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Gallbladder removal is one of the most commonly performed surgical procedures in the United States. Today, gallbladder surgery is performed laparoscopically, otherwise known as Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy. More recently, however, gallbladder surgery can be performed robotically. Our board-certified surgeons here at CHRIAS are also highly skilled in performing robotic gallbladder surgery with a single incision through the belly button. This procedure is known as Single Site Cholecystectomy.

The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ that rests beneath the right side of the liver. Its main purpose is to collect and concentrate a digestive liquid (bile) produced by the liver. Bile is released from the gallbladder after eating, aiding digestion. Bile travels through narrow tubular channels (bile ducts) into the small intestine.

Removal of the gallbladder is not associated with any impairment of digestion in most people. Gallbladder problems are usually caused by the presence of gallstones: small hard masses consisting primarily of cholesterol and bile salts that form in the gallbladder or in the bile duct. It is uncertain why some people form gallstones.

There is no known means to prevent gallstones. These stones may block the flow of bile out of the gallbladder, causing it to swell and resulting in sharp abdominal pain, vomiting, indigestion and, occasionally, fever. If the gallstone blocks the common bile duct, jaundice (a yellowing of the skin) can occur.

The surgeons at CHRIAS typically perform this procedure using minimally invasive techniques. A thorough medical evaluation by your personal physician, in consultation with a surgeon trained in laparoscopy, can determine if either laparoscopic or single incision gallbladder removal is an appropriate procedure for you.