A cholecystectomy is a surgery to treat gallstones and the complications they cause and involves removing your gallbladder, an organ that your body does not need for normal digestion.
What is a cholecystectomy?
A cholecystectomy is a common surgical procedure that removes your gallbladder if it is diseased or damaged or if you have painful gallstones. Once your gallbladder is removed your bile will flow directly from your liver to your intestines with normal digestion continuing.
The surgery is performed under general anaesthetic and can be done using keyhole or open surgery. If your gallbladder is removed using keyhole surgery, where small incisions are made to insert a tiny video camera and surgical equipment, the procedure is called a laparoscopic cholecystectomy. If one large incision is made to operate then the surgery is called an open cholecystectomy.
Is cholecystectomy a major surgery?
Yes, cholecystectomy is major surgery. It is, however, a routine procedure that is performed using minimally invasive techniques whenever possible so you can leave hospital quickly, have a fast recovery, and allows minimal scarring.
Why is a cholecystectomy performed?
The most common reason a cholecystectomy is performed is if you have gallstones. These are small stones that form in your bile-storage organ, called the gallbladder, due to an imbalance of substances in your bile such as too much cholesterol.
Gallstones can block the flow of your bile causing irritation and inflammation of your gallbladder, known as acute cholecystitis, or your pancreas, called acute pancreatitis. Symptoms of these conditions may include sudden and intense stomach pain, nausea and being sick, and jaundice where your skin and eye whites turn more yellow.
Your doctor may also perform a cholecystectomy if you have gallbladder cancer.
What is the recovery process after a cholecystectomy surgery?
Your recovery process after the surgery will depend on whether you have a laparoscopic or open procedure.
If you have a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, you can expect to leave the hospital the same day. You will need someone to take you home from the hospital and to stay with you for 24 hours. It will take approximately two weeks for you to be able to return to your normal activities.
If you have open surgery, you will need to stay in the hospital for three to five days. It will take around six to eight weeks for you to be able to return to your normal activities.
What is the cost of a cholecystectomy surgery?
The cost of your cholecystectomy will depend on whether you have a laparoscopic cholecystectomy or an open cholecystectomy, and the Ramsay hospital of your choice.
This guide package price is an estimate of the costs of your surgery. You will receive a formal quotation price following your consultation with one of our expert surgeons. This formal quote for your cholecystectomy will be valid for 60 days and includes unlimited aftercare.
We have a number of finance options if you are paying for your procedure yourself. These include:
- Interest-free finance - requires no deposit, offers the ability to pay in monthly instalments, and benefits from 0% interest
- All-inclusive Total Care - a single one-off payment at a pre-agreed price that delivers direct access to all the treatment you need for complete reassurance
- Pay as you go – a flexible funding option if your treatment costs are difficult to assess, that allows you to meet your treatment costs as and when they arise.
Cholecystectomy surgery is covered by most medical insurance policies. We advise you to check with your insurance provider and obtain their written authorisation before starting your treatment.
Cholecystectomy surgery at Ramsay Health Care
You can rest assured that you will receive the best care delivered safely at all times for your cholecystectomy surgery at Ramsay Health Care UK.
Our highly skilled surgeons routinely perform cholecystectomy and offer one point of contact and easy access to convenient consultations. We offer virtual appointments and support whenever possible and unlimited aftercare.
We perform both laparoscopic and open cholecystectomy. We have purpose-built endoscopy suites at many of our hospitals, the latest equipment to optimally carry out laparoscopic cholecystectomy, and excellent infection protection for all of your patients.