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June 2012
Featured Story

NCH offers single incision surgery using da Vinci® robotic technology

Northwest Community Hospital (NCH) has taken minimally-invasive surgery to the next level, becoming the first hospital in the northwest suburbs of Chicago to perform a single incision cholecystectomy at the navel using robotic technology. Now, patients with painful gallbladder stones or non-functioning gallbladders have an outpatient surgical treatment option that will leave them virtually free of scars.

Surgeon Robert Aki, MD (at left, in white), and NCH surgical team members performed the area's first single incision cholecystectomy at the belly button using robotic technology.

Surgeon Robert Aki, MD (at left, in white), and NCH surgical team members performed the area's first single incision cholecystectomy at the navel using robotic technology.

"To be the first hospital in the area to offer this technically advanced procedure demonstrates how NCH is leading the way in minimally invasive surgery," says Meaghan Reshoft, RN, BSN, MBA, CASC, executive director of NCH Surgical Services.

It was only last month that an NCH surgical team accompanied Robert Aki, MD, for the Hospital's inaugural da Vinci® Single-Site™ cholecystectomy. The minimally invasive procedure is traditionally called a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, however, Dr. Aki used the da Vinci robot to remove the gallbladder through one incision of approximately one inch in length.

"The Single-Site procedure is more precise and the 3D visualization of the surgical field is superior as compared to the conventional laparoscopic approach, which is only two dimensional," says Dr. Aki, who adds that the integration of robotic technology allows surgeons to perform cholecystectomies in a less complicated manner. Dr. Aki is one of only a handful of surgeons across the nation specially trained in this robotic-assisted procedure.

There are medical and cosmetic benefits for the patient, too. Instead of four scars there's just one and it's hardly noticeable. Following surgery, patients experience potentially shorter recovery times and many are able to go home the very same day. Dr. Aki adds that most people who require gallbladder removal are candidates for the robotic single-incision surgery.

A diverse robotics program and the expertise to lead others

At NCH, surgeons perform various types of robotic-assisted surgeries in addition to gallbladder removal, including surgical procedures for gynecological, prostate, kidney, urological and colorectal conditions.

Intuitive Surgical the maker of the da Vinci system has designated NCH a da Vinci robotic training center where surgeons from across the nation observe Michelle Luthringshausen, MD, medical director of Robotic Surgery at NCH and director of the NCH Robotic Gynecologic Surgery Institute, as she performs sophisticated, minimally invasive procedures that include hysterectomies, uterine fibroid removal and complex endometriosis cases. In fact, NCH is one of only twenty-two centers in the United States and is the very first gynecological training institute in the tri-state area of Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana.

For more information about robotic surgery and da Vinci Single-Site cholecystectomies at NCH, medical staff members can contact Meaghan Reshoft at 847.618.7075 or Dr. Luthringshausen at 847.618.7070.

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Last Updated 2012/06/14