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Cabell Huntington Hospital surgeon Dr. Gerald McKinney recently performed a state-of-the-art minimally invasive procedure in which he removed a patient’s gallbladder through one tiny incision in the belly button, making the procedure virtually scarless.
In a procedure called a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, the gallbladder was removed using Single-Site™ instruments on a da Vinci® Surgical System. Using robotic assistance, Dr. McKinney removed the gallbladder through an incision of approximately one inch. 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.
"The reason why the belly button is chosen is because, in most instances, you are able to hide the entire incision through the belly button,” Dr. McKinney said.
Dr. McKinney, chief of minimally invasive surgery at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, is one of a small group of surgeons in the country who has received training to perform the surgery.
Most people who require gallbladder removal are candidates for the robotic, single-incision surgery. Potential benefits may include virtually scarless 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.
According to the American College of Surgeons, surgery is the recommended treatment for gallbladder pain from gallstones and non-functioning gallbladders and more than 1 million people in the U.S. have their gallbladder removed each year. Most are performed with traditional laparoscopy using several incisions.
See an interview with Dr. McKinney about Single-Site Surgery.