How long does gallbladder surgery last?

Gallstones are a common problem, and if you have them, your doctor may recommend gallbladder surgery to remove your gallbladder – this is called a cholecystectomy. But the big question everyone wants to know is: how long does the procedure take? Here we’ll break down everything that happens during gallbladder surgery – from anesthesia to discharge.

Before Surgery

First things first, before your surgeon can even start cutting into you they’ve got some prep-work to do!


Before any surgical procedure, anesthesia must be administered for pain management (unless it’s an outpatient appointment!). There are two types of anesthesia: general and local. In the case of operations like cholecystectomy where a patient will be put under general anesthesia; so rest assured that as soon as you close those eyes “just for a second” again until after surgery.

Getting Ready

After being escorted into the operating room with their caretaker by their side alongside supplies prepped beforehand waiting ready on trays beside sterile scrubbing stations all around set up in strategic places throughout these rooms ensuring safety always at hand while maintaining optimal sterility conditions throughout each step leading towards completion.

During Surgery

Now that we’re nice and numb and properly sanitized let’s move on to what really matters during surgery — removing that pesky little organ known as the gallbladder!

Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy

Laparoscopic cholecystectomies (AKA minimally invasive) have become the standard-of-care approach due mostly because it requires smaller incisions within which specialized tools operate minimizing scarring concern level relative compared traditional wide openings previously required offering added bonus speedier recover times possible afterwards (awesome!).

The whole process includes:
– A tiny camera will be inserted through one incision giving views inside.
– Specialized grasping suctions tools offered that are also suited to cutting through tissue and cauterizing vessels effectively removing just select pieces amid maneuvering anatomy.
– Finally, an instrument is used to remove the organ and retrieve it through another port.

Open Cholecystectomy

When a patient’s gallbladder cannot be removed using laparoscopic surgery because of unforeseen complications (e.g., adhesions or scar tissue) from previous surgeries or when there might exist internal bleeding/poor visibility, they’ll typically opt for an open cholecystectomy as it carries no risk.

Here’s how it goes:
– The incision will likely run down your right side or center (> 5 cm).
– Afterward discovering finding the gallbladder beneath the liver area by continuing working in this outward direction beginning at sternum, reaching towards rib area.
– Separately placed and now retracted altogether allows access into abdominal cavity providing added mobility offers better clarity approaching tricky removal site(s)

Now which method totally depends upon surgeon discretion combined with pre-surgical assessment guidance can’t rush this kind of decision-making! So put away those YouTube videos attempting prep based on DIY surgical techniques – leave this one up qualified professionals.

After Surgery

Woohoo! You made it out alive! Time for recovery!


The operation itself normally takes no longer than two hours tops easy peasy piece-of-cake. However if you’re somebody who requires open surgery (which we mentioned earlier) rather than laparoscopic approach then prepare yourself since estimated range could balloon closer towards ending seven hours (yikes!). It comes down entirely case-by-case basis though mostly reflects respective levels complexity involved calling upon surgeon experience level equally much their efficiency performing each unique procedure personally identifying approaches best assisting overall goal ensuring optimal health maintenance moving forward saving time/money cross-the-board–everybody wins result.

Hospital Stay & Recovery

After spending several delightful hours in recovery (AKA that groggy state where time seems to stand still!) you’ll be released into the wilds of post-operative care.

Expect to spend at least 23-hours under surveillance by hospital staff who’ll monitor your progress while performing regular activities such as:
– Taking vitals frequent like patient temperature, heart respiratory rate checks noting fluid intake-output totals passing urine.
– Administration medicines/treatments necessary controlling symptoms rest/dimenishment discomfort levels making sure they manage pain appropriately treating incisional wounds accordingly.

You may feel some moderate to severe discomfort after surgery. Fluids are recommended immediately following operation. By eating certain foods not properly tolerated previously along with increased indigestion/motility/resistance digestion from a healthy diet.


Hopefully, we’ve alleviated any fears uncertainties around length procedure cholecystectomy over-burdening readers jargon/technical verbiage primarily focusing on easy-to-understand format using humor lightening burden; having successfully navigated through challenges opportunities accompanied major life-altering events involving gallbladder surgeries becoming more commonplace within healthcare system today saves lives every day when handled correctly!1

  1. Disclaimer: This punchline is rated E for Everyone! 

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