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News One Incision-Gallbladder Surgery a Plus for Patients

One Incision-Gallbladder Surgery a Plus for Patients


​People facing gallbladder surgery have a new option at Good Samaritan Regional Health Center—one that barely leaves a scar.

Surgeons Kevin Claffey, MD and Alan Harad, MD are now using the da Vinci® Surgical System for single-incision gallbladder surgery. Called a Single-Site cholecystectomy, the gallbladder is removed through one tiny incision in the belly button, approximately one inch, making the procedure virtually scarless.
Surgery is the recommended treatment for gallbladder pain from gallstones and non-functioning gallbladders, according to the American College of Surgeons.  More than 1 million people in the United State have their gallbladder removed each year.  Most of them are candidates for the robotic-assisted, single-incision surgery.

“Aside from leaving almost no scar, this technique offers many benefits for our patients,” explains St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Medical Group surgeon Kevin Claffey, MD, “There is usually minimal pain, little loss of blood, a faster recovery, lower infection rates and a shorter hospital stay than with traditional surgery.”

During the procedure, the surgeon sits comfortably at a console, viewing a three-dimensional, high-definition image of the patient’s anatomy. The surgeon uses controls to move the instrument arms and camera. The system translates the surgeon’s hand, wrist and finger movements into more precise movements of the miniaturized instruments inside the patient.  With the additional use of Firefly technology, fluorescent dye works with the camera eye of the da Vinci robot which lights up the anatomy.  This gives the surgeon an enhanced view bringing higher accuracy in identifying the anatomy and an even safer surgery. 

“Symptoms of gallbladder problems include pain at the top of the abdomen, pain between the shoulder blades or under the right shoulder, shortness of breath, nausea and/or vomiting,” says Dr. Alan Harad, surgeon with St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Medical Group. “Fever, chills, sweating, or yellow skin signal a serious gallbladder attack needing immediate medical help,” he adds.

In addition to gallbladder removal, surgeons at Good Samaritan Regional Health Center perform robotic-assisted surgery in gynecology, to learn more, call 888.257.6098 or visit