Dr. Kolachalam, Gallbladder surgery via da Vinci 


The Conditions: Gallbladder Diseases/Disorders


Your gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ under your liver that stores and concentrates bile to help digest fat. Gallbladder disease includes: inflammation, infection, or blockage (obstruction) of the gallbladder. The most common blockage is a gallstone. Gallstones are pebble-like and solid. They can be as large as a golf ball or as small as a grain of sand.

Symptoms of gallbladder disease may include: pain in the upper right side or middle of the abdomen, abdominal fullness, clay-colored stool, fever, nausea and vomiting, or yellowing of skin and whites of eyes (jaundice).

Image of gallbladder

Treatment & Surgical Options Gallbladder Surgery  

Images of surgical incision options for colorectal surgery


Treatment for gallbladder disease may include lifestyle changes and medication. If your symptoms get worse, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove your gallbladder. Your gallbladder is an organ that you can live without. Surgery to remove the gallbladder is called a cholecystectomy.

Cholecystectomy is performed using open surgery through one large incision or minimally invasive surgery (laparoscopy). Minimally invasive surgery can be done either through a few small incisions in your abdomen or one incision in your belly button. In laparoscopic procedures, surgeons use long-handled instruments to reach your gallbladder. One of the instruments is a tiny camera that takes images inside your body and sends them to a video monitor to guide surgeons as they operate.


Risks & Considerations Related to Cholecystectomy and da Vinci Single-Site Surgery:  

Robotic surgery outside view

Outside view of da Vinci in use.


Potential risks of a cholecystectomy procedure include:

  • Injury to bile ducts, liver, pancreas
  • Injury to small or large intestine
  • Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)

In addition to the above risks, there are risks related to minimally invasive surgery, including da Vinci Single Site Cholecystectomy, such as multiple incisions, conversion to another surgical technique, urinary retention and hernia (bulging tissue) at the incision site.


Here are some great resources to answer your questions regarding weather da Vinci Single-Site is Right for you?


Wren SM, Curet MJ. Single-port robotic cholecystectomy: results from a first human use clinical study of the new da Vinci single-site surgical platform. Arch Surg. 2011 Oct;146(10):1122-7. Epub 2011 Jun 20.

National Institutes of Health. Gallbladder Removal Surgery. Available from:

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