Single Incision Gallbladder Surgery Goes Robotic

da Vinci Robotic Surgical SystemGallbladder disease affects 10 to 15% of adults in the U.S. and Europe, with about 1.2 million gallbladder removal surgeries performed in the U.S. alone each year. The disease is mostly caused by infection, inflammation or blockage of the gallbladder and can result in nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

This pear-shaped organ is situated above the liver in the upper right side of the abdomen and functions as storage for bile juice. The American College of Surgeons recommends surgery as a treatment for gallbladder pain as a result of gallstones and non-functioning gallbladders.

Introducing the da Vinci Si Robotic Surgical System

Recently robot assisted surgery became the most preferred form of surgery, since it is minimally invasive and results in less trauma and pain for the patients. The robot assisted tool is used for a procedure known as single-incision robotic-assisted laparoscopic cholecystectomy using the da Vinci Si Robotic Surgical System.

The da Vinci Si Robotic Surgical System from Intuitive Surgical was recently approved by the FDA for single site gallbladder surgeries. This surgical system allows surgeons to precisely control the movement of instruments, and reduce instrument crowding and external collisions normally associated with hand-held, laparoscopic single-incision devices.

How it Works

The procedure involves a single incision made in your navel through which a tube is inserted. The end of the tube consists of surgical instruments and miniature cameras that are used by surgeons to examine the gallbladder and perform procedures. With the laparoscope, surgeons now simply have to use hand grips and foot pedals on a console to control three robotic arms with various tools to perform the surgery. The console shows 3-D, high-definition images of the diseased gall bladder.

The traditional gallbladder surgery requires a large opening in the abdomen and multiple incisions in the abdomen. Moreover, patients are required to stay in the hospital for recovery about few days to weeks after the surgery. But this single incision surgery allows you to have an operation in the morning and be home at night in time for dinner.

Key Benefits

The da Vinci Surgical System proves to overcome the limitations of manual laparoscopy. The robotic da Vinci System does not work on its own rather the surgery is performed entirely by the operating surgeon. Rather than performing four small incisions for laparoscopic surgeries, this new procedure makes it all possible with a single incision in the patient’s belly button.

The robotic single incision procedure results in:

  • less pain,
  • reduced blood loss,
  • a shorter hospital stay,
  • minimal scarring, and
  • faster return to everyday activities.

According to Dr. Joseph Uddo Junior at East Jefferson General Hospital, the da Vinci Surgical System offers “Great cosmetic results”, “Quick return to normal activity”, and “High patient satisfaction levels.”

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