Keeping pace with the latest advancements in minimally invasive surgery, Mercy Hospital became the first in the region to offer Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery in January 2009. Over recent months, specially trained surgeons have been using the “single-incision” procedure for cholecystectomies (gallbladder removal) and appendectomies (appendix removal).
In June, Mercy Hospital surgeon, Kenneth Eckhert III, M.D., continued to advance the program by successfully using the single-incision technique to remove a diseased right colon (a right-hemicolectomy procedure). According to local representatives from Ethicon, manufacturer of the single-site laparoscopic port, Dr. Eckhert is the first surgeon locally to perform the single-site surgery for removal of the right colon.
“One of the major advantages of this procedure is that it utilizes only one incision through the belly button versus traditional laparoscopic procedures involving three or four incisions,” Dr. Eckhert, Chairman of Mercy’s Robotic Committee, said. “As a result, there is improved patient satisfaction with little or no visible scarring, less pain and complications, and a faster recovery.”
The single-site laparoscopy procedure is made possible through the use of a flexible laparoscopic port that contains several small holes for both a camera and surgical instruments to work. Other Mercy Hospital surgeons utilizing this advanced surgical technique include Richard Bloomberg, M.D., Rurik Johnson, M.D., and Catherine Falkner, M.D.
“We are thrilled to be at the forefront of a new kind of surgery that continues to transform the minimally invasive arena, resulting in even better experiences for our patients,” said Dr. Eckhert.
“My hope is to continue to expand our minimally invasive surgical capabilities,” stated Dr. Eckhert. “Our next step forward may be robotic-assisted single incision laparoscopy.”