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Durham Regional Hospital Offers Single-Incision Robotic Surgery

Sept. 25, 2012

Durham, NC – Durham Regional Hospital is expanding its surgical options by offering single-incision surgery using the da Vinci® Si™ surgical robot.

A surgical team at Durham Regional performed their first single-incision cholecystectomy (removal of the gallbladder) with robotic assistance on August 30, 2012. The patient’s gallbladder was removed through an incision of approximately one inch in the belly button. The surgery was performed in about one hour with a hospital stay of less than 24 hours.

“Neither robotic surgery nor single-incision surgery is new, but combining the two is the next step in the evolution of surgical offerings,” says Dana Portenier, MD, surgeon who performed the cholecystectomy. “We are excited to be a leader in the surgical field, but are most excited for the benefits it offers our patients. Unlike traditional robotic surgeries requiring three to five small incisions, this new technology allows for a single-incision in the belly button.”

Potential benefits of robotic single-incision surgery may include minimal scarring, minimal pain, less blood loss, shorter hospital stay and a faster recovery.

During the procedure, the surgeon sits at a console, viewing a 3D, high-definition image of the patient’s anatomy. The surgeon uses controls 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.

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 gallstones and non-functioning gallbladders.

Durham Regional offers various types of robot-assisted surgeries. In addition to gallbladder removal, surgeons at Durham Regional perform robot-assisted surgery in urology, gynecology, weight loss surgery and other general surgery procedures. The hospital also offers a wide range of minimally invasive conventional laparoscopic surgeries.

For information on robotic surgery at Durham Regional, click here.