The surgery to remove the gallbladder is called a cholecystectomy (chol-e-cys-tec-toe-mee). The gallbladder is removed through a 5 to 8 inch long incision, or cut, in your abdomen. During an open cholecystectomy, the cut is made just below your ribs on the right side and goes to just below your waist.
A less invasive way to remove the gallbladder is called laparoscopic cholecystectomy. This surgery uses a laparoscope (an instrument used to see the inside of your body) to remove the gallbladder. It is performed through several small incisions rather than through one large incision, usually 4 incisions, each one inch or less in length.