Gallbladder Removal Has Become Increasingly Common

“Gallbladder removal is one of the most common procedures we perform-there is a very low complication rate and 95 percent of patients are eligible for outpatient laparoscopic surgery that allows them to go home that same day.”

James McCullough Jr., MD, FACS
Board Certified General Surgeon

Cholecystectomy, or gallbladder removal, has become one of the most common surgical procedures in the United States. According to James McCullough, MD, who has practiced general surgery at Baptist Health Floyd since 1978, the advent of less invasive laparoscopic techniques has made this procedure available to more patients than ever before.

As Dr. McCullough explained, “A camera is inserted through a small cannula which has been placed through the umbilicus, or belly button. Three small incisions are made for the surgical instruments to pass through. The procedure is performed while visualizing the gallbladder on a monitor, and the gallbladder is removed through one of the small incisions. Most patients undergoing the laparoscopic procedure are able to go home the same day of surgery and experience a relatively quick and uneventful recovery. However, in cases where patients have had other surgery in the abdomen and have lots of scar tissue, a traditional, open gallbladder removal surgery is performed.”