Skip to Content

Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy In Children


  • Laparoscopic (lapah-ROS-ko-pik) cholecystectomy (ko-le-sis-TEK-to-me) is surgery to treat gallbladder and bile duct diseases. These diseases include cholecystitis (swelling of the gallbladder) and cholelithiasis (stones in the gallbladder or bile ducts). The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ located under the liver on the right side of the upper abdomen (belly). It stores bile that comes from the liver and helps in the digestion of food. Bile is carried by the bile duct to the intestines. If left untreated, gallstones may block the flow of bile and cause more swelling, infection, and abdominal pain.
  • In a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, small incisions (cuts) are made in your child's abdomen. Caregivers will insert special tools and a laparoscope through these incisions to do the surgery. A laparoscope is a long metal tube with a light and tiny video camera on the end. This gives caregivers a clear view of the abdominal area while watching the images on a monitor. During this surgery, your child's gallbladder and gallstones will be removed (taken out). With a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, your child's cholecystitis and cholelithiasis may be cured and the symptoms they cause relieved.



  • Keep a current list of your child's medicines: Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list and the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency. Throw away old medicine lists. Give vitamins, herbs, or food supplements only as directed.
  • Give your child's medicine as directed: Call your child's primary healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him if your child is allergic to any medicine. Ask before you change or stop giving your child his medicines.
  • Do not give aspirin to children under 18 years of age: Your child could develop Reye syndrome if he takes aspirin. Reye syndrome can cause life-threatening brain and liver damage. Check your child's medicine labels for aspirin, salicylates, or oil of wintergreen.
  • Antibiotics: This medicine is given to fight an infection caused by bacteria. Give your child this medicine exactly as ordered by his primary healthcare provider. Do not stop giving your child the antibiotics unless directed by his primary healthcare provider. Never save antibiotics or give your child leftover antibiotics that were given to him for another illness.
  • Pain medicine: Your child may need medicine to take away or decrease pain. Know how often your child should get the medicine and how much. Watch for signs of pain in your child. Tell caregivers if his pain continues or gets worse. To prevent falls, stay with your child to help him get out of bed.

Ask for more information about where and when to take your child for follow-up visits:

For continuing care, treatments, or home services for your child, ask for information.


A caregiver, called a dietitian, may talk to you about your child's feeding and nutrition. A dietitian may increase the amount of calories your child is getting. You may ask him if it is OK to breastfeed your child or what milk you should feed him.

  • Give your child a good, well-balanced diet to help him feel better, have more energy, and heal faster. If your child is able to eat normally, let him eat a variety of healthy foods. These may include fruits, vegetables, and dairy products.
  • Special formulas may be added to your child's foods or liquids. These may give him extra calories to help him grow.

Your child may need more rest than he realizes as he heals.

Quiet play will keep your child safely busy so he does not become restless and risk hurting himself. Have your child read or draw quietly when he is awake. Follow instructions for how much rest your child should get while he heals.

Wound care:

When you are allowed to give your child a bath or shower, carefully wash the incisions with soap and water. Afterwards, put on clean, new bandages. Change your child's bandages any time they get wet or dirty. Ask your child's caregivers for more information about wound care.


  • You have a fever.
  • Your child has chills, a cough, or feels weak and achy.
  • Your child has nausea (upset stomach) or vomiting (throwing up).
  • Your child is irritable and crying more than usual.
  • Your child's bandage becomes soaked with blood.
  • Your child's skin is itchy, swollen, or has a rash.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's surgery, condition, or care.


  • Your child feels full and cannot burp or vomit (throw up).
  • Your child has pain in his abdomen or shoulder area that does not go away or gets worse.
  • Your child has problems having a bowel movement.
  • Your child has pus or a foul-smelling odor coming from his incision.
  • Your child has severe chest or shoulder pain and trouble breathing all of a sudden.
  • Your child's vomit is greenish in color, looks like coffee grounds, or has blood in it.
  • Your child's symptoms come back.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.