April 16, 2012

HARTFORD – A team at Hartford Hospital became the first in the state to perform a single incision, robot assisted gallbladder surgery recently approved by federal regulators.

Led by surgeon Darren Tishler, M.D., the team removed the gallbladder using a da Vinci Surgical System on Monday, April 16th. Using robotic assistance, the team was able to remove the gallbladder through a belly button incision of approximately one inch.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the surgery using the da Vinci Robotic System late last year and it was first performed in December in California. The procedure uses a single incision in the bellybutton, through which several instruments are inserted. The instruments are controlled via the robot using joysticks and a 3D display. The patient’s gallbladder was removed through one tiny incision in the belly button, making the procedure virtually scarless.

"Combining robotic surgery with a single, belly-button incision to remove the
 allbladder requires additional training and special equipment," says Dr. Tishler. "We are thrilled to be one of the first hospitals to offer this technically advanced surgery. We want to provide patients with the most up-to-date minimally invasive surgical options."

Dr. Tishler is one of a small group of surgeons in the country who has received training to perform the surgery. Other potential benefits of single-site gallbladder surgery may include less pain, less loss of blood, faster recovery, and shorter hospital stays. The surgery can be performed in about one hour with a typical
hospital stay of less than 24 hours.

During the procedure, the surgeon sits at a console, viewing a 3-D, high-definition image of the patient’s anatomy. 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, inflamed gallbladder is removed. 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. More than 1 million people in the U.S. have their gallbladder removed each year. Most are performed with traditional laparoscopy using several incisions.

About Robotic Surgery at Hartford Hospital. Hartford Hospital is among the top ten robotic surgery centers in the country and is the largest in New England. Since the program began in 2003, it has grown an average of 33 percent annually. Hartford Hospital physicians now perform more than 1,000 robotic cases each year. The hospital has seven da Vinci robots. physicians at Hartford Hospital use robotics for gynecological procedures such as hysterectomy, myomectomy and pelvic organ prolapse; prostatectomies and other urologic procedures; cardiac and weight loss procedures.


Hartford Hospital