Mercy Hospital Introduces “Scarless” Surgery

Home » About Us » News » 2009 News » Mercy Hospital Introduces “Scarless” Surgery

August 21, 2009

In its ongoing commitment to offer patients the latest advances in medical treatment, Mercy Hospital of Buffalo is pleased to be the first hospital in Western New York to offer Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery (SILS™). Specially trained surgeons perform the minimally invasive technique by making one small incision through the umbilicus, or belly button, potentially resulting in no visible scarring.

Mercy Hospital surgeon, Kenneth Eckhert III, M.D., who pioneered the SILS™ procedure in the Buffalo area in January 2009, is currently using this newest surgical development for cholecystectomies, or gallbladder removal, and appendectomies, or appendix removal.

“One of the major advantages of this procedure is that it utilizes only one incision through the belly button versus traditional laparoscopic procedures involving four separate ½-inch or smaller incisions,” Dr. Eckhert said. “As a result, there is improved patient satisfaction with little or no visible scarring, potentially less pain and complications, and a faster recovery.”

Kenneth Eckhert III, M.D.
Richard Bloomberg, M.D

The SILS™ procedure, made possible through the use of a flexible laparoscopic port, is performed in surgeries related to urologic, gynecologic, and bariatric conditions. According to Keith DiPirro, Surgical Device Specialist with Covidien, the company that manufactures the SILS™ port, Mercy Hospital of Buffalo was the first, and currently the only hospital in Western New York, to offer patients this state-of-the-art minimally invasive procedure. He noted, “Other Mercy Hospital physicians who have completed specialized training and are performing the SILS™ 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. Richard Bloomberg, who has done SILS™ cases at Mercy Hospital with plans to soon offer this surgical advancement for patients at Kenmore Mercy Hospital as well.

Speaking from a patient perspective, West Seneca resident Yvonne Ibarra, who underwent gallbladder removal surgery at Mercy Hospital under the care of Dr. Kenneth Eckhert in June 2009, said that she is pleased with the outcome. “I agree that it could be called scarless surgery. You can’t even tell I had the surgery done,” she stated.

“Dr. Eckhert carefully explained both options to me and I chose to try this new technique,” Ibarra continued. “It certainly met my expectations and more. I had a fairly quick recovery and it’s nice to not have the additional scars.”

“Patient care continues to be our highest priority,” said Michael Rade, M.D., Chairman of the Department of Surgery at Mercy Hospital, “and we are proud of our team of surgeons who have gone above and beyond to be able to offer our patients this latest technological advancement in minimally invasive surgery.”