Forecast: Less Pain, Shorter Recovery Time
daVinci Single Site Surgery Is New Option for Gall Bladder Removal
Matt Wymore was back to his active life quickly with Single Site surgery.
Matt Wymore wasn’t planning on surgery. The 46-year-old weather service technician had no health complaints until a bout of upper stomach pain sent him, reluctantly, to see his doctor.
“When I learned I needed gallbladder surgery, I was hesitant,” Matt says. But after meeting with general surgeon Nancy O’Neal, MD, of Oregon Surgical Specialists, he opted in.
“She gave me several options for surgery,” Matt recalls, including single-site da Vinci robotic surgery, a highly advanced laparoscopic procedure that requires only one small incision in the belly button. All instruments for the surgery pass through a special operating port placed in this incision, which is less than an inch long.
“The robot is an additional tool, like a scalpel, that we use to assist us with the surgery,” Dr. O’Neal explains. “It gives us the best 3-D visualization available today.”
Dr. O’Neal emphasizes that the robot does not do the surgery. Rather, it’s an extension of the surgeon’s hands, allowing greater accuracy and flexibility inside the body. In the case of gallbladder surgery, it also reduces the number of incisions from four to one. This leads to less scarring, potentially less pain, and a shorter hospital stay.
“I ultimately elected robotic-assisted surgery because the recovery time was quicker, the incision was smaller, and I had complete faith in Dr. O’Neal,” Matt says.
He was not disappointed. In December, Matt underwent single-site gallbladder surgery at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center. His procedure began at 9:30 a.m. and lasted an hour and a half. By 1 o’clock that afternoon, he headed home. Matt was back to work in six days, taking nothing more than an occasional over-the-counter pain reliever.
“I attribute my lack of pain to a less invasive robotic-assisted incision,” he says. “I was immensely impressed with the care I received and the friendly, professional staff. Everyone along the way was a credit to their profession.”
Currently Dr. O’Neal and her colleagues are the only surgeons in southern Oregon performing single-site gallbladder surgery. They partner with Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center, which brought the latest, most advanced model of the da Vinci robotic surgical system to the valley.