Oakwood performs first single site Cholecystectomy

A surgical team at Oakwood Annapolis Hospital in Wayne recently performed their first da Vinci Single-Site Cholecystectomy. The patient’s gallbladder was removed through one tiny incision in the belly button, making the procedure virtually scarless

Edward Mavashev, MD, led the team through the procedure in which, using robotic assistance, the gallbladder was removed through a single one-inch incision.

"Neither robotic surgery nor single-incision surgery is new, but combining the two to remove the gallbladder requires additional training and special equipment," Mavashev said. "To be one of the first hospitals to offer this technically advanced surgery demonstrates Oakwood’s leadership in providing patients with the most up-to-date minimally invasive surgical options."

The da Vinci is a robotic surgical system widely used in complex minimally invasive surgery. The Food and Drug Administration cleared the specialized Single-Site instruments for use with the system in December 2011. Oakwood Annapolis started using a da Vinci Si—the newest version of the system—earlier this year. Mavashev is one of a small group of surgeons in the country who has received training to perform the surgery. Mohamad Hakim, MD, and Mehran Mirkazemi, MD, are two other Oakwood-affiliated surgeons trained in the technique.

During the procedure, the surgeon sits comfortably at a console, viewing a 3D, high-definition image of the patient’s anatomy. The surgeon uses controls below the viewer to move the instrument arms and camera. In real-time, the system translates the surgeon's hand, wrist and finger movements into more precise movements of the miniaturized instruments inside the patient.

Unlike traditional robotic surgeries requiring three to five small incisions, this new technology allows for a single incision in the belly button where instruments are placed and the diseased gallbladder is removed.

Potential benefits of Single-Site gallbladder surgery include virtually scarless results, minimal pain, low blood loss, fast recovery, a short hospital stay and high patient satisfaction. The surgery takes about one hour and patients can be discharged the same day.

“Single-Site instruments used with the da Vinci platform are the next step in the evolution of surgical technologies,” said Debbie Gendron RN, BSN, Robotic Coordinator at Oakwood Annapolis Hospital. “We are truly excited to be a leader today in the surgical treatment of tomorrow.”

More than 1 million people in the U.S. have their gallbladder removed each year, including as many as 12,000 in metro Detroit. Most are performed with traditional laparoscopy using several incisions. Most people who require gallbladder removal are candidates for the robotic, single-incision surgery. According to the American College of Surgeons, surgery is the recommended treatment for gallbladder pain from gallstones and non-functioning gallbladders.
Oakwood Annapolis performed its first Da Vinci procedure in June, 2012. Since then, Oakwood Annapolis surgeons have performed robot-assisted surgical gynecological, urological, thoracic, general, colo-rectal and ear, nose and throat procedures.

“We’ve really embraced the technology,” said Gendron. “I think it’s fantastic that a small community hospital can offer something like this. It’s fabulous for Oakwood and the community we have the privilege to serve.”