Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy

Miguel A. Burch, MD
Student Author:
Student Name

Background Information:

Cholecystectomy is the removal of the gallbladder. This procedure may be performed via the open procedure or minimally invasive (laparoscopically or robotically).


  • Cholecystitis
  • Symptomatic cholelithiasis (biliary colic)
  • Choledocholithiasis
  • Gallbladder pancreatitis
  • Gallstone ileus
  • Gallbladder cancer
  • Gallbladder polyps >5cm
  • Porcelain gallbladder

Key Anatomy:

  • Gall bladder
  • Triangle of Calot’s (cystic triangle)
  • Calot’s (cystic) lymph node
  • Cystic artery
  • Cystic duct
  • Common bile duct
  • Common hepatic duct
  • Rouviere’s sulcus

Surgical Risks:

General surgical risks:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection

Risks specific to Cholecystectomy

  • Common bile duct injury (0.22% incidence for laparoscopic repair according to Fong et al. 2018)
  • Bile leak from the transected cystic duct (0.5% incidence for laparoscopic repair according to Fong et al. 2018)
  • Enterotomy
  • 0.22% incidence for laparoscopic surgery (van der Voort et al., 2004)
  • Postoperative ileus
  • Risk lower for minimally invasive procedures vs. open

ACS/ASC Core Curriculum


Online MedEd:


  • Sabiston Textbook of Surgery: The Biological Basis of Modern Surgical Practice by Courtney M. Townsend Jr. JR. MD
  • Zollinger’s Atlas of Surgical Operations, Tenth Edition 10th Edition

by Robert Zollinger, E. Ellison

  • Atlas of General Surgical Techniques: Townsend, Evers
  • Essentials of General Surgery 5th Edition, by Peter F. Lawrence MD, Richard M. Bell MD, Merril T. Dayton MD, James C. Hebert MD FACS


  1. Fong ZV, Pitt HA, Strasberg SM, et al. Diminished Survival in Patients with Bile Leak and Ductal Injury: Management Strategy and Outcomes. J Am Coll Surg. 2018;226(4):568-576.e1. doi:10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2017.12.023
  2. Townsend CM, Sabiston DC. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery E-Book [Internet]. Vol. 19th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders; 2012.
  3. van der Voort M, Heijnsdijk EA, Gouma DJ. Bowel injury as a complication of laparoscopy. Br J Surg. 2004;91(10):1253-1258. doi:10.1002/bjs.4716