Laparoscopic Surgical Removal of the Gallbladder in Pediatric Patients is Safe

Rochester, Minnesota - A recent study conducted by Mayo Clinic researchers recommends laparoscopic cholecystectomies (surgical removal of the gallbladder) for pediatric patients suffering from gallstones and other gallbladder diseases. This study was published in Surgical Laparoscopy Endoscopy & Percutaneous Techniques.

A cholecystectomy is a surgical procedure performed to remove the gallbladder, a pear-shaped organ located below the liver on the upper right side of the abdomen. The gallbladder is responsible for collecting and storing bile, which is a fluid secreted by the liver. During a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, four incisions are made in the abdomen. Then, a small video camera and other special tools are used to remove the gallbladder.

“Cholelithiasis and other gallbladder diseases requiring cholecystectomies are less common in children compared to adults,” says Michael B. Ishitani, M.D., lead author of the study. “Recently, however, rising rates of obesity in the pediatric population have led to an increase of gallstones found in children. Therefore, it was important for us to review the current clinical practices to ensure that pediatric patients are being treated properly.”

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