Gallbladder Removal Through a Single Incision

October 31, 2014

Minimally invasive surgery offers many advantages compared to open surgery, including reduced recovery time and less pain with faster return to normal function. Now there’s even an improvement on minimally invasive surgery. Single-incision surgery has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for gallbladder removal. The technique eventually may become available for other abdominal surgeries as well, says James E. Camel, MD, chief of surgery at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance.

In single-incision surgery, which is typically performed on an outpatient basis, surgeons use a robot and insert instruments through a small opening in the belly button, their maneuvers guided by clear images on a computer screen. The gallbladder is removed through that same open­ing. The operation leaves no visible scar. 

Dr. Camel and his colleagues, as well as physicians at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, are among the first surgeons in the region to offer single-incision laparoscopy. “Our groups are probably among the few that do the single-incision surgery,” he says. “Providence  has been at the forefront of this.”