HARTSVILLE, SC (January 11, 2011) — In keeping with Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center’s mission to offer patients the latest advances in medical treatment and sustain its role in the region as a premier health care leader, Carolina Pines is pleased to announce the addition of a new surgical procedure that facilitates gallbladder removal through a single incision.
The SILSTM procedure is a laparoscopic surgical procedure that removes the gallbladder through the belly button potentially leaving no visible scar. The SILSTM technique is not just for gallbladder removal but can also be used in a wide variety of surgeries including bariatric, urologic and gynecologic like hysterectomies.
According to Dr. Art Cooler, the surgeon who performed the first SILSTM procedure at Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center, the patient is ready to go home in just a few hours after surgery and may not even see evidence of the surgery.
One of the major advantages of the SILSTM procedure is that it utilizes only one access point, through the patient’s umbilicus, or belly button, ultimately resulting in the potential for no visible scar and minimizing pain associated with the traditional multiple sites of entry. By comparison, traditional laparoscopic cholecystectomies or gallbladder removal involves four ½ inch or smaller incisions that may leave scars. Currently, more than 80% of all cholecystectomies performed in the United States are done laparoscopically with multiple access points.
The SILSTM procedure represents the newest surgical development since the first laparoscopic gallbladder removal performed in 1987. Approximately 500,000 procedures are performed each year in the US to remove the gallbladder, a small pear-shaped organ located in the upper abdomen beneath the liver. While the gallbladder’s main function – to store bile produced by the liver and release it for digestion – is important to the body, it is not essential. Gallbladder surgeries are usually performed for the treatment of gallstones – small solid formation of cholesterol and bile salts within the gallbladder or inflammation of the gallbladder.
“At Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center, patient care is our highest priority. Procedures including the SILSTM technique are instrumental in helping us fulfill our goal of offering patients the latest advancements in medicine,” said Lance Jones, CEO of Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center. Dr. Terry Hassler, Chief of Surgery adds, “We are thrilled to be at the forefront of a new kind of surgery that continues to transform the minimally invasive arena, resulting in even better experience for our patients.”