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Advocate South Suburban Hospital news

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New gallbladder surgery at Advocate South Suburban Hospital offers area patients less scarring, pain and recovery time

DEC. 19, 2012 - Patients who have their gallbladders surgically removed can now emerge from the procedure with practically no scarring and minimal pain, thanks to a new minimally invasive robotic surgery technique offered at Advocate South Suburban Hospital.

 Advocate South Suburban Hospital surgeon, Erik Swenson, MD currently is performing single site cholecystectomies (gallbladder removal surgery) through a single, small incision with the assistance of the da Vinci® surgical robot.  This da Vinci® Single-Site surgery removes patients’ gallbladder through a one-inch incision in the belly button, leaving only a small, nearly invisible scar.

 Unlike traditional minimally invasive surgeries that may use up to five small incisions, the new procedure allows for a single incision in the belly button.  Through this very small opening, the surgeon is able to operate and remove the diseased gallbladder.

 In addition to minimal scarring, da Vinci single-site gallbladder surgery at Advocate South Suburban Hospital offers patients a number of advantages over traditional cholecystectomy procedures.  These benefits may include minimal pain, faster recovery, low blood loss.  The surgery can be performed in about one hour with a typical hospital stay of less than 24 hours.

“We are always looking for ways to improve safety, clinical outcomes and the patient experience,” said Dr. Swenson, who also has extensive experience with open surgical and other minimally invasive techniques. “And, we are very happy to offer this single-site robotic procedure that can greatly minimize visible scarring, improve patient comfort, avoid infection and reduce blood loss.”

 Advocate South Suburban Hospital one of the few Chicago area hospitals offering da Vinci® Single-Site cholecystectomy.  Advocate South Suburban Hospital has established the area’s most advanced minimally invasive surgery program, and its expert surgeons more experience than anyone else in the southland using the Da Vinci platform. 

These specialists can perform ovarian or cervical cancer surgeries, endometriosis treatments, hysterectomies, as well as prostate surgery and other urological procedures with the precision and safety offered by robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery.

 Most people who require gallbladder removal are candidates for the robotic, single-incision surgery. According to the American College of Surgeons, surgery is the recommended treatment for gallbladder pain from gallstones and non-functioning gallbladders.

 Gallbladder disease is very common, affecting nearly 20 million U.S. adults. Cholecystectomy is the most common surgery in the country, with about 700,000 each year.

 The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ under the liver that stores and concentrates bile to help digest fat. Gallbladder disease includes inflammation, infection, or blockage of the gallbladder. The most common blockage is a solid, pebble-like gallstone, which can be as large as a golf ball or as small as a grain of sand. 

 Gallbladder disease is more common in women, Native Americans, Hispanics, the obese and people over age 40.  Symptoms of gallbladder disease may include: pain in the upper right side or middle of the abdomen, abdominal fullness, clay-colored stool, fever, nausea and vomiting, or yellowing of skin and whites of eyes (jaundice).

 The da Vinci Surgical System is a state-of-the-art robotic surgical platform that translates a surgeon’s hand movements into smaller, more precise movements of instruments.  da Vinci’s vision system provides 3D-HD visualization allowing for enhanced vision, precision, dexterity and control. During the entire procedure, the surgeon is 100% in control of the da Vinci System.

For more information on the daVinci Surgical System or other minimally invasive surgeries offered at Advocate South Suburban Hospital visit

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