BBC Performs the First Robotic Single-Incision Gallbladder Surgery in Southwest Michigan

June 29, 2012

Gallbladder removal is performed on nearly one million Americans every year making it a fairly common procedure.  But earlier this month (June 4, 2012), a general surgeon at Bronson Battle Creek became to the first surgeon in Southwest Michigan to offer this operation using the da Vinci® ‘Si’ with HD™  single-site incision robotic surgery procedure.  Multiple or large incisions have been used in the past.

Dr. John Koziarski, a member of the BBC medical staff and his surgery team performed the cholecystechomy (gallbladder) operation through the navel area of a patient, making the small incision less visible.  Dr. Koziarski along with Dr. Kerri Murray are the only two BBC surgeons trained in using this unique robotic surgery system for single-incision gallbladder procedures with daVinci thus far.  Less than 3% of hospitals in the United States have adopted the single-port surgery technique.

The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped sack that stores bile.  It’s not considered an ‘essential’ organ since patients who have it removed can function normally without a transplant.  It is often removed to prevent gallstones and cancer.  Almost 40 percent of gallbladder removal surgeries are in women ages 18-44. 

“This type of surgery (cholecystectomy) is another medical leap for patient comfort,” says Dr. Koziarski.  “Since we can perform this operation through one tiny incision, it means that there is less of a chance of infection, blood loss is minimized, recovery is shorter, cosmetically there is much less scar tissue seen, and the patient returns to normal daily activities more quickly.  This is a new frontier for surgery and we are one of the leaders.”

Bronson Battle Creek, in its long-standing quest of bringing high-tech choices to its physicians and patients, introduced an advanced version of the da Vinci ‘S’ with HD robotic system to its surgery arsenal in 2008.  Continuing that tradition of leadership, BBC has upgraded its robotic surgery technology again, this time with the daVinci ‘Si’ with HD.  This latest version of daVinci robotic platform now uses a ‘single’ site incision for gallbladder surgeries instead multiple incisions that others are still using making the surgery site even less invasive.

The unit is named after Leonardo da Vinci, the inventor of the robot, and the person who is considered the first to use three-dimensional anatomical accuracy in his detailed masterpieces.  

The da Vinci ‘Si’ HD surgical system provides physicians with such enhanced detail and precision that it can simulate an open surgical environment while allowing operation through one tiny incision instead of three or four.   The da Vinci ‘Si’ HD translates the surgeon’s skilled hand movements into more precise motions through the use of microscopes, surgical tools, and video cameras.
  
The da Vinci ‘Si’ HD surgical system integrates a three-dimensional, high definition endoscopy and state-of-the-art robotic technology to virtually extend the surgeon’s eyes and hands into the surgical field. 

The da Vinci ‘Si’ HD improves upon conventional laparoscopic procedures where the surgeon stands next to the patient using hand-held, long-shafted instruments.  Using this operating method, the surgeon must look up and away from the patient to view a nearby two-dimensional video monitor to see the instruments at the targeted anatomy.  In contrast, the da Vinci ‘Si’ HD system allows the surgeon, after making on dime-sized incision as an entry point, to operate from a comfortable, seated position with eyes and hands positioned in line with the instruments.  

“This newer technology provides surgeons with superior 3-D visualization, enhanced dexterity, and greater precision making it possible for them to perform minimally invasive procedures involving complex reconstruction,” says Dr. Thomas Ignaczak, vice president of medical affairs at Bronson Battle Creek.  “The improved and magnified images are enabling our surgeons to handle delicate tissues with added precision, especially in confined spaces in the body.  The single incision also makes for a nearly invisible scar for surgeries where the physician makes a cut around the patient’s umbilical cord.”  

Bronson Battle Creek has more multi-trained general surgeons using the daVinci robotics than any other facility in Southwest Michigan.  The robotic technology at BBC is being used in thoracic, colorectal, gynecological, urological surgeries, and now in more general surgeries such as gallbladder removal.  

Bronson Battle Creek is a 218-bed hospital that provides full outpatient and inpatient acute care including robotic surgery, diagnostics, and rehabilitation services; 100% all private rooms.  It also offers world-class diagnostic capabilities including PET/CT imaging, freestanding ‘open’ and traditional MRI, CT (16- and 64-slice), and 3.0 Tesla MRI.  Bronson Battle Creek has been recognized nationally as one of the safest hospitals, and has been a leader in the development of electronic health records as evidenced by multiple honors as one of America’s ‘most wired’ and ‘most wireless’ hospitals. The Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons recognizes the Bronson Battle Creek Cancer Care Center as a Comprehensive Community Cancer Program, and the only hospital in Michigan to receive the CoC’s Outstanding Achievement Award three times in a row. Specialty services include the county’s largest accredited sleep center and a wound-healing center with hyperbaric oxygen therapy.


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