Good Shepherd removes gallbladder through single incision

Good Shepherd Medical Center:

LONGVIEW (KYTX) - A surgical team at Good Shepherd Medical Center performed the area's first da Vinci® Si Single-Site Cholecystectomy on Friday, Nov. 9. The patient's gallbladder was removed through one tiny incision in the belly button, making the procedure virtually scarless.

Led by Dustin McDermott, MD, Good Shepherd Surgical Associates, the team removed the gallbladder using Single-Site™ instruments on a da Vinci® Si System. The minimally invasive procedure is traditionally called a laparoscopic cholecystectomy (removal of the gallbladder). Using robotic assistance, surgeons removed the gallbladder through an incision of approximately one inch.

The Food and Drug Administration cleared the specialized Single-Site instruments for use with the da Vinci System in December 2011. da Vinci is a robotic surgical system widely used in complex minimally invasive surgery and is currently used at Good Shepherd's Center for Robotic and Minimally Invasive Surgery for gynecological and general surgery procedures.

Dr. McDermott is one of a small group of surgeons in the country who has received training to perform the surgery.

"Single-Site instruments used with the da Vinci Si platform are the next step in the evolution of surgical technologies," Dr. McDermott said. "We are truly excited to be a leader today in the surgical treatment techniques of tomorrow."

According to Dr. McDermott, potential benefits of Single-Site gallbladder surgery may include virtually scarless results, minimal pain, low blood loss, fast recovery, a short hospital stay and high patient satisfaction. The surgery can be performed in about one hour with a typical hospital stay of less than 24 hours.

"Combining robotic surgery and single-site procedures to remove the gallbladder requires additional training and special equipment," said Ron Short, Good Shepherd vice president. "To be the first hospital in the East Texas area to offer this technically advanced surgery demonstrates Good Shepherd's leadership in providing patients with the most up-to-date minimally invasive surgical options."

During the procedure, the surgeon sits comfortably at a console, viewing a 3D, high-definition image of the patient's anatomy. The surgeon uses controls below the viewer to move the instrument arms and camera. In real-time, the system translates the surgeon's hand, wrist and finger movements into more precise movements of the miniaturized instruments inside the patient.

Unlike traditional laparoscopic surgeries requiring three to five small incisions in the abdomen, this new technology allows for a single incision in the belly button where instruments are placed and the diseased gallbladder is removed.

Most people who require gallbladder removal are candidates for the robotic, single-incision surgery. According to the American College of Surgeons, surgery is the recommended treatment for gallbladder pain from gallstones and non-functioning gallbladders.

The da Vinci Si Surgical System is just one of the robotic tools utilized at Good Shepherd's Center for Robotic and Minimally Invasive Surgery. Good Shepherd also performs partial knee replacements with MAKOplasty®, and operates BrainLab Curve Surgical Navigation System for brain, spine and sinus procedures. For information on gallbladder pain signs and symptoms or Good Shepherd's Center for Robotic and Minimally Invasive Surgery, please call the Healthy Hotline at (903) 315-4747.


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