Saint Mary’s Hospital recently became the first hospital in the region, and one of just three in Connecticut, to perform robotic-assisted gallbladder surgery through a single, one-inch incision. The patient’s gallbladder was removed through a single
incision in the belly button, making the procedure virtually scarless.
“Neither robotic surgery nor single-incision surgery is new, but combining the
two to remove the gallbladder requires additional training and special equipment,” said Dr. Shady Macaron, a board-certified general surgeon with Middlebury Surgical, who performed the ground-breaking procedure at Saint Mary’s on Oct. 25. “To be one of the first hospitals to offer this technically advanced surgery demonstrates Saint Mary’s leadership in providing patients with the most up-to-date minimally invasive surgical options.”
Saint Mary’s already has one of the largest robotic-assisted surgery programs in the state and this week, the hospital unveiled its second da Vinci Robotic Surgical System. Saint Mary’s robotic surgery team performed the region’s first robotic-assisted thoracic surgery in October and the hospital plans to expand its capabilities in 2013 by offering robotic-assisted colorectal and surgical weight loss procedures.
“This is the future,” said Dr. J. Alexander Palesty, a board-certified general
surgeon and surgical oncologist with the Breast and Oncology Center in Southbury, who will be
performing robotic-assisted colorectal procedures at Saint Mary’s within a few months. “We’ve put open gallbladder surgery in the history books, and as with laparoscopic surgery in the late 1970s, robotic surgery is becoming the standard of care. Really, robotic-assisted surgery is going to supplant laparoscopy in the future.” Both surgeons noted the da Vinci system offers superior visualization and
greater precision with the ability to maneuver tiny instruments that rotate a full 360 degrees. And because the procedures are minimally invasive, patients experience less pain at the site of the incision, shorter recovery times and a quicker return to normal activities.
In addition to the cosmetic benefits of a single incision, patients who have
robotic-assisted gallbladder surgery are able to return home the same day. “There’s no hospital stay,” Dr. Macaron said. “As a surgeon, what I want to see are satisfied patients and I have a lot of patients who are happy with the results of these procedures. They are excited about the robot and they like the single incision.
It’s all done inside the belly button.”