occur. If jaundice, caused by increased bilirubin in the blood, persists or is very high we are talking about a major problem that can cause failure of many organs and even death of the patient.

The presence of gallstones for a long time inside the gallbladder, although rare, may be associated with the onset of cancer.

Abdominal ultrasound is the test of choice for the diagnosis of cholelithiasis and cholecystitis. Surgical removal of the gallbladder is the most recommended and safe treatment for gallbladder disease.

Laparoscopic surgery is as safe as traditional open surgery. At the start of a laparoscopic operation, the laparoscopic chamber is inserted through a small incision in the navel. The surgeon first inspects the abdomen to determine if it is safe to perform the procedure. If there is a large swelling, or if the surgeon finds other factors that prevent you from seeing the structures clearly, you may have to convert them to open surgery. You can always convert a laparoscopic surgery to an open surgery, if the situation warrants it, the contrary is not possible. Initiating laparoscopic surgery is to give the patient an opportunity to obtain all the advantages of this type of intervention.

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