Beaumont Hospital in Michigan, US, has conducted the state’s first single-incision, robotic-assisted gallbladder removal surgery using Intuitive’s da Vinci robotic surgical system.
Surgeons carried out the procedures on three patients through a belly button incision of less than an inch.
Beaumont Hospital chief of General Surgery Bruce McIntosh said: "To be the first hospital in Michigan to offer this technically advanced surgery demonstrates Beaumont’s leadership in providing patients with the latest, minimally invasive surgical options."
The new surgery can be performed in less than one hour and offers benefits such as minimal scarring, reduced pain, less bleeding, faster recovery and a shorter hospital stay.
Intuitive’s da Vinci system allows the surgeon to sit at a console viewing 3-D, high-definition images, using controls below the display to move robotic arms with attached surgical instruments.
The technology also translates the surgeon’s hand, wrist and finger movements into exact, real-time actions of surgical instruments inside the patient.
The surgery is recommended for the treatment of gallbladder pain from gallstones, as well as non-functioning gallbladders, according to the American College of Surgeons. In December 2011, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the new procedure.
It is estimated that around 1.2 million gallbladder removal surgeries are carried out in the US each year and 80% of these elective operations could be performed using the single-port, robotic-assisted surgery.