Your gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ just below the liver that stores the bile secreted by the liver. During a fatty meal, the gallbladder contracts, delivering the bile through the bile ducts into the intestines to help with digestion. Abnormal composition of bile leads to formation of gallstones, a process termed cholelithiasis. The gallstones cause cholecystitis, inflammation of the gallbladder.

Cholecystectomy is used to treat gallstones and the complications they cause. Dr. William A. Ball, Jr., may recommend cholecystectomy if you have:

  • Gallstones in the gallbladder (cholelithiasis)
  • Gallstones in the bile duct (choledocholithiasis)
  • Gallbladder inflammation (cholecystitis)
  • Pancreas inflammation (pancreatitis)

Cane River Surgery Center provides our patients in Natchitoches, Louisiana with not only a qualified gallbladder surgeon, but support nursing staff for thorough pre and post-care.

Laparoscopic cholecystectomy

Almost all of Dr. Ball’s cholecystectomy procedures are laparoscopic. It is only when variables prevent laparoscopic that an open procedure will be recommended.

Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is the removal of the gallbladder (cholecystectomy) by laparoscopy.

Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is performed through several small incisions. The laparoscope, a small thin tube, is put into the abdomen through a tiny cut made just below the navel. The surgeon can then see the gallbladder on a TV monitor and do the surgery with tools inserted in three other small cuts made in the right upper part of the abdomen. The gallbladder is then taken out through one of the incisions. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy permits a shorter hospital stay and shorter recovery time with less pain. Possible complications may include bleeding, infection and injury to the bile duct, intestines or major blood vessels.

Laparoscopic cholecystectomy provides a safe and effective treatment for most patients with symptomatic gallstones and has become the treatment of choice for many patients. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy decreases pain and disability without increasing mortality or overall morbidity. Although the rate of common bile duct injury appears increased, this rate is still sufficiently small to justify the use of laparoscopic cholecystectomy in the treatment of symptomatic gallstones. The cost of laparoscopic cholecystectomy is equal to or slightly less than that of open cholecystectomy. The outcome of laparoscopic cholecystectomy is influenced greatly by the training, experience, skill, and judgment of the surgeon. During laparoscopic cholecystectomy, when the anatomy is obscured, excessive bleeding occurs, or other problems arise, the operation should be converted promptly to open cholecystectomy.

Open cholecystectomy

Open cholecystectomy is surgery in which the abdomen is opened to permit cholecystectomy, removal of the gallbladder.

This operation has been employed for over 100 years and is a safe and effective method for treating symptomatic gallstones, ones that are causing significant symptoms. At surgery, direct visualization and palpation of the gallbladder, bile duct, cystic duct, and blood vessels allow safe and accurate dissection and removal of the gallbladder. Intra-operative cholangiography has been variably used as an adjunct to this operation. The rate of common bile duct exploration for choledocholithiasis (gallstones in the bile duct) varies from 3% in series of patients having elective operations to 21% in series that include all patients. Major complications of open cholecystectomy are infrequent and include common duct injury, bleeding, biloma, and infections.