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Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy In Children


Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is surgery to remove your child's gallbladder.


The week before your child's surgery:

  • Write down the date, time, and location of your child's surgery.
  • When you take your child to see his healthcare provider, bring a list of his medicines or the medicine bottles. Tell healthcare providers if your child uses herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine. If your child is allergic to any medicine, tell his healthcare provider.
  • Your child may need blood or urine tests. He may also need imaging tests, such as x-rays, an ultrasound, or a CT scan. Ask your child's healthcare provider for more information about these and other tests. Write down the date, time, and location of each test.

The night before your child's surgery:

Ask healthcare providers about directions for eating and drinking.

The day of your child's surgery:

  • You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives healthcare providers permission to do the procedure or surgery on your child. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.
  • Healthcare providers may insert an IV into your child's vein. The IV is used to give your child liquids or medicines.
  • Your child may be given antibiotics before surgery to help prevent an infection.
  • An anesthesiologist will talk to you and your child before the surgery. Your child may need medicine to keep him asleep or numb an area of his body during surgery. Tell healthcare providers if anyone in your family has had a problem with anesthesia in the past.


What will happen:

  • The healthcare provider will make between 1 and 4 small incisions in your child's abdomen or navel. He will insert the surgical tools and laparoscope into the incisions. The camera attached to the laparoscope will display images of your child's abdominal organs on a nearby monitor. The healthcare provider will fill your child's abdomen with carbon dioxide gas to make it swell. This lets him see the organs better and gives him room to move the surgical tools around.
  • Your child's healthcare provider will look for and remove gallstones in and around his gallbladder. He will carefully remove your child's gallbladder through one of the incisions. The carbon dioxide will be released from his abdomen. The incisions will be stitched or closed with adhesive strips, then covered with bandages.

After your child's surgery:

Your child will be taken to a recovery room until he is fully awake. Healthcare providers will watch him for any problems. Do not let your child get out of bed until his healthcare provider says it is okay. Your child will probably stay in the hospital for 1 night or more.


  • Your child has a fever.
  • Your child cannot make it to his surgery on time.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's surgery, medicine, or care.

Seek Care Immediately if

  • Your child has severe abdominal pain.
  • Your child cannot stop vomiting.


  • Your child could bleed more than expected or get an infection. Nausea and vomiting are common after this surgery. Any carbon dioxide gas that remains in your child's body can cause neck and shoulder pain. Your child's gallbladder may leak bile into his abdomen during or after surgery. This can cause a severe infection or an abscess.
  • The healthcare provider may need to make a larger incision than expected during your child's surgery. Your child may still have gallstones after surgery, and he may need a different procedure to remove them. There is a small risk that your child's bile duct, bowel, or other organs could be damaged during surgery. This can be life-threatening.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child.

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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.