A Complete Analysis on the Cholecystectomy (Gallbladder Removal)

Digestion plays a vital role in keeping a person healthy, which is the case with animals. Indeed, huge discomfort occurs when the food does not digest at the right time. The gallbladder is responsible for metabolism and appropriate digestion. Generally, dogs face cholecystectomy due to the cancer present in their digestive system. Here we will discuss gallbladder removal, surgical procedure, cost, complications, and much more. So please stick with us till the end!
Do you know the gallbladder shape is like a pear, and it will be sitting beneath the liver's right side? Besides, it concentrates bile and assists in digesting the fluids provided by the liver. So, gallbladder obstruction can occur in the bile ducts.
A veterinarian can remove the gallbladder in several ways. The best option is to remove the gallbladder completely. So, the surgeon will perform the laparoscopic cholecystectomy, and it requires a licensed veterinarian to use the right surgical tools. The entire surgery cost is $3,400.00.

When Gallbladder Surgery Becomes Essential?

There are many conditions due to which gallbladder surgery becomes crucial. For instance, the most common reason is gallstones, but it is also curable with the medication. However, bile can be inflammatory if it causes a reaction internally to rupture the gallbladder. For this case, it becomes important to clean up the gallbladder. Not only this, there are some other causes, such as necrotizing cholecystitis, gallbladder mucocele, etc., which require cholecystectomy surgical procedure.

Procedure for Gallbladder Removal

The dog has to fast one night before the surgery. Before giving the anesthesia, the dog's blood test will ensure that all the body's organs are functioning properly. Moreover, the dog will be given pre-anesthesia, pain-controlling medicine, and antibiotics before taking it to the operation theatre.

Instrument And Port Placement

  • The legs of the dog are tied to prevent interruption in the surgical procedure.
  • The abdomen is prepared and shaved, and the operative area is draped.
  • Now 1 ½ cm long incision is made through the rectus sheath at the umbilicus.
  • Kocher clamp will be grasping the linea alba reflection on the umbilicus.
  • No. 15 blade is suitable for incision into the linea alba, and the length should be 1.2 cm.
  • Now by utilizing the 0 polyglactin, use U-shaped two stitched to place on either side of the incision with the assistance of a curved needle.
  • The peritoneum elevation is done between the clamps, and an 11mm, blunt Hasson trocar, is added to the abdominal cavity. Additionally, abdominal cavity inflation is necessary for the better visualization of the site.
  • The laparoscope is now added to the abdominal cavity.

Dissection and Exposure 

  • Fundus and adhesions are retracted with the help of the lateral grasper.
  • Next, the medial grasper will be utilized in the infundibulum for further retraction.
  • An L-hook is made in the lysing, and Omentum will provide a better view of the gallbladder.
  • The artery and cystic duct will be dissecting the calot to get the critical view. After the right view, the surgeon will separate the gallbladder.
  • Once the separation of liver and gallbladder is done, the hook tools and traction will remove the gallbladder from the gallbladder bed. Besides, electrocautery is best for the removal of the gallbladder. As well, it will control the bleeding.

Gallbladder Removal

  • With the assistance of two 5mm graspers, the gallbladder becomes feasible to hold up.
  • The placement of the gallbladder will then be at the endoscopic retrieval pouch.
  • Now, it is the step to remove all the surgical tools.
  •  After the placement of the gallbladder bed, the bile fluids are crucial to removing.
  •  All kinds of instruments will provide the best view of the abdominal cavity and provide the perfect vision.
  • The incisions which are closed will be absorbable monofilament sutures.

Post-Operative Care

The dogs can survive without a gallbladder but require a lot of care to handle the digestive system. For instance, some complications can potentially occur. In addition, the veterinarian will require checking the medications incision and feeding them food that is convenient to digest.


If you have any of the symptoms after the gallbladder removal of your dog, then you need to go for special medications. The common complications can include the following:

  • Uncontrolled pain
  • Unwillingness to ear
  • Vomiting


As per the reasons for the gallbladder removal, some medications are necessary to intake after the surgery. Short-term medicines like antacids assist in aiding digestion, and pain killers are prescribed to control the discomfort. Also, some of the medicines are necessary to prevent infection. Suppose the dog's liver had the disease process that made it crucial to remove the gallbladder. The vet will be prescribing the medications to support the liver functioning fully. For example, the antioxidants, including milk thistle and SAM-E, are ideal for supporting the dog's liver.

Incision Care 

After the surgery, there will be a large incision on the belly, requiring time to heal. Therefore, the dog must wear an e-collar to prevent scratching the wound. Also, the instructions are crucial to prevent the wound opening.

Feeding Instructions 

Some special instructions are necessary to follow after feeding a dog. For example, it is best to go with a bland diet. The food items that are not easy to digest should not be fed to the dog after the surgery. Besides, the dog will have trouble digesting the food, and the liver should not have much load. So the dogs will have a diet for the short term, and then they will be back to the maintenance kind of diet.

Similarly, some dogs face diseases that affect their gastrointestinal tract or liver. Thus, the therapeutic diet will aid digestion and support the liver. The veterinarian has to decide on a special diet according to the dog. Lastly, go for a post-checkup after a few days to ensure your pet's health.