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Munroe Regional Medical Center First in North Central Florida to Perform Single-Site Incision Robotic Surgery to Remove Gallbladder

Munroe Regional is the only hospital in Marion, Alachua, Citrus and Sumter Counties performing this innovative procedure

OCALA, Fla. - November 16, 2012
This morning, a surgical team at Munroe Regional Medical Center performed the first da Vinci® Single-Site™ Cholecystectomy in Marion, Alachua, Citrus and Sumter Counties. The patient’s gallbladder was removed through one tiny incision in the belly button, making the procedure virtually scarless.

Led by Anthony DeIorio, M.D., of Ocala Surgical Associates at Munroe Regional Medical Center, the team removed the gallbladder using Single-Site™ instruments on a da Vinci® System. The minimally invasive procedure is traditionally called a laparoscopic cholecystectomy (removal of the gallbladder). Using robotic assistance, surgeons removed the gallbladder through an incision of approximately one inch.

The Food and Drug Administration cleared the specialized Single-Site instruments for use with the da Vinci System in December 2011. da Vinci is a robotic surgical system widely used in complex minimally invasive surgery. Dr. DeIorio is one of a small group of surgeons in the country who has received training to perform this surgery.

"Neither robotic surgery nor single-incision surgery is new, but combining the two to remove the gallbladder requires additional training and special equipment," says Dr. DeIorio. "To be one of the first hospitals to offer this technically advanced surgery demonstrates Munroe Regional’s leadership in providing patients with the most up-to-date minimally invasive surgical options."

Potential benefits of Single-Site gallbladder surgery may include virtually scarless results, minimal pain, low blood loss, fast recovery, a short hospital stay and high patient satisfaction. The surgery can be performed in about one hour with a typical hospital stay of less than 24 hours.

During the procedure, the surgeon sits comfortably at a console, viewing a 3D, high-definition image 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 more precise movements of the miniaturized instruments inside the patient.

Unlike traditional robotic surgeries requiring three to five small incisions, this new technology allows for a single incision in the belly button where instruments are placed and the diseased gallbladder is removed.

“Single-Site instruments used with the da Vinci platform are the next step in the evolution of surgical technologies,” said Dr. Lon McPherson, Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs and Chief Quality Officer at Munroe Regional. “We are truly excited to be part of this innovative surgical treatment, which enhances our ability to provide high quality and safe healthcare to the patients we serve.”

Many people who require gallbladder removal are candidates for the robotic, single-incision surgery. According to the American College of Surgeons, surgery is the recommended treatment for gallbladder pain from gallstones and non-functioning gallbladders. More than 1 million people in the U.S. have their gallbladder removed each year. Most are performed with traditional laparoscopy using several incisions.

Munroe Regional offers various types of robotic-assisted surgeries. In addition to gallbladder removal, the medical center’s surgeons perform robotic-assisted surgery in urologic, gynecologic and thoracic surgery. Munroe Regional also offers a wide range of minimally invasive conventional laparoscopic surgeries.

For information on robotic and other minimally invasive surgeries at Munroe Regional Medical Center, please contact Ryan Gerds, Public Information Officer, at 402-5206 or by email at