A robotic cholecystectomy is an advanced, minimally-invasive procedure for removing the gallbladder. This may be necessary if you develop one of the many forms of gallbladder disease, including gallstones, inflammation (cholecystitis), infection, or a blockage (biliary dyskinesia). The problem with gallbladder disease is that it can remain asymptomatic for years, preventing early treatment of the disease that can sometimes be controlled by dietary changes. However, once you actually begin to feel the symptoms of gallbladder disease, surgery is often the only way to effectively correct the problem. Otherwise, you may continue to experience pain, tissue decay, and digestive problems that can pose great dangers to your health. Our highly-skilled and experienced team of surgeons at Suburban Surgical Care Specialists/Kane Center are well-equipped to help you if you are experiencing symptoms of gallbladder disease.
- What the Gallbladder Does
- Gallbladder Disease Symptoms
- What Is a Robotic Cholecystectomy?
- Robotic Cholecystectomy Benefits
- Robotic Cholecystectomy Procedure
- Length of Gallbladder Surgery
- Gallbladder Surgery Recovery
- Robotic Cholecystectomy Complications
What Does the Gallbladder Do?
The gallbladder is a small organ that stores bile produced by the liver. When you eat, this bile is sent through ducts into the small intestine to aid in digesting fat. When the gallbladder becomes inflamed or the ducts are blocked, this can eventually lead to a variety of symptoms that range from mild to severe pain.
What Are the Symptoms of Gallbladder Disease?
Some common symptoms of gallbladder disease include:
- Abdominal or back pain
- Nausea or vomiting
- Fever or chills
These symptoms are usually felt right after meals, especially after consuming fatty or greasy foods. Once patients begin to feel the symptoms of gallbladder disease, surgery is usually needed to remove the gallstones, decayed tissues, or even the entire damaged gallbladder itself.
What Is a Robotic Cholecystectomy?
In the past, laparoscopic surgery was the main treatment of gallbladder disease. Today, there is another effective option that we have experienced high patient satisfaction rates with: advanced robotic technology. A robotic cholecystectomy with the da Vinci® robotic system allows our surgeons to carefully insert small robotic instruments into the treatment area. The instruments amplify the surgeon’s vision to help him better identify the surgical field. They also mimic the surgeon’s hand and increase dexterity with smaller, more precise movements.
Robotic cholecystectomy can be performed with a few incisions or just one small incision. The da Vinci Single-Site® technology usually involves only one incision of less than one inch in length near the belly button. Robotic single-site cholecystectomy typically yields superior cosmetic results and higher patient satisfaction because the incision needed to insert the robotic device is so tiny that the procedure often results in less pain and reduced scarring.
What Are the Benefits of a Robotic Cholecystectomy?
The benefits of a robotic cholecystectomy generally include:
- Reduction of time spent in the hospital
- Lower risk of complications during surgery
- Minimal pain and scarring
- Decreased blood loss during surgery
- Faster recovery time
What Does a Robotic Cholecystectomy Procedure Involve?
At Suburban Surgical Care Specialists/Kane Center, we use the da Vinci® Surgical System for both multi-incision and single-incision cholecystectomy. With this advanced technology, the surgeon controls robotic instrumentation and a high-definition, 3D camera to perform a more precise and controlled dissection of tissues.
A small incision will be made by your surgeon at the treatment site. The robotic camera and flexible working instruments will be inserted to begin surgery. Your doctor will have an enhanced view of the surgical treatment area. During the procedure, the robotic instruments will be completely manipulated by your surgeon to remove the affected areas causing gallbladder disease.
How Long Does Gallbladder Removal Surgery Take?
The entire robotic cholecystectomy procedure typically takes about one hour. Patients usually can leave the hospital immediately following surgery, with most average hospital stays being about two hours long.
What Can I Expect After Gallbladder Removal Surgery?
Although everyone recovers at a different rate, patients can typically resume their regular diet and light activities the same day of their robotic cholecystectomy. Full recovery from the minimally-invasive surgery generally occurs within a couple of weeks. By undergoing the robotic-assisted gallbladder removal procedure, patients can experience a much shorter recovery process. Whereas with an open cholecystectomy, patients may require two to three days in the hospital, with a total recovery time of about four to six weeks. To help you know what to expect after your gallbladder surgery, our surgeons will go over the recovery period with you, as well as provide post-operative care instructions to promote safe and comfortable healing.
What Complications Are Associated with a Cholecystectomy?
As with any surgical procedure, there are risks to gallbladder surgery. Potential risks of a cholecystectomy include injury to the bile duct, bile leakage, pancreatitis, and remaining stones in the bile duct. However, a robotic cholecystectomy is designed to minimize these risks and our surgeons take the utmost precautions to ensure the safest possible treatment. More detailed information about the risks of your procedure will be explained to you before surgery, ensuring you can make an informed decision about your health.
If you have any questions about robotic cholecystectomy, or if you are interested in scheduling a consultation with one of our surgeons, please contact us today.