Easton Hospital First in Lehigh Valley to Perform Single-Incision Procedure with da Vinci Robot System

March 25, 2013

Minimally invasive surgery has taken yet another giant step forward – at Easton Hospital. Thanks to the latest breakthrough in robotic-assisted procedures, patients at Easton Hospital can now have their gallbladders removed in about the same amount of time as a lunch break, and be home in time for dinner with minimal discomfort and potentially no visible scar.

Dr. Chand Rohatgi and Dr. Artun Aksade are the first in the area and among the first in the nation trained to perform “belly button” gallbladder removals, which they offer to their patients compliments of the da Vinci surgical robot at Easton.

The surgical procedure, technically called a single incision robotic-assisted laparoscopic cholecystectomy, uses a single incision through the patient’s belly button to remove the patient’s gall bladder. Each year, about one million people in the United States have their gall bladders removed.

“This is a great benefit to patients,” Dr. Rohatgi said. “It is just one more step in our efforts to make surgery less invasive, less difficult and safer for the patients who trust us with their health.”

“One of the greatest advantages of having the robotic assistance for single-incision surgery is being able to offer this minimally invasive and virtually scarless surgery to more of my patients,” said Dr. Rohatgi. “I would estimate that fewer than ten percent of my patients were good candidates for conventional single incision laparoscopic surgery, but now with the aid of the robot, I will be able to offer this type of surgery to most of my patients.”

Intuitive Surgical, Inc – the manufacturer of the da Vinci Surgical Robot, received FDA-approval on the new operating platform specifically for cholecystectomy procedures, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. The system enables surgeons to reduce the traditional number of incisions from 4- 6 small incisions to one incision that is less than an inch in length.

“I think this is only the beginning and eventually we will expand the use of this tool for more procedures,” said Dr. Rohatgi. “The robotic system gives me the ability to not only operate through one small incision and through a natural body opening like the umbilicus, but it gives me the precision and three-dimensional, high definition vision system to enhance surgical capabilities.”

Surgeons at Easton Hospital utilize the da Vinci System, for a variety of minimally invasive robotic general, urological and bariatric surgical procedures.


About Easton Hospital

EastonHospital is a 254-bed acute care teaching hospital serving more than 300,000 residents in NorthamptonCounty and the five surrounding counties in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Founded in 1890, the Hospital offers an active Emergency Department which sees more than 35,000 annual visits; a cardiac care program including an accredited Chest Pain Center by the Society for Chest Pain Centers; a newly renovated Center for Orthopedics, Joint and Spine; an Orthopedics program which is accredited by the Joint Commission; a Bariatric Weight Loss program that has been designated a Center of Excellence in Bariatric Surgery; and the hospital’s Easton Regional Cancer Center which is a Fox Chase Cancer Center Partner. In addition, the hospital maintains free-standing, fully-accredited residency training programs. For more information and a complete list of services offered at EastonHospital, visit the hospital’s website: www.easton-hospital.com.

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