Open gallbladder removal, or open cholecystectomy, is a surgery to remove the gallbladder via a large open incision in the abdomen. Doctors perform the procedure to provide permanent relief to a patient suffering from gallstones and other problems associated with the gallbladder.

The gallbladder is a small organ located on the underside of the liver. Its primary purpose is bile storage. The liver makes bile, a substance that helps the body break down fats. The gallbladder then stores the extra bile the liver makes, releasing it when you eat a meal with fats that need to be digested. Normal digestion is possible without a gallbladder. Bile will continue to reach your small intestine, but it just won’t be stored along the way in the gallbladder.


According to the Fenix Gastro, laparoscopic or minimally invasive removal is the most common type of gallbladder removal surgery. However, open gallbladder surgeries are still used for a variety of patients, especially those who have scar tissue or other complications from prior abdominal surgeries.