Robotic Surgery

da Vinci® Single-Site™ Gallbladder Surgery

New robotic-assisted surgical technology is allowing patients to recover faster, experience minimal pain and have virtually no scar. St. Joseph Hospital was the first in Orange County to perform Single-Site™ surgery using the da Vinci® Robotic Surgical System. During this virtually scarless procedure, the patient's gallbladder is removed through one tiny incision in the belly button. Single-Site™gallbladder removal was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in late 2011. St. Joseph Hospital general surgeon Sami Hamamji, M.D., was the first trained surgeon in Orange County to offer this advanced technology. Click here to view our news release.

What is scarless gallbladder surgery?

Gallbladder surgery (known as a cholecystectomy) performed using Single-Site™ instruments on the da Vinci® Robotic Surgical System involves an approximate one-inch incision, which is made through the belly button (umbilical region). This single incision is hidden in the folds of the belly button, resulting in an apparent scarless surgery. Performing surgery to remove the gallbladder using the Single-Site™ da Vinci® system takes the same amount of time as minimally invasive laparoscopic techniques; however, instead of four incisions, there is only one.

There is no additional cost to the patient for this advanced technology, and the patient still goes home the same day.

What happens during the surgery?

During the procedure, the surgeon sits at a console viewing a 3D, high-definition image of the patient’s anatomy. The surgeon uses controls below the viewer to move the instrument arms and camera. In real-time, the system translates the surgeon's hand, wrist and finger movements into more precise movements of the miniaturized instruments inside the patient.

Unlike traditional robotic surgeries requiring three to five small incisions, this new technology allows for a single incision in the belly button where instruments are placed and the diseased gallbladder is removed.

What is robotic surgery?

Robotic surgery is unique because it enhances the surgeon's human capability through the use of extremely small robotic arms with small pincher-type fingers at the end. This robotic technology mimics the surgeons' wrist and hand and offers a significant degree of dexterity. The small robotic arms provide a 360-degree rotation for extreme precision. In fact, the da Vinci robot provides a never before range of motion and offers a color, full 360-degree visual field in high-definition, 3D imaging. This advanced real-time imaging offers the surgeon the ability to zoom in to magnify areas and provides a greatly improved view to the surgeon as they work at the console.