The latest evolution in minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery has arrived at Baptist Health Floyd, thanks to the vision of cutting-edge board certified General Surgeons Julie Hutchinson, MD and Ashley Lankford, MD. Single Site Laparoscopic surgery (SSL) is the newest advancement in minimally invasive surgical techniques. The SSL approach can be utilized in gallbladder and appendix removal surgeries, as well as colon re-section procedures, and eliminates the need for multiple abdominal incisions traditionally associated with laparoscopic procedures.
“Single site surgery is a natural progression in the trend towards making surgical procedures as minimally invasive as possible. Fewer points of entry mean less trauma to the body, reduced chance of infection, less recovery pain and a better cosmetic outcome, since there is little to no visible scarring. It’s a win-win procedure that I’m excited to offer to my patients.”
Julie Hutchinson, MD
Board Certified General Surgeon
McCullough, Hutchinson & Day General Surgeons
Special Port Allows Procedure to Take Place Through One Incision
Dr. Hutchinson explained the differences between minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery and the new single site surgery. “Traditional laparoscopy is performed using a laparoscope, a device containing a light source and camera that is inserted through the belly button and transmits video images to a monitor so the surgeon can see inside the body during surgery. The remaining surgical instruments are then inserted through three to four small incisions in the abdomen, with one incision for each instrument needed. While laparoscopic surgery is very widely utilized and produces excellent results that typically enable the patient to go home the same day of surgery, the SSL procedure takes it one step further by allowing the surgeon to insert all of their instruments and light source through a single incision in the belly button. This is accomplished through the use of a special access port and unique instrumentation that is able to bend as needed. The port, which is a soft and flexible device inserted into the belly button incision, allows the surgeon to use all of their instrumentation simultaneously through one entry point.”
Reduced Risk of Infection, Pain and Scarring
Dr. Lankford elaborated on her decision to offer SSL, “Conventional laparoscopy is still the gold standard of care, but I decided to become trained in single site procedures because I truly believe it represents the direction surgery is headed. The opportunity to offer my patients a procedure that requires fewer incisions and results in less pain and scarring, but with comparable end results, was too good to turn down. However, it’s important to keep in mind that not everyone is a candidate for single site surgery, and the decision has to be made by the surgeon on an individual basis.”
“A very large portion of patients in need of gallbladder or appendix removal, or colon re-sectioning, are good candidates for the single site procedure. The main criteria are having had little to no prior abdominal surgery and being of a healthy weight. If you fit that description, you should be proactive in choosing a surgeon and hospital that can offer the most advanced techniques for your needs.”
Board Certified General Surgeon
The Best of Both Worlds
Technological advancements and new techniques are exciting, but the ultimate goal is always an excellent result, and the SSL procedure delivers just that. With the same low complication rates and reliable outcomes as traditional laparoscopic procedures, it offers a win-win scenario. Dr. Lankford added, “I always tell my patients, a smaller scar is great, but if you’re still in pain after surgery, it won’t be much consolation. Agood result is more important than the size of your scar, and choosing the right procedure for your condition and medical history is the key. That’s the beauty of SSL, it offers the right patient the best of both worlds – less pain, a pleasing cosmetic result and an excellent, reliable clinical outcome.”
Did You Know?
Baptist Health Floyd is the only hospital in Southern Indiana that offers patients the option of having Single Site surgical procedures.