Gallbladder surgery is one of the most commonly performed surgeries, and if you have severe gallbladder symptoms, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove the organ. When told you have to have surgery, it’s normal to want to choose the best doctor and the best hospital, and most of us would also want to choose the surgery method most apt to have us back to our “normal” lives as soon as possible.
In the past, the only way to do this surgery was using the open method through a large incision, but for over twenty years now, the option of minimally-invasive laparoscopic surgery performed through three or four small incisions has been used frequently when case appropriate. Now, with state-of-the-art technology, approved by the FDA in 2012, surgeons can remove your gallbladder through one small opening. With single- incision traditional laparoscopy and da Vinci Single-Site Surgery, your surgeon operates through one small incision in the navel. This is often called virtually scarless surgery because of the results most people have.
The da Vinci System features a magnified 3D high-definition vision system coupled with flexible Single-Site instruments. The surgeon sits comfortably at an ergonomically-correct console while miniature, robotic instruments mimic the surgeon’s movements precisely. Not only does this significantly lessen the surgeon’s likelihood of becoming fatigued, but the tiny robotic instruments are also more agile than the human hand.
As with any surgery, there are risks; however, with minimally-invasive single-site surgery, the potential benefits include a lower rate of major complications, lower rates of having to convert to open surgery, less blood loss, less chance of infection, shorter hospital stays, and perhaps best of all, minimal pain as compared with other methods of surgery.
For decades, laparoscopic or minimally invasive surgery was limited to thinner patients who had not had many previous surgeries due to scar tissue and other possible obstacles. Now, because of enhanced technology, obese patients and those who have had previous surgeries can be candidates for single-site gallbladder surgery. Consult with Dr. Johnson to see if you are a candidate for this type of surgery.