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Bayhealth Pioneers Single-site Gallbladder Surgery


Rahul Singh, MD, and Wendy Newell, MD, of Wolf Creek Surgeons, performed Delaware’s first single-site cholecystectomy using the da Vinci robotic surgery system at Kent General Hospital, Dover.  The patient’s gallbladder was removed through an incision approximately one inch in size, at his belly button.

Traditional gallbladder surgery is typically done laparoscopically through 4 small incisions in the abdominal region.  With single-site, surgeons make only one incision. 

After the procedure, which takes 45-50 minutes, most patients can expect to see short recovery times.

Neither robotic surgery nor single-incision surgery is new, but combining the two to remove the gallbladder allows surgeons to apply the procedure to a wider range of patients.  In addition, the da Vinci system provides a 3D view of the patient’s internal organs.

During the cholecystectomy, Dr. Singh and Dr. Newell view a 3D high-definition image of the patient’s abdomen. Controls below the console’s screen allow them to manipulate the instrument’s arms and camera inside the patient’s body as if they were their own fingers.

“When I’m suturing with the robot, it feels as if I’m holding the needles and the tissue in my own hands,” said Dr. Singh.

Bayhealth offers various types of robotic-assisted surgeries at Kent General Hospital in several fields. Surgeons are credentialed to perform robotic surgeries in the gynecologic, urologic, thoracic, colorectal and general surgery fields.  In Delaware, thoracic and colorectal robotic surgery is currently only offered at Bayhealth.  Bayhealth also offers a wide range of minimally invasive conventional laparoscopic surgeries.

To learn more about robotic and other minimally invasive surgeries at Bayhealth, visit www.bayhealth.org/robotics.

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