Surgical procedures that once required large incisions and extensive recovery time may now be performed through just one single small incision, potentially resulting in a faster recovery, less blood loss, reduced pain and a shorter hospital stay.
In traditional laparoscopic surgery and robotic surgery procedures, several small incisions are made. Thin instruments, along with a video camera attached to a telescope, are inserted through the incisions. The camera transmits an image of the internal organs onto a television monitor, and the surgeon uses the image as a guide. This type of minimally invasive surgery has fewer risks than open surgery and provides additional benefits such as reduced length of surgery, less pain, less blood loss, a shorter hospital stay and recovery time, and lower cost. However, multiple incisions do result in several small scars.
Single-site robotic surgery provides all of the benefits of minimally invasive surgery, but in most cases will leave no visible scar at all. In addition, high-definition 3D imaging provides a more precise view of the surgical area than traditional laparoscopic surgery, and the robotic technology improves dexterity.
As with any surgical procedure, single-site robotic surgery has benefits and risks, and requires recovery time. Talk to your surgeon about whether you are a candidate for single-site robotic surgery.
Gallbladder disease affects about 10-15 percent of adults in the United States; it is more common among people older than 40, women, Native Americans, Hispanics, and people who are obese. Generally, gallbladder removal, also called a cholecystectomy, is performed through a laparoscopic procedure using three or four small incisions.
Single site gallbladder surgery is performed via a single incision through the navel. With only one incision hidden in the navel, scars are barely visible.
Hysterectomy is the most common gynecologic surgery in the United States. By age 60, more than one third of all women will have undergone the procedure. In the past, a hysterectomy traditionally required open surgery with a large incision in the lower abdominal area. In many cases, this has been replaced by laparoscopic and robotic surgery that requires several small abdominal incisions.
Now, single site robotic surgery for hysterectomy is performed through a single incision through the navel that can provide virtually “scarless” surgery for many patients.