Continuing to bring innovative technologies and procedures to Ozaukee County, on Wednesday, May 16th Dr. Regan successfully removed the gall bladder (a cholecystectomy) of a 38-year-old Milwaukee woman via a single 2.5 centimeter incision in the patient’s belly button. (The gall bladder is approximately the size of a small pear.) The patient was discharged within hours after surgery and is expected to return to normal activities within one week.
“The procedure went very smoothly and the team was fully prepared,” Dr. Regan said. “In 2007 Columbia St. Mary’s was the first hospital in Milwaukee to utilize the da Vinci® S Robotic Surgical System and now we’re continuing that pioneering spirit by bringing single incision robotic surgery to Ozaukee County.”
Unlike typical laparoscopic surgery that utilizes four to five small
incisions, SILS surgery is performed through a small single incision in
the abdomen, through which the surgeon places an access port that holds
a special camera and surgical instruments.
“This new single incision surgery is less invasive and therefore offers potential benefits to the patient. Less pain, more rapid recovery and less scarring are all possible advantages of robotic SILS,” Dr. Regan said. “Finer instrument control and better visualization are additional benefits that the robot provides.”
The da Vinci® Si Robotic Surgical System is a sophisticated robotic platform designed to enable complex surgery using a minimally invasive approach. The system’s main features include Intuitive motion, high-resolution 3D vision and innovative EndoWrist® instrumentation. Intuitive® motion refers to the System’s interface, which helps make da Vinci surgery look and feel like traditional “open” surgery. The da Vinci System’s high-resolution 3D viewer provides surgeons with an immersive experience, giving surgeons an increased ability to clearly view the surgical field, differentiate between diseased and non-diseased tissue, and complete delicate procedures with a precision never before possible.
Dr. Regan notes, however, that not all patients are candidates for SILS. “Patients that have had prior abdominal surgery, patients that are significantly overweight or patients that have complicated gall bladder disease or infection are not ideal candidates,” he said.
Dr. Regan is among the first surgeons in the United States to receive special training to perform the new SILS surgical technique. He is also among 10 renowned surgeons with Columbia St. Mary’s Milwaukee Institute of Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIMIS). The Institute was the first multi-specialty minimally invasive surgery center in the Midwest. In addition, Dr. Regan is the Medical Director of the Bariatric Center at Columbia St. Mary’s Health System.
“MIMIS has always been at the forefront of minimally invasive procedures. Robotic SILS is still in its infancy, but it’s a rapidly evolving area. As we move forward, we expect to use this technique in other areas including urology and gynecology,” Dr. Regan said. However, he adds, “Only gall bladder surgery has been FDA approved at this point for robotic single incision surgery.”