GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A new surgical procedure could mean less pain and quicker recovery for patients facing gallbladder surgery.
Gallbladder surgery is one of the most common procedures performed on adults each year in the U.S., and most of them are performed laparascopically today, which makes for an easier recovery. But a new laparascopic tool that makes single incision laparascopic surgery possible, could mean even faster recovery.
"Anytime you can do surgery with less holes, it's obviously better looking and hurts less," General Surgeon Dr. David Evans from Garden Park Medical Center in Gulfport said.
He said standard laparascopic gallbladder removal uses three to five small incisions. But this new surgery uses a specially designed port that enables the surgeon to make one incision in many cases.
"This uses a little bigger incision" Dr. Evans said, "but can be completely fitted inside the umbilicus or belly button, and only has one site so when you are through, you only have one place to heal."
But, he said, it's not for everyone.
"I'm trying to pick patients that are good candidates, people who have biliary colic, maybe a few stones, but not acutely affected in the hospital on antibiotics. And obviously want to stay away from morbidly obese patients."
And while the device may not be best for the morbidly obese for this particular surgery, Dr. Evans said this single incision technique can be used on obese patients for lap band surgery for weight loss. But that's not all. There are other applications that may be used in the near future.
"One that's going to be real exciting is appendectomy. You can even do appendectomies on kids as young as three or four, .al the way up to senior citizens, through one small incision. And you can do those when the patient is acute".
In addition to Garden Park in Gulfport, Hancock Medical and some other hospitals on the coast are also offering the single incision procedure.