Northside Hospital - Georgia’s First Single-Incision Robotic Surgery Performed at Northside

Georgia’s First Single-Incision Robotic Surgery Performed at Northside

Posted on: February 07, 2012


Northside Hospital continues to lead the way in robotic surgery, performing more robotic procedures than any other hospital in the Southeast. Now, the hospital has achieved another milestone, performing the state’s first-ever Single-Site™ surgery, using the da Vinci® Surgical System. The procedure, a cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal), was performed Feb. 2 by Iqbal Garcha, M.D., general surgeon, at Northside Hospital in Atlanta. Only a handful of hospitals in the country have performed this minimally invasive technique.

In a traditional laparoscopic and robotic surgery, surgeons make several small incisions for the instruments and camera needed to perform the procedure. However, in Single-Site (single-incision) surgery, surgeons use a single 2-to-2.5-centimeter incision, often at the bellybutton, to reduce the appearance of scarring. Performing single incision surgery via robotic-assisted technology allows surgeons to provide patients with procedures equivalent to traditional single-incision surgery, but with the advantage of 3D high-definition visualization of the surgical site, and the precision and versatility afforded by robotic instrumentation.

“The da Vinci software automatically detects and re-associates the surgeon’s hands with the instruments’ tips to create an intuitive movement,” said Dr. Garcha. “And the new flexible design of the instruments allows me to better reach and see the surgical field through the single port, without interference and without causing additional trauma at the port site.”

Single-Site technology allows surgeons to eliminate the multiple incisions, traditionally used for cholecystectomy, by giving them the ability to place all the instruments through a single incision at the bellybutton, without compromising visualization and dexterity. In addition to providing a superior cosmetic result, surgeons expect this to translate into less pain, a shorter hospital stay and a fast recovery, similar to the multi-incision alternative.

In the Feb. 2 case, the patient went home within three hours after her surgery was complete. Dr. Garcha performed a second Single-Site robotic cholecystectomy on Feb. 3, with similar success.

A leader in providing state-of-the-art surgical services, Northside Hospital was one of the first hospitals in Atlanta to obtain robotic technology and also is a leader in the advancement of single-incision surgery, having been the first hospital in Georgia to perform single-incision laparoscopic bariatric surgery.

Although Single-Site robotic surgery is currently only approved for cholecystectomy, surgeons are actively using robotic technology to perform procedures across a wide range of specialties.  Many of the surgeons on staff at Northside are pioneers in laparoscopic surgery and are nationally and internationally recognized for their expertise in minimally invasive techniques, like robotic surgery and single incision.

“We are pleased to add this technique to our Advanced Robotic Surgery Program.  This achievement highlights the expertise of the general surgeons at Northside Hospital,” said Vicki Barnett, RN, director of surgical services, Northside Hospital.  “This latest success represents Northside’s continued commitment to providing advanced minimally invasive surgical procedures and optimal outcomes for our patients.”

Surgeons at all three of Northside’s hospitals are currently performing a variety of robotic and single-incision procedures. 

Read more about Northside Hospital's Advanced Robotic Surgery Program.

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