A surgical team at McLaren Macomb recently performed their first da Vinci® Single-Site™ cholecystectomy (gall bladder removal). The patient’s gallbladder was removed through one tiny incision in the belly button, making the procedure virtually scarless.
Led by Dr. Roy Hanks, a McLaren Macomb surgeon, the team removed a patient’s gallbladder using Single-Site™ instruments on a da Vinci® System. This minimally invasive procedure is traditionally called a laparoscopic cholecystectomy (removal of the gallbladder) and typically requires four incisions. Using robotic assistance, Dr Hanks removed his patient's gallbladder through one small incision of approximately one inch. With the skilled guidance of Dr Hanks, McLaren Macomb became the first hospital in Macomb County to perform the procedure.
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.
"Neither robotic surgery nor single-incision surgery is new, but combining the two to remove the gallbladder requires additional training and special equipment," said Dr. Hanks. "To be one of the first hospitals to offer this technically advanced surgery demonstrates McLaren Macomb’s leadership in providing patients with the most up-to-date minimally invasive surgical options."
Dr. Hanks is one of a small group of surgeons in the United States who has received training to perform the surgery. “Single-Site instruments used with the da Vinci platform are the next step in the evolution of surgical technologies,” said Dr. Hanks. Potential benefits of Single-Site gallbladder surgery may include:
The surgery can be performed in about one hour with a typical hospital stay of less than 24 hours.
- Virtually scarless results
- Minimal pain
- Low blood loss
- Faster recovery
- A shorter hospital stay
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 robotic surgeries requiring three to five small incisions, 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. More than 1 million people in the U.S. have their gallbladder removed each year. Most are performed with traditional laparoscopy using several incisions.
McLaren Macomb offers various types of robotic-assisted surgeries. In addition to gallbladder removal, McLaren Macomb surgeons perform robotic-assisted surgery in several specialties, including gynecology, urology, orthopedics and general surgery. McLaren Macomb also offers a wide range of minimally invasive conventional laparoscopic surgeries.
For information about robotic and other minimally invasive surgeries at McLaren Macomb, please visit www.mclaren.org/macomb.