By Susan Hill Smith, guest blogger
It’s amazing to consider that a troublesome gallbladder can be removed
through an incision the width of a pencil eraser. Yet
Dr. Jeffrey Lafond has performed the procedure many times at Trident Health’s
South Carolina Institute for Robotic Surgery.
Dr. Lafond uses the new da Vinci Single-Site Instrumentation System for
gallbladder removal and makes the incision at the patient’s navel
to help hide any scarring. “It heals up wonderfully,” he says.
For Nancy Drago of Summerville, the operation brought welcome relief with
little disruption to her work and everyday life, when she had it done
during the summer of 2012.
Drago realized she had a gallbladder problem after an intense attack of
pain that lasted several hours. “My upper chest on the right side
felt like a knife was going through me from my back to my front.”
When she had another attack a month later, she went to her primary care
physician, and an ultrasound revealed multiple gallstones.
Produced by the gallbladder, gallstones can cause temporary episodes of
pain as well as serious blockages and infections when stones pass into
the digestive ducts. Because the gallbladder is not an essential organ,
patients who have multiple gallstones may decide to have it removed.
The da Vinci Single-Site Surgical System offers surgeons greater precision,
increased range of motion, enhanced dexterity and improved access to the
gallbladder without harming surrounding structures. As with other da Vinci
procedures, the surgeon views a magnified 3D image of the surgery site
while working the controls of the robotic system.
One advantage of da Vinci surgery is faster recovery times. Drago decided
not to stay at the hospital overnight after her surgery and two days later
was back at work.
Dr. Lafond practices with Tri-County Surgical Associates in North Charleston.
This year, the team at Tri-County Surgical Associates have performed 152
robotic procedures! In recognition of Men’s Health month, we asked
which procedure was the most common for men. The results: gallbladder removal!
Tri-County Surgical Associates is comprised of Drs. Lafond, Litton, and
Asaro. For more information on robotic surgery solutions, visit the
Tri-County Surgical Associates page or call 843-797-5151.