In April, 2012, a team at Hartford Hospital became the first in the State of Connecticut to perform a single incision, robot-assisted gallbladder surgery which has been recently approved by federal regulators. The procedure takes only about an hour and has a typical inpatient stay of less than 24 hours.
Led by surgeon Darren Tishler, M.D., the team removed the diseased gallbladder by manipulating robotic arms through a single, inch-long incision in the belly button.
Patients who regularly suffer repeated bouts of sudden pain can now undergo a virtually scar-free procedure. Most people who require gallbladder removal are candidates for the robotic, single-incision surgery. “The main advantage for the patient is cosmetic,” says Dr. Tishler. “The standard of care for gallbladder removal is still laparoscopic surgery, which requires several small incisions.”
Combining robotic surgery with a single belly-button incision requires advanced training and technology. “It’s my responsibility as a surgeon to provide patients with the most up-to-date surgical options,” says Dr. Tishler, one of a small group of surgeons in the country who have performed the surgery.
“The robot’s dexterity is equivalent to laparoscopy, but its main advantage is the crystal-clear visualization,” he says. The surgical robot’s versatility allows Dr. Tishler to sit at a nearby console, using joysticks to control the instruments as he visualizes the entire surgical field on a 3D display. In real-time, the system translates his movements into precise manipulations of miniaturized instruments inside the patient.
Learn more about Robotic Gall Bladder Surgery
Learn more about Open Cholecystectomy (traditional gallbladder surgery)