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Lowell General Hospital Expands Minimally Invasive Surgery Offerings

Lowell General is First Hospital in Greater Boston to Perform Single Incision Gallbladder Removal with da Vinci® Si Surgical System

May 10, 2012 - Lowell, MA - Lowell General Hospital announced today that it has expanded the offerings of its Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery and is the first hospital in Greater Boston to perform a single incision gallbladder removal procedure using the da Vinci Si Surgical System.

On Thursday, May 10, 2012 Michael Jiser, MD, FACS, Lowell General Hospital's Chief of General Surgery, performed two single site cholecystectomy procedures using the da Vinci Si Surgical System, the latest in state-of-the-art robotic surgery technology.

Traditional laparoscopic surgery for gallbladder removal requires at least four incisions in order to insert all the necessary surgical instruments and a special camera to view the structures inside the abdomen. With the single-port laparoscopic surgery, offered at Lowell General Hospital since 2009, the special instruments and camera are guided through just one incision in the patient's belly button. As a result, there is no visible scar after surgery since it is almost completely hidden inside the belly button.

"For patients who want to minimize scarring, the single-port approach is a great option," says Patrick Canal, Director of Surgical Services for Lowell General Hospital. "Leveraging the da Vinci Si Surgical System for this procedure extends our capabilities even more, and gives our skilled surgeons and patients another fantastic option for their minimally invasive surgical needs."

The robotic system enhances the surgeon's skill with computer technology, enabling him to see vital anatomical structures more clearly and perform surgical procedures more precisely. State-of-the-art, robotic instrumentation controlled by the surgeon allows for the gallbladder removal to be performed through one tiny incision. High definition, three-dimensional vision offers surgeons visualization far superior to that of the human eye.

"The single-port laparoscopic technique is technically challenging because your instruments are working in line," Dr. Jiser explains. "But with training, experience and appropriate patient selection, outcomes are excellent. Leveraging robotic technology helps us take this approach to the next level and may extend the single incision option to more patients who may not have previously qualified for single-site cholecystectomy."

The da Vinci Si has several unique features designed to provide additional clinical benefits and efficiency in the operating room, many of which translate to patient benefits, including:

  • Enhanced 3D, high-definition vision of operative field with up to 10x magnification
  • New da Vinci Skills Simulation
  • Superior visual clarity of tissue and anatomy
  • Surgical dexterity and precision far greater than even the human hand
  • Updated and simplified user interface to enhance OR efficiency
  • New ergonomic settings for great surgeon comfort

The da Vinci Surgical System and the Skills Simulator are developed by Intuitive Surgical Inc. Intuitive Surgical, Inc. is the global technology leader in robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery. The company's da Vinci Surgical System offers surgeons superior visualization, enhanced dexterity and greater precision compared to traditional surgical approaches. More than 500,000 patients worldwide affected by a range of conditions have had a da Vinci procedure.

About Lowell General Hospital

Lowell General Hospital is an independent, not-for-profit, community hospital serving the Greater Lowell area and surrounding communities. The hospital offers the latest state-of-the-art technology and a full range of medical and surgical services for patients, from newborns to seniors, including: the Regional Center for Maternal and Pediatric Care in partnership with Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center, the Cancer Center, and the Heart and Vascular Center.

The main hospital campus offers 217 licensed beds, including 28 bassinets and a Level IIB Special Care Nursery. The hospital's satellite campus, Lowell General Chelmsford, offers a variety of outpatient services, including the Surgery Center, the Imaging Center, the Patient Service Center, the Center for Weight Management and Bariatric Surgery and Floating Hospital for Children's Pediatric Specialty Center.

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