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KDMC Introduces Innovative Laparoscopic Surgical Procedure that Facilitates Gallbladder Removal through Single Incision 

Smith.EricIn keeping with its mission to offer patients the latest advances in medical treatment and sustain a role in the region as a healthcare leader, King’s Daughters Medical Center (KDMC) introduces to the market area laparoscopic surgery through a single incision. Currently, the Covidien SILS ™ is being used for gallbladder removal, but can be used for a variety of surgical procedures.

In contrast to the multiple entry points – usually involving up to four ½-inch or smaller incisions – required by traditional laparoscopic techniques, the SILS™ procedure is achieved with one access point through the patient’s umbilicus, or belly button. Because the incision is obscured, the potential for visible scarring may be reduced – a clear advantage over traditional laparoscopic cholecystectomies (gallbladder removal) that can leave visible scars at sites of entry. More importantly, the new procedure reduces the typical post-operative side effects such as pain and scarring.

KDMC surgeon Eric Smith, D.O., is among the first in the region to use this new surgical method. He says his most common patient for the SILS™ procedure is the young female, who is enticed by the single incision concept. Generally, candidates for laparoscopic surgery also are candidates for the SILS™ procedure. Criteria may include minimal previous abdominal surgeries and being an elective or non-emergent case.

More than 500,000 gallbladder removal procedures are performed in the U.S. each year. More than 80 percent of these cholecystectomies are done laparoscopically. The gallbladder is a small organ that assists in digestion, but is non-vital. Cholecystectomy or gallbladder removal is typically needed to remove gallstones or an infected or inflamed gallbladder. Removal in these cases will relieve pain, treat infection and, in most cases, stop gallstones from returning.

For the last 20 years, there has been a worldwide adoption of laparoscopic surgery. Most abdominal and thoracic surgical procedures have been safely reproduced and implemented via laparoscopy. “It’s been very exciting to be a young physician and watch the many technological advances taking place in the profession, and to know that we can offer patients a surgical experience that can minimize some of the discomfort traditionally associated with surgery,” Dr. Smith said. “And the exciting part is … there’s more to come with the improvement of surgery techniques,” he said.

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