TRMC expands robotic surgery to gallbladder removal 02/26/2013
Tift Regional Medical Center (TRMC) is now offering the latest in robotic technology for minimally-invasive gallbladder removal. Robotic surgery has been offered in gynecology since 2011 at Tift Regional, and this has now been expanded to the field of general surgery as well. Dr. David McEachin, a board certified surgeon practicing in Tifton since 1997, is now also fully certified in Da Vinci robotic surgery, and has recently begun offering gallbladder removal in this fashion, a procedure known as robotic single site laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
Dr. McEachin has offered single site laparoscopic cholecystectomy since 2009, but not every patient was a candidate for the procedure because of limitations of the instrumentation. Robotic instrumentation greatly enhances the procedure, thus making it available to almost every patient. This procedure is done through a single incision made through the belly button, which allows the scar to remain nearly hidden. No other incisions are necessary. The robotic single incision procedure may also reduce the amount of pain patients have following surgery, and allow them to return to their activities sooner.
“With this new technology, we are truly taking the next step with our robotic surgery program and reaffirming our commitment to excellence on the new frontiers in surgery,” said Dr. McEachin. “Our patients will truly benefit from this technology, and I believe we will see an expansion of the use of robotics in surgery, including its use in colorectal surgery and hernia repair in the near future.”
The da Vinci system is a sophisticated robotic platform designed to expand the surgeon's capabilities. Seated comfortably at the da Vinci console, surgeons are able to become steadier with hand movements through the use of precision instruments attached to robotic arms. Advantages for surgeons include improved ergonomics, 3D visualization and enhanced accuracy; for patients, the advantages are smaller incisions, less discomfort and a quicker return to normal activities.
"The da Vinci system takes laparoscopic surgery to whole new level," said Tonia Garrett, RN, assistant vice president of patient care, who oversees the TRMC Surgery Center. "We are proud to offer this innovative technology here at the TRMC Surgery Center, and we are fortunate to be able to add to our da Vinci gynecological program. Single-site robotic surgery means a more gentle surgery, with all the benefits of minimally invasive surgery.”
Tift Regional is one of only two hospitals in South Georgia offering this procedure, and Dr. McEachin is one of only two surgeons in South Georgia who is fully trained and able to provide single site robotic gallbladder removal.