Beaufort Memorial’s Living Well Blog brings health and wellness to Lowcountry living.

Single-Site Surgery Helps Jenny Brown Say Goodbye to Gallstones

Posted by Surgical Services Team on Jul 22, 2015 4:31:00 PM

After undergoing gallbladder surgery, Jenny Brown has nothing to show for it. And she couldn’t be happier.

Using revolutionary robotic technology, Brown's surgeon was able to remove her gallbladder through a single, one-inch incision in her belly button. “I was surprised at how good it looks,” the 59-year-old Beaufort resident says. “The scar is completely hidden."

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    Gallbladder pain is now a thing of the past for Jenny.

For months, Brown had been experiencing pain in her belly caused by gallstones—hard, pebble-like deposits that form inside the gallbladder. “The pain would get so bad, it would radiate to my back,” says Brown, whose daily exercise routine includes walking her dog and riding a recumbent bike. “All I could do was sit and not move until it was over.”

Her doctor told her she would need a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, which requires four small incisions in the abdomen to accommodate the various surgical instruments used to remove the gallbladder.

Dr. Stephen Sisco, one of two physicians at Beaufort Memorial Hospital performing single-site surgery, offered Brown an alternative. Through the use of FDA-approved instrumentation created for the da Vinci robotic surgical system, he could remove her gallbladder with just one small cut in her belly button. Unsurprisingly, Brown chose single-site.

She arrived for surgery at 6 a.m. and was out by 2:30 p.m. Her stomach was a little sore, but she didn’t need any pain medication. More important, the cramps she had been experiencing three or four times a week were gone.

When she returned to her job as a dental assistant, she compared scars with a friend who had her gallbladder removed via traditional laparoscopic surgery. “She has four small scars,” Brown says. “Mine is hardly visible. You really have to look to see it.”

Dr. Sisco is equally impressed. “The cosmetic results are pretty amazing,” he says. “Five years ago, no one would have thought about taking out a gallbladder with the da Vinci. That's all changed.”

To learn more about how the da Vinci robotic system is improving surgical results at BMH, click here.

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