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Gallbladder removal surgery (laparoscopic cholecystectomy)

Gallbladder removal surgery is recommended when gallstones have formed and are causing health complications (such as abdominal pain). Book online today.

An abdomen of adult Asian female patient with Waterproof Transparent Dressing after Cholecystectomy
A laparoscopic cholecystectomy involves the surgical removal of the gall bladder. This is usually recommended when gallstones have formed and are causing health complications (such as abdominal pain).

What are gallstones?

Gallstones are ‘stones’ that form in the gallbladder. They are quite common but increase with age and in people who eat a diet rich in fat.

In some people, gallstones can cause severe symptoms with repeated attacks of abdominal pain being the most common.

What are the benefits of surgery?

You should be free of pain and able to eat a normal diet. Surgery should also prevent the serious complications that gallstones can cause.

Are there any alternatives to surgery?

It is possible to dissolve the stones or even shatter them into small pieces but these techniques involve unpleasant drugs and side effects, have a high failure rate and the gallstones usually come back.

Antibiotics can be used to treat any infections of the gallbladder. A low-fat diet may help to prevent attacks of pain.

However, symptoms are likely to come back.

The operation is performed under a general anaesthetic and usually takes about an hour.

The laparoscopic (‘keyhole’) technique is usually used. Your surgeon will make several small cuts on your abdomen. They will place surgical instruments, along with a telescope, inside your abdomen and perform the operation.

Your surgeon will free up the gallbladder duct (cystic duct) and artery. They will then separate the gallbladder from the liver and remove it.

What complications can happen?

General complications of any operation:

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection in the surgical wound
  • Unsightly scarring
  • Blood clots

Specific complications of this operation:

a. Laparoscopic complications

  • Damage to internal organs
  • Developing a hernia near one of the cuts
  • Surgical emphysema

b. Cholecystectomy complications

  • Leaking of bile or stones
  • Retained stones
  • Persistent pain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Inflammation in the abdomen
  • Bile duct injury
  • Bowel injury
  • Serious damage to the liver

How soon will I recover?

You should be able to go home later on the same day.

You should be able to return to work after two to four weeks but this may vary depending on the extent of surgery and your type of work.

Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, you should ask a member of the healthcare team or your GP for advice.

You should make a full recovery and be able to eat a normal diet.

Laparoscopic cholecystectomy summary

Gallstones are a common problem. An operation to remove your gallbladder should result in you being free of pain and able to eat a normal diet. Surgery should also prevent the serious complications that gallstones can cause.

Paying for your operation

Laparoscopic cholecystectomy costs are covered by most medical insurance policies, but please check with your insurer first. If you are paying for your own treatment the cost of the operation will be explained and confirmed in writing when you book the operation. Ask the hospital for a quote beforehand, and ensure that this includes the surgeon’s fee, the anaesthetist’s fee and the hospital charge for your procedure.

Acknowledgements Author: Mr Simon Parsons DM FRCS (Gen. Surg.) Illustrations: Hannah Ravenscroft RM This document is intended for information purposes only and should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you. Copyright © EIDO Healthcare Limited The operation and treatment information on this website is produced by EIDO Healthcare Ltd and is licensed by Circle Health Group. The intellectual property rights to the information belong exclusively to EIDO Healthcare Limited. You may not copy, print out, download or otherwise reproduce any of the information other than for your personal, non-commercial use. The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

The surgery cost of gallbladder removal through keyhole surgery

Please be aware that the following prices are a guide price. Your final price will be confirmed in writing following your consultation and any necessary diagnostic tests.

Patient pathway Initial consultation Diagnostic Investigations Main treatment Post discharge care Guide price
Hospital fees N/A Not included £6,975 N/A £6,975
Consultants fees from £200 N/A Included Included £200
Guide price £7,175

The surgery cost of gallbladder removal through keyhole surgery with an X-ray

Please be aware that the following prices are a guide price. Your final price will be confirmed in writing following your consultation and any necessary diagnostic tests.

Patient pathway Initial consultation Diagnostic Investigations Main treatment Post discharge care Guide price
Hospital fees N/A Not included £7,625 N/A £7,625
Consultants fees from £200 N/A Included Included £200
Guide price £7,825

When you choose to go private with Circle Health Group, you can expect:   

  • Flexible appointment times and locations to fit your routine  
  • The freedom to choose which hospital and Consultant suit your needs  
  • Personalised, Consultant-led treatment plans tailored to your individual needs  
  • Comfortable and safe private facilities maintained by expert multidisciplinary teams  
  • Support by the same compassionate clinical team from beginning to end  
  • Affordable, fixed-price packages with aftercare included  
  • Flexible payment options to spread the cost of your care

If you would like to learn more about this procedure, book your appointment online today or call a member of our team directly on 0141 300 5009.

Specialists offering Gallbladder removal surgery (laparoscopic cholecystectomy)

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Mr Hemant Sheth

Consultant laparoscopic, Upper GI & HPB surgeon

MS, FRCS, MD( Res)

The Clementine Churchill Hospital

View profile Book online

Mr Andrew McLaren

Consultant Endocrine and General Surgeon

BA, BM, BcH, DM, FRCS

The Chiltern Hospital 1 more The Shelburne Hospital

View profile Book online

Mr Jawad Ahmad

Consultant General and HPB Surgeon

FCPS, MPhil, FRCS

The Meriden Hospital

View profile Book online

Mr Andrew Renwick

Consultant General and Colorectal Surgeon

MBChB, MD, FRCS (Glasg), FRCS (Edin), FRCS (IntColl), FST

Ross Hall Hospital 1 more Ross Hall Clinic Braehead

View profile Book online

Mr Oladapo Fafemi

Consultant Surgeon

MBBS FRCS(ENG), FRCSEd (GENERAL SURGERY)

The Cavell Hospital 1 more The Kings Oak Hospital

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Mr Kamran Qurashi

Consultant Laparoscopic GI & General Surgeon

MBBS, FRCSEd, FRCS(Gen.Surg),MSc(Surg.Sc)

The Clementine Churchill Hospital

View profile Book online

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