Open Cholecystectomy Periprocedural Care

Updated: Sep 26, 2022
  • Author: William W Hope, MD; Chief Editor: Kurt E Roberts, MD  more...
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Periprocedural Care


Equipment for open cholecystectomy includes instruments common to a major instrument tray, as follows:

  • Kelly clamps, Kocher forceps, needle holders, scissors, clips, suctions, knife/knife handles, forceps, retractors, right-angle clamps, Kitner dissectors, and electrosurgical devices should be assembled
  • Balfour retractors, Bookwalter retractors, or other self-retaining retractors can be used, according to the surgeon's preference
  • Sutures or clips can be used to control the cystic duct and artery, depending on the surgeon's preference and the size of the structures (see Technique); long instruments may be needed, depending on the body habitus of the patient

A headlight worn by the operating surgeon or assistant is often valuable in open cholecystectomy for improving visualization.

Several types of cholangiography catheters are available if cholangiography is to be performed.


Patient Preparation


Most open cholecystectomies are performed with general anesthesia. Less commonly, the procedure is done with regional (epidural or spinal) anesthesia; in rare instances, it is done with local anesthesia.


Patients are positioned supine with the arms extended. Placing a folded blanket or bump underneath the patient's right back or inverting the table may be beneficial.