When Renee Clark learned she needed gallbladder surgery, two things came to mind — a big scar and a long recovery. Fortunately, her doctor explained the surgery could be performed robotically, with just one tiny incision and an accelerated recovery time.
“As a kid, I remember the large diagonal scar my mother had from gallbladder surgery,” said Renee. “I was so relieved to hear that my scar would be practically invisible.”
Single-site robotic surgery for gallbladder removal is emerging as the preferred method for this common surgery and Baptist Health surgeons are among the first in the area to perform the procedure. Using the da Vinci® Surgical System, the surgeon operates through one small incision in the patient’s navel.
“This technology offers surgeons an enhanced three-dimensional view and the ability to operate with smaller, more precise movements,” said T. Stevens Felger, MD, who performed Renee’s surgery at Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville. For patients, this means less pain, a faster recovery and minimal scarring.
Prior to the surgery, Renee was experiencing pain on her right side under her ribcage. “It felt like there was a rock lodged under there,” she said. After four days with no pain relief and tests that confirmed surgery would be necessary, she was referred to Dr. Felger.
True to Dr. Felger’s word, the surgery was a simple process for Renee. “I went in on Friday at 10:45 a.m. and I was out of surgery a little after noon,” she said. “Even better, I was home by 3:30 p.m. the same day.”
“Just two days later, I was back doing the job I love,” explained Renee. The best part, she said, was waking up and realizing immediately that her pain had vanished.