A common surgery is being performed in a very uncommon way today at a Cedar Rapids hospital. A patient’s gallbladder is being removed using a surgical robot that will enter through only one incision — in the belly button. Scott Kallemeyn, a spokesman for St. Luke’s Hospital, says surgeons often have to make four incisions for this sort of procedure.
“Technology has allowed us to continually use smaller instrumentation, narrower instruments that we can use through a smaller incision,” Kallemeyn says. As many as four surgical instruments and a high-definition camera will all be inserted through that single port. Kallemeyn says it’ll be a first in the region for this type of operation.
For people who are interested, hospital staff will be Tweeting about it from the operating room. “We’ll be giving constant updates about what’s happening with the procedure, who’s involved and some of the beneficial aspects,” Kallemeyn says. “You won’t see live video but you might see some snapshots that we can upload during the Twitter feed.”
The operation is due to start around 11 A.M. and should last until about 12:30 P.M. The patient is a 72-year-old man from eastern Iowa. The surgical robot has been in use at St. Luke’s since 2005 for more than 1,800 surgeries, but this is the first single-incision gallbladder procedure.