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TMCNet:  Single-Site Gallbladder Surgery Offered By Bartow Doctor on The Da Vinci System

[January 21, 2013]

Single-Site Gallbladder Surgery Offered By Bartow Doctor on The Da Vinci System

BARTOW, Jan 20, 2013 (The Ledger - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- It was revolutionary years ago when gallbladders first started being removed from the body through four tiny incisions.

For some of today's image-conscious patients, that's three too many.

Patients at Bartow Regional Medical Center last month started having single-site gallbladder removal, done robotically by Dr. Rafael Quinones on the Da Vinci Si system.

He did his first Dec. 3 and has done others since then.

"The incision is inside the belly button," Quinones said. "No scars. They're very happy." The incision is about an inch.

This is the first da Vinci robotically assisted, single-site gallbladder removal in Polk, Hardee and Highlands counties, the device's manufacturer told Bartow Regional.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the specialized single-site instruments for the da Vinci surgical system at the end of 2011. Hospitals nationwide are adding it.

At Tampa General Hospital, the first single-site gallbladder removal, callled a cholecystectomy, was done Oct. 29 by Dr. Michael Albrink of University of South Florida Health.


Surgeons sit at a computer and control a robotic arm holding minuscule surgical instruments. Three-dimensional images from a camera appear on the screen.

The system mimics a surgeon's hand movements, in a smaller scale, within the operating site.

His patients have less discomfort than with the older laparoscopic method, Quinones said.

The system allows more mobility in moving instruments than earlier robotic systems did, he added.

"In my practice, patients with gallbladder issues and pain are quite common," Quinones said.

___ (c)2013 The Ledger (Lakeland, Fla.) Visit The Ledger (Lakeland, Fla.) at www.theledger.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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