Single-Port Robotic Gallbladder Removal

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Single-Port Robotic Gallbladder Removal

Dr. Joseph ReganBy Joseph Regan, MD – Surgeon, Columbia St. Mary’s Health System & Medical Director, Columbia St. Mary’s Bariatric Center

I recently read that Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital Ozaukee is the only location in Ozaukee County where “single-port” robotic gallbladder surgery is performed. What is “single-port” robotic surgery and what are its advantages?

Single-port cholecystectomy, or gallbladder removal, is a single incision surgery that may provide patients with less pain, reduced blood loss, a shorter hospital stay, and a quicker return to everyday activities. This surgery is virtually scar-free because the entire laparoscopic procedure is performed through one, small 2.5 centimeter incision in the navel, or belly button. Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital Ozaukee performs these surgeries with the da Vinci® Si Surgical System.

Gallbladder disease is very common, affecting as many as 10-15% of adults in the United States and Europe. Gallbladder disease is caused by infection, inflammation, or blockage of the gallbladder and can cause symptoms of nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. I performed the first single-port robotic gallbladder surgery on May 16 at Columbia St. Mary’s Ozaukee Hospital.

The da Vinci Surgical System is designed to overcome the limitations of manual laparoscopy with enhanced capabilities such as high-definition 3D vision and a magnified view. The surgeon controls the da Vinci System, which translates his or her hand movements into smaller, more precise movements of tiny instruments inside the patient’s body. Though it is often called a “robot,” the da Vinci System cannot act on its own - the surgery is performed entirely by the operating surgeon. Together, the da Vinci System and Single-Site™ instruments allow the surgeon to perform gallbladder surgery through a single incision. The da Vinci System has been used successfully worldwide in hundreds of thousands of multi-port procedures to date. Robotic surgery at Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital Ozaukee is an expansion of the highly successful Robotic Surgery Program begun at Columbia Hospital in Milwaukee in 2007.

Gallbladder removal is the only single-port procedure that has received FDA approval. The da Vinci Si system at Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital Ozaukee is being used for a number of other multi-port procedures, including prostate removal and hysterectomy. These surgeries require four to five small incisions but still have the advantage of less pain, reduced blood loss, a shorter hospital stay, and a quicker return to everyday activities. It is important to note that not every patient is a candidate for robotic surgery and results can vary depending on the individual patient’s history.

You are invited to see the da Vinci Si robot and “test-drive” it yourself at our Robotic Open House on Thursday, July 12, 2012 from 5:00 to 7:30 pm at Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital Ozaukee. In addition to “test-driving” the robot, you will have the opportunity to meet members of our robotics team and have your questions about robotic surgery answered. I hope to see you there!


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