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da Vinci® Robotic Single-Site ™Surgery • About Virtually Scarless Surgery

The most advanced approach for Single-Site surgery

NCH has taken minimally-invasive surgery to the next level. In the spring of 2012, NCH became the first hospital in the northwest suburbs of Chicago and among the first in Illinois to use the da Vinci robot to remove the gallbladder with one tiny incision inside the umbilicus (navel), leaving patients virtually free of scars. Then in May 2013, the first Single-Site robotic gynecological procedure in the Chicagoland area was performed at NCH. Today, specially trained NCH physicians perform hundreds of Single-Site robotic surgeries every year, including gallbladder removal (cholecystectomies) and benign ovarian procedures and hysterectomies.

Compared to conventional surgery, the potential benefits of da Vinci Single-Site procedures include:

  • Less noticeable or invisible scars
  • Potentially shorter hospital stay
  • Faster recovery
  • Often less pain

Traditionally, surgeons make three to five incisions for laparoscopic surgery, but with the technically advanced Single-Site approach, only a one-inch incision inside the umbilicus is necessary. The advanced robotic technology and specialized instruments of da Vinci gives surgeons a greater level of precision and superior visualization.

Like other robotic procedures performed at NCH, the surgeon sits comfortably at a console during the procedure, viewing 3-D, high-definition images of the patient's anatomy. The surgeon uses controls below the viewer to move the instrument arms and camera. In real-time, the system translates the surgeon's hand, wrist and finger movements into extremely precise movements of the miniaturized instruments inside the patient. It also detects and filters out any tremors in the surgeon’s hand movements for an even more precise technique.

Many people who require gallbladder removal or benign gynecologic procedures are candidates for robotic single-incision surgery. da Vinci is fast becoming the minimally invasive surgery of choice at NCH. In fact, since 2011, NCH has been named an “Epicenter” for Gynecologic Robotic Surgery by Intuitive Surgical – the first of its kind in Illinois – where Dr. Michelle Luthringshausen, the Director of Robotics at NCH, hosts and teaches gynecologic robotic surgery to physicians from around the country.

NCH has a medical staff of more than 1,000 physicians, which includes the board-certified primary care doctors and specialists of the NCH Medical Group. The physicians who provide care at NCH may not be agents or employees at Northwest Community Healthcare, or at any of our affiliate organizations. These physicians have selected our facility as a place where they want to treat and care for their private patients. For more information, or to find a doctor on the NCH Medical staff, visit

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Last Updated 2014/06/04