Beaufort Memorial Hospital, the first healthcare provider in the area to offer robot-assisted laparoscopic hysterectomies, has once again jumped ahead of the curve with the introduction of single-site surgery.
Using an advanced version of the da Vinci robot, surgeons are able to remove a patient’s gallbladder through a single, one-inch incision in the belly button. Traditional laparoscopic surgery requires four small cuts in the abdomen.
It has exceeded my expectations,” said Dr. Stephen Sisco, one of two physicians at Beaufort Memorial performing the cutting-edge procedure. “The cosmetic results are pretty amazing.”
Jenny Brown, one of the first patients to have single-site gallbladder surgery at BMH, couldn’t be happier with the outcome.
“You can’t see the scar,” the Beaufort resident said. “It’s hidden in my belly button.”
Brown had been experiencing pain in her belly caused by gallstones, hard, pebble-like deposits that form inside the gallbladder. Rather than a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, Sisco offered to perform the new single-site procedure using the revolutionary da Vinci Si, the third generation of the robotic surgical system.
Equipped with instrument arms capable of rotating 360 degrees, the da Vinci enhanced surgical precision, control and stability, making it possible for general surgeons to perform more complex procedures.
The robot also features 3D-HD optics offering 10 times the magnification of the operative field.
“It’s true three-dimensional visualization,” Sisco said. “It provides us with a more accurate picture of the anatomy.”
Sisco and Dr. Deanna Mansker — the first physicians in the region to perform single-site surgery — will show off the robot’s superior capabilities at Beaufort Memorial’s free Dance for Your Health community wellness event being held from 9 a.m. to noon Feb. 23 at Sun City’s Pinckney Hall.
Attendees at both events will have the chance to try out the surgical system for themselves. They’ll be invited to sit at the surgeon’s console and manipulate the computer-controlled robot, rotating its instrument arms to pinch and pick up objects. Admission to Dance for Your Health is free, but participants need to register in advance at www.bmhsc.org or by calling 843-522-5585.
Last December, Intuitive Surgical, Inc., makers of the da Vinci Si, upped their game, introducing FDA-approved single-site instrumentation for the robot. Able to fit through a one-inch hole, the three-pronged attachment can hold a camera and the surgical tools needed to remove the gallbladder.
Preferring one incision instead of four, Brown opted for the new single-site procedure. She went in for the surgery at 6 a.m. and was out by 2:30 p.m. Her stomach was a little sore, but she didn’t need any pain medication. And the belly ache that she had been having three or four times a week was gone.
When she returned to work, she compared scars with a colleague who had her gallbladder removed with traditional laparoscopic surgery.
“She has four small scars,” Brown said. “Mine is hardly visible.”
Drs. Sisco and Mansker are the only surgeons in Beaufort County offering the single-site gallbladder surgery.
“They didn’t even offer robotic surgical training when I was in med school,” said Mansker, who finished her residency at the Medical University of South Carolina two years ago. “That’s how new it is.”
For more information on Beaufort Memorial’s da Vinci surgical program, visit www.bmhsc.org or contact Beaufort Memorial Surgical Specialists at 524-8171.