Gallbladder Removal Surgery (Cholecystectomy)

Gallbladder issues can cause discomfort that affects your quality of life and when left untreated, can cause long-term health complications. If you’re experiencing gallbladder issues, consult with a specialist to learn more about your options.

Dr Tan Yu-Meng
Director, Consultant General Surgeon

What is Gallbladder Removal Surgery?

Gallbladder removal surgery, also known as cholecystectomy, is a procedure to remove the gallbladder, a small organ located below the liver. It aims to treat gallbladder issues such as gallstones, inflammation, or infection. Cholecystectomy is generally recommended for patients experiencing symptoms resulting from gallbladder dysfunction.


Gallbladder removal is commonly performed due to gallstones, which can obstruct the bile ducts and cause severe pain, inflammation, or infection. Other causes include cholecystitis, an inflammation of the gallbladder, and gallbladder polyps, which are abnormal growths that can potentially become cancerous. Biliary dyskinesia, a condition where the gallbladder doesn’t contract properly, may also lead to surgical removal of the gallbladder.


Gallbladder issues can manifest in various symptoms. If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, seek medical attention immediately:

  • Severe, persistent pain in the upper right abdomen
  • Pain that radiates to the right shoulder or back
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever or chills
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice)
  • Clay-coloured stools


Before recommending gallbladder removal surgery, your doctor will perform a thorough evaluation to confirm the presence of gallbladder issues. Here are some common diagnostic methods:

Imaging Tests

Imaging tests, such as ultrasound or computed tomography (CT) scans, are used to visualize the gallbladder and detect gallstones, inflammation, or other abnormalities. These non-invasive tests provide detailed images to help doctors make an accurate diagnosis.

  • Magnetic Resonance Cholangiopancreatography (MRCP)
    Magnetic Resonance Cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) is a non-invasive imaging technique that uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to visualize the biliary and pancreatic ducts. This helps doctors identify gallstones or other obstructions in the bile ducts, which may necessitate gallbladder removal surgery.
  • Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
    Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) combines endoscopy and fluoroscopy to examine and treat problems in the bile and pancreatic ducts. During ERCP, a flexible endoscope is inserted through the mouth and guided to the affected area. This diagnostic method allows doctors to directly visualize the ducts, remove stones, or even place a stent if needed, before recommending gallbladder removal surgery.

Blood Tests

Blood tests can help identify infection, inflammation, or liver dysfunction, which may indicate gallbladder problems. Doctors will check for elevated levels of liver enzymes, bilirubin, and white blood cells to determine if gallbladder removal surgery is necessary.

Possible Surgical Treatments

Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a minimally invasive surgery that involves making several small incisions in the abdomen, through which a laparoscope and surgical instruments are inserted. Your surgeon uses the laparoscope to guide the removal of the gallbladder while causing minimal tissue damage.

Open cholecystectomy is a traditional surgery that involves a larger incision in the abdomen, providing direct access to the gallbladder for removal. While the recovery time may be longer, this approach is still an effective treatment option for some patients.

Single-incision laparoscopic cholecystectomy is performed using a single incision at the belly button. This approach reduces scarring and may offer a faster recovery time for the patient.

Robotic cholecystectomy uses robotic technology to assist your surgeon in performing gallbladder removal with enhanced precision and control. The robotic system translates the surgeon’s hand movements into precise, small-scale motions, providing a high level of accuracy during the surgery.

Gallbladder Removal Surgery Cost In Singapore

Gallbladder removal surgery in Singapore costs can depend on several factors such as:

Type of surgical procedure

Laparoscopic, single-incision, robotic, or open cholecystectomy methods have different costs due to the complexity and resources involved.

Anaesthesia and other medication costs

The type and duration of anaesthesia used during surgery, as well as any necessary post-operative medications, can impact the overall cost.

Pre-and post-operative diagnostic tests and consultations

These assessments are necessary to ensure patient safety and to monitor recovery but may vary in cost depending on the tests required.

Length of hospital stay, if required

Extended hospital stays for recovery or monitoring may increase the overall cost.

Speak To Our Gallbladder Specialist To Learn More About Your Options

Get an accurate diagnosis & personalised treatment plan.

Dr Tan Yu-Meng

Director, Consultant General Surgeon

Dr Tan continues to be one of few surgeons in Asia who perform specialized surgery for peritoneal malignancies in Asia.

  • MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine & Surgery, First Class Honors & Distinction at the University of London) 1994
  • RCSEd (Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh) 1999
  • Further training in advanced HPB surgery and liver transplantation at the world renowned Liver Unit of Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, United Kingdom.
  • Further training in living donor liver transplantation in Japan.

With his interest in gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary-pancreatic (GI-HPB) surgery and the treatment of cancer, Dr Tan joined the department of surgical oncology at the National Cancer Centre in 2003 as a consultant.

Dr Tan’s interest in the management of peritoneal surface malignancies was part of his effort in leading a multidisciplinary team from NCC to Washington Cancer Institute to adopt the techniques and protocols of peritonectomy and HIPEC (Sugarbaker procedure) from Dr Paul Sugarbaker in 2009.

Dr Jonathan Foo Shuo Min

Consultant General Surgeon

Dr Jonathan Foo has expertise in managing various General Surgical and Colorectal conditions. He excels at advanced endoscopic, open and minimally invasive (“key-hole”) techniques, as well as robotic surgery.

Dr Foo is a specialist Colorectal surgeon with comprehensive training in other minimally invasive(laparoscopic) General Surgical conditions such as hernia repair and gallbladder surgery.

  • MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine & Surgery, NUS) 2002
  • MRCSEd (Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh) 2007
  • MMed (Master of Medicine in Surgery) 2008
  • Further Advanced Training At the Minimally Invasive Colorectal Unit in Portsmouth, UK

Dr Foo firmly believes that every surgical procedures must be customized to the individual in order to achieve an optimal outcome for his patients.

Our clinics are under the following

insurance panels

For Singaporeans, Singapore Permanent Residents and Foreigners.
Please speak to our friendly clinic staff about using your insurance plans.

Reach Out To Us

We are committed to providing a one-stop experience, where you’ll receive a meticulous consultation and high-quality service in a comfortable environment.

Get Started

Book An Appointment


    For faster response, Call Us

    (65) 6733 3383

    Gallbladder Removal Surgery In Singapore

    Frequently Asked

    Is removing the gallbladder a major surgery?

    Gallbladder removal, or cholecystectomy, is a common and generally safe procedure. Speak with a qualified specialist to learn more about the recovery process.

    How long does it take to recover from gallbladder surgery?

    Recovery time varies depending on the surgical method used, but most patients can return to normal activities within 1 to 3 weeks after a laparoscopic procedure, while open surgery may require 4 to 6 weeks.

    Can I live a normal life without a gallbladder?

    Yes, most people can live a normal life without a gallbladder, as the liver continues to produce bile, which helps digest fats, although some dietary adjustments may be necessary.

    Can gallbladder removal cause liver problems?

    While gallbladder removal itself typically does not cause liver problems, pre-existing gallbladder issues, such as gallstones, can cause liver damage if left untreated.

    Why remove the gallbladder instead of stones?

    Removing the gallbladder entirely helps prevent future gallstone formation and associated complications, as opposed to simply removing the stones, which may lead to recurrent issues.