Brandon, FL – Brandon Regional Hospital recently performed its first single-site incision robotic surgery procedure to remove a gall bladder. Thanks to the latest break-through in minimally invasive robotic-assisted surgery techniques, patients can now have their gall bladder removed in about the same amount of time as a lunch break, and be home in time for dinner with minimal discomfort and considerably less scarring (virtually non-visible). The surgery can be performed in less than one hour with a typical hospital stay of four to six hours. Darshan Thakkar, MD, FACS (Fellow of the American College of Surgeons) is among an elite group of surgeons in the United States to perform a robotic assisted cholecystectomy, also called gall bladder removal surgery, using a single incision through the belly button.

Conventional laparoscopic surgery, invented in 1985, typically requires four small incisions in order to perform the procedure. “Using single-site robotic assistance gall bladder surgery means we have to make one incision that is no smaller than an inch in length to successfully perform this procedure,” said Dr. Thakkar. “The advantages may include minimal scarring, less pain, less bleeding, faster recovery time and a shorter hospital stay.” Dr. Thakkar says that a particular advantage is that the robot at Brandon Regional Hospital has an HD 3D camera and there is a panoramic zoom so it enlarges pictures very well. If you inject dye into the patient, you can see all of the bile ducts very well. This is a concern of many surgeons.  Many times, when dye is injected, the bile ducts are not clear.

Each year about one million patients in the United States will undergo gall bladder removal surgery and 40% are women, ages 18-44. In the Tampa Bay area alone there were nearly 9,722 gall bladder removal surgeries performed in 2010. “Providing our patients with minimally invasive surgical procedures that utilize state-of-the-art equipment like the daVinci® Robotic Surgical System underscores our commitment to quality patient care while enhancing patient safety,” said Bland Eng, Chief Executive Officer of Brandon Regional Hospital. “Having minimally invasive Laparo-Endoscopic Single-Site (LESS) along with more traditional “open” operations enables us to provide our patients with the safest and most advanced surgical techniques available today,” he added. Intuitive Surgical, Inc., manufacturer of the daVinci® Surgical System, received FDA approval in December 2011 for single-site advanced cholecystectomy procedures.

Kristi Kimball was the first patient to have this surgery at Brandon Regional Hospital. Her comment less than three days after says it all, “I had one small incision with very little bruising. I am not in a lot of pain and I’m already back to cooking dinner.”