(opening music plays) NARRATOR: The gallbladder is a pear-shaped pouch underneath your liver. With the liver, it attaches to the small intestine through a series of tubes called ducts. Bile, a substance made by the liver to break down fat, is stored in the gallbladder. When fatty food from a meal reaches the small intestine, the gallbladder releases bile into it to help digest the fat. Cholecystectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the gallbladder. It is usually done when there is evidence of gallbladder disease, such as gallstones… …or polyps. It is also done for biliary dyskinesia, which is a condition where the gallbladder doesn’t work properly. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy requires only small, keyhole incisions through the abdomen, known as ports. To reach the gallbladder, the surgeon will insert tubes called trocars through these ports. One port is usually located at the navel, or umbilicus. Carbon dioxide gas pumped through the umbilical port will inflate the abdomen, so its contents can be viewed more easily. Next, your surgeon will insert the laparoscope through the umbilical port. Images from its camera will be transmitted to a video monitor in the operating room. Using instruments passed through other ports, your surgeon will grasp the gallbladder, clip off its main artery and duct, drop it into a specimen bag, and remove it through one of the ports. After the laparoscope is removed, a port value will be left in place briefly, to allow all of the carbon dioxide to escape from the abdomen. The incisions will be closed with sutures, followed by skin glue or skin closure tape. If there are complications with your laparoscopic procedure, your surgeon will switch to an open procedure with a larger incision.