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Ministry Health Care Community Report
Community Report

From Surgery to Setting Sail

From Surgery to Setting Sail

Standing on the deck of a cruise ship, a woman admires the gorgeous view in front of her. A cool breeze floats over her and she knows she is right where she should be. This woman's name is Pat Sand, and she recently had robotic surgery.

Pat had suffered a series of painful gallbladder attacks over a period of about 1½ years and was eventually referred to Ministry's Howard Young Medical Center in Woodruff. An examination revealed sludge and several stones in her gallbladder. Pat recalls her surgeon reviewing the various options with her, discussing recovery time and weighing the benefits of each. Pat's surgeon recommended robotic surgery to remove her gallbladder, and Pat agreed.

Recovery time was rapid for Pat, allowing her to enjoy her cruise only a little more than two weeks after her surgery. She was also extremely impressed with the minimal pain she felt during recovery.

So here Pat stands, enjoying another cruise, and another adventure. She is thankful to be feeling better again, and even more thankful for how quickly her recovery went. She may be traveling the world, but she has never felt more at home.

Published October 2014

Single-site Robotic Surgery Assists Gallbladder Patients

Among the first facilities in northern Wisconsin to perform robotic surgery, Ministry Health Care’s Howard Young Medical Center is using the latest technology to offer a safe alternative to patients who require gallbladder removal (cholecystectomy). Using the da Vinci® Surgical System, an advanced surgical robotics technology, Howard Young Medical Center surgeons are leading the way in performing minimally invasive and complex procedures using small incisions and precise, controlled movements.

“The old way to perform a cholecystectomy is to make a large incision in the abdomen to remove the gallbladder. Advances in technology lead to laparoscopic removal of the gallbladder, which requires three or four small incisions,” said Justin Cebery, manager of surgical services. “With the single-site procedure, surgeons are able to make a single small incision inside the belly button using the da Vinci system, resulting in minimal scarring, minimal blood loss, minimal pain and a quick recovery.”

Though the actual procedural movements are performed using the robotic arms, the surgeon controls all movements from a console near the operating table.

“The console provides the surgeon with a magnified, 3D view of the procedure and is linked to the single-site instruments,” Cebery said. “The controls are operated by the surgeon and translated into highly precise movements of the instruments. This translates into a high level of precision and control when handling delicate tissues.”

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