Robotic surgery with one small incision

By Jackie Carr

On Tuesday (Dec. 20), Dr. Santiago Horgan, chief of minimally invasive surgery at UC San Diego Health System, was the first surgeon in the United States to remove a diseased gallbladder through a patient’s belly button with the aid of a new FDA-approved da Vinci Si Surgical System. With one incision, Horgan removed the gallbladder in 60 minutes. The patient returned home five hours after the groundbreaking surgery and reported minimal pain.

“Our goal is to offer surgery options that reduce discomfort, shorten hospital stays and minimize scarring,” said Horgan, a robotic surgery expert and director of the UC San Diego Center for the Future of Surgery. “With the aid of this robotic system, we can accomplish all three. This is a significant advancement for the 750,000 patients who need removal each year.”

Intuitive Surgical, Inc. received FDA-approval on the new operating platform specifically for cholecystectomy procedures, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. The system enables surgeons to reduce the traditional number of incisions from 4-6 down to one incision that is less than an inch in length.

“What we have here is a convergence of new technologies and advanced surgical skills,” said Dr. Mark Talamini, professor and chairman of surgery at UC San Diego Health System. “Instead of multiple incisions, we can operate through one small cut with tools that function with great precision in a narrow space. This is a win-win for the surgeon and patients.”

Horgan and Talamini are pioneers in at the UC San Diego Center for the Future of Surgery. Together they have advanced single-site surgery as well as Natural Orifice Translumenal Endoscopic Surgery or NOTES. By operating through natural body openings, surgical teams at UC San Diego can remove diseased organs such as the gallbladder and appendix. Other options include esophageal surgery for achalasia and sleeve gastrectomy for obesity.

Surgeons at UC San Diego utilize robotic surgical approaches for the treatment of bladder, colon, kidney and prostate cancers, heart repairs, transplantation, heller myotomy, radical esophagectomy, hysterectomy and pelvic floor repairs for incontinence and prolapse.

Established in 1965, the Department of Surgery at UC San Diego represents more than 100 leading surgeons with specialties in open, minimally invasive, and scarless techniques. The department is committed to advancing surgical education by teaching and training the next generation of innovators; researching, testing and developing groundbreaking surgical techniques; providing superior patient care and service; and attracting a world-class faculty.

Provided by University of California

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

First US surgery to compare NOTES vs. laparoscopy

Jul 07, 2010

As part of the only U.S. prospective multicenter clinical trial to compare natural orifice translumenal endoscopic surgery (NOTES) to laparoscopy, surgeons at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have ...

Gallbladder removed without external incisions

Jul 28, 2008

In April of last year, surgeons at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center made headlines by removing a women's gallbladder through her uterus using a flexible endoscope, aided by several external ...

Recommended for you

Doctor behind 'free radical' aging theory dies

Nov 25, 2014

Dr. Denham Harman, a renowned scientist who developed the most widely accepted theory on aging that's now used to study cancer, Alzheimer's disease and other illnesses, has died in Nebraska at age 98.

Mexican boy who had massive tumor recovering

Nov 25, 2014

An 11-year-old Mexican boy who had pieces of a massive tumor removed and who drew international attention after U.S. officials helped him get treatment in the southwestern U.S. state of New Mexico is still recovering after ...

New medical device to make the mines safer

Nov 21, 2014

Dehydration can be a serious health issue for Australia's mining industry, but a new product to be developed with input from Flinders University's Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP) is set to more effectively ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.