Dr. Iqbal Garcha recently performed 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 at Northside Hospital in Atlanta.
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.
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.
Dr. Garcha graduated from the Medical College of Georgia and completed his general surgery residency at Georgia Baptist Hospital in Atlanta. He has been in private practice at Northside Hospital and Saint Joseph Medical Center since 1997.