Learn why Single-Site Surgery may be your best option for virtually scarless results.

Your gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ under your liver that stores and concentrates bile to help digest fat. Gallbladder disease includes: inflammation, infection, or blockage (obstruction) of the gallbladder. The most common blockage is a gallstone. Gallstones are pebble-like and solid. They can be as large as a golf ball or as small as a grain of sand. Gallbladder disease is very common, affecting about 10-15% of adults in Europe and the U.S.1 It is more common in women, Native Americans, Hispanics, the obese and people over age 40.2

Symptoms of gallbladder disease may include: pain in the upper right side or middle of the abdomen, abdominal fullness, clay-colored stool, fever, nausea and vomiting, or yellowing of skin and whites of eyes (jaundice).

diagram of gallbladder

Treatment for gallbladder disease may include lifestyle changes, medicines and procedures. However, when routine medical care does not ease your symptoms, surgery may be needed. Depending on how severe your symptoms are, doctors may need to remove your gallbladder. This operation is known as a cholecystectomy. Gallbladder surgery is generally performed using manual laparoscopy. This technique uses several small incisions to access the gallbladder. The approach is intended to speed recovery, minimize pain, reduce blood loss and complications while offering the added benefit of minimal scarring. Your surgeon may also perform laparoscopic surgery through one incision to virtually eliminate scarring. While single-incision manual laparoscopic surgery does minimize scarring, there are limitations for the surgeon including: reduced visibility, restricted instrument control, restricted reach, and increased fatigue due to poor ergonomics. Also, some patients may not be candidates for single-incision laparoscopy if they have complex anatomy or adhesions from a prior surgery. Due to these challenges, your doctor may need to convert the procedure to multi-incision surgery.

single incision surgery
Single-Site Robotic Surgery

If you have been told you need gallbladder surgery, ask your doctor about Single-Site surgery. This procedure is performed through a single incision using state-of-the-art precision instruments. Patients who choose Single-Site surgery experience a virtually scarless procedure since surgery is performed through only one incision in the navel (belly button), which dramatically limits visible scarring. The primary potential benefits* of Single-Site surgery include:

  • Minimal scarring
  • Minimal pain
  • Low blood loss
  • Fast recovery
  • Short hospital stay
  • High patient satisfaction

multiple incision surgery
Multi-Incision Laparoscopy

As with any surgery, these benefits cannot be guaranteed since surgery is unique to each patient and procedure.

The Enabling Technology

The da Vinci Surgical System is designed to overcome the limitations of manual laparoscopy with enhanced capabilities, including high definition 3D vision and a 10X magnified view. Your doctor controls the da Vinci System, which translates his or her hand movements into smaller, more precise movements of tiny instruments inside your body. Though it is often called a "robot," da Vinci cannot act on its own - the surgery is performed entirely by your doctor. Together, the da Vinci System and Single-Site™ instruments allow your doctor to perform gallbladder surgery through a single incision. As a result, you may be able to get back to your life without the recovery or scars that usually follow major surgery. The da Vinci System has been used successfully worldwide in hundreds of thousands of procedures to date.