Robotic surgery with the daVinci Surgery System means that people with abdominal pain who need their gallbladder removed can opt for surgery with fewer incisions, minimal scarring and faster recovery, according to doctors.
One incision instead of four makes a big difference. Surgeons are eliminating three sites of potential pain.
"Fewer incisions mean fewer problems, and we’re trying to eliminate problems," said one doctor.
The relatively new robotic-assisted procedure removes a person’s gallbladder through the bellybutton.
Through that one port, the surgeon inserts the tiny robotic instruments of the daVinci Surgical System. About 30 minutes later, the diseased gallbladder comes out. The bellybutton is closed, leaving virtually no scar. (Learn more about the gallbladder and single-site surgery here.)
By comparison, removing a gallbladder using traditional laparoscopic surgery requires four incisions in the abdomen, and traditional open surgery leaves a 6- to 8-inch scar, more pain, greater risk, and up to two months of recovery.
“This is a step forward, and it’s a huge difference” the doctor said. “The single-site surgery is good for anyone. It’s a little bit more difficult for the doctor, but the patients seem to be happier with the results. Doing single-site is the whole reason I started doing robots. It works well and people are happy with it.”
It’s not uncommon for single-site gallbladder surgery patients to go home the same day, and return to work in a week, doctors said.
Allenmore is the only facility between Seattle and Portland where the procedure is performed.
MultiCare was the first health system in the South Puget Sound Region with the necessary training and experience to be able to offer this innovative technique, and the team has performed more of these procedures than any other center in the region.