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Laparoscopic cholecystectomy

Nathaniel J Soper, MD, FACS
Preeti Malladi, MD
Section Editor
Stanley W Ashley, MD
Deputy Editor
Wenliang Chen, MD, PhD


Cholecystectomy is one of the most commonly performed abdominal surgical procedures, and in developed countries many are performed laparoscopically. As an example, 90 percent of cholecystectomies in the United States are performed laparoscopically [1]. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is considered the "gold standard" for the surgical treatment of gallstone disease. This procedure results in less postoperative pain, better cosmesis, shorter hospital stays and disability from work than open cholecystectomy [2-8]. However, the overall serious complication rate in laparoscopic cholecystectomy remains higher than that seen in open cholecystectomy [9,10]. (See "Complications of laparoscopic cholecystectomy".)

This topic will discuss the technique of laparoscopic cholecystectomy. The diagnosis and overall treatment approach to cholecystitis is discussed elsewhere in detail. (See "Acute cholecystitis: Pathogenesis, clinical features, and diagnosis" and "Treatment of acute calculous cholecystitis".)


The indications for laparoscopic cholecystectomy are the same as for open cholecystectomy:

Symptomatic cholelithiasis with, or without, complications (see "Treatment of acute calculous cholecystitis" and "Uncomplicated gallstone disease in adults").

Asymptomatic cholelithiasis in patients who are at increased risk for gallbladder carcinoma or gallstone complications (see "Approach to the patient with incidental gallstones").

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Mar 15, 2017.
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