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Las Colinas Medical Center Surgeons Remove Gallbladder through Belly Button Incision


Irving, Texas. September 14, 2012

A surgical team at Las Colinas Medical Center, Irving, Texas performed their first da Vinci® Single-Site™ Cholecystectomy on August 3, 2012. The patient’s gallbladder was removed through one tiny incision in the belly button, making the procedure virtually scarless.

Led by Dr. Steven Schierling, M.D., the team removed the gallbladder using Single-Site™ instruments on a da Vinci® System. The minimally invasive procedure is traditionally called a laparoscopic cholecystectomy (removal of the gallbladder). Using robotic assistance, surgeons removed the gallbladder through an incision of approximately one inch.

The Food and Drug Administration cleared the specialized Single-Site instruments for use with the da Vinci System in December 2011. da Vinci is a robotic surgical system widely used in complex minimally invasive surgery.

"Neither robotic surgery nor single-incision surgery is new, but combining the two to remove the gallbladder requires additional training and special equipment. It is exciting to offer the same basic procedure through fewer incisions, without sacrificing safety. It is rare to ever be able to combine those benefits in one procedure." says Dr. Steven Schierling. "To be one of the first hospitals to offer this technically advanced surgery demonstrates Las Colinas Medical Center’s leadership in providing patients with the most up-to-date minimally invasive surgical options."

Dr. Schierling is one of a small group of surgeons in the country who has received training to perform the surgery.

“Single-Site instruments used with the da Vinci platform are the next step in the evolution of surgical technologies,” Dr. Schierling said. “We are truly excited to be a leader today in the surgical treatment of tomorrow.”

Potential benefits of Single-Site gallbladder surgery may include virtually scarless results, minimal pain, low blood loss, fast recovery, a short hospital stay and high patient satisfaction. 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 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. To see an animation of Single-Site gallbladder surgery, visit

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.

In addition to gallbladder removal, Las Colinas Medical Center surgeons perform robotic-assisted surgery in many other areas. To learn more about other robotic-assisted surgeries, please visit Las Colinas Medical Center also offers a wide range of minimally invasive conventional laparoscopic surgeries.

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