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.