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A surgical team at Garden Park Medical Center performed their first da Vinci® Single-Site™ Cholecystectomy on July 11, 2012. The patient’s gallbladder was removed through one tiny incision in the belly button, making the procedure virtually scar-less.

Led by Paul Mace, M.D., F.A.C.S, the team removed the gallbladder using Single-Site™ instruments on a da Vinci® 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.

"Neither robotic surgery nor single-incision surgery is new, but combining the two to remove the gallbladder requires additional training and special equipment," says Dr. Mace. "To be one of the first hospitals to offer this technically advanced surgery demonstrates Garden Park Medical Center’s leadership in providing patients with the most up-to-date minimally invasive surgical options."
Dr. Mace 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 platform are the next step in the evolution of surgical technologies,” Dr. Mace said. “We are truly excited to be a leader today in the surgical treatment of tomorrow.”

Potential benefits of Single-Site gallbladder surgery may include virtually scar-less 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.

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.