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McLaren Greater Lansing now offering scarless surgery for gallbladder removal

More than 25 million Americans suffer from gallbladder disease, and 1 million are diagnosed annually according to the American Gastroenterological Association. Due to the prevalence of the disease, gallbladder removal is one of the most commonly performed surgeries in the country, with 50,000 completed each year. Technological advances have allowed for 96 percent of these procedures to be done laparoscopically. And now, the latest iteration of this surgery—known as the single-site incision procedure—has arrived at McLaren Greater Lansing.

Jeffrey Deppen, DO, FACOS, general surgeon with Lansing Surgical Associates, is the first surgeon in the capital area to perform this “scarless surgery.”

Laparoscopic cholecystectomy, the technical name for noninvasive gallbladder surgery, is the most common laparoscopic procedure performed in the United States. Until recently, patients received multiple small incisions in the abdomen, which allowed surgeons to use several devices to operate. The newest advances brought to McLaren Greater Lansing require only one incision at the belly button using the da Vinci Surgical System®. Through this single incision, all necessary surgical devices are inserted into the abdomen. The gallbladder is then reduced and removed through the same small site.

Patients who have undergone the single-site gallbladder surgery report a quicker recovery, fewer side effects and less pain, and a better cosmetic appearance since the incision is small and at the site of the belly button.

“The pain was very minor,” said Toby Kellogg-Hoggard, 35, of Grand Ledge, who recently underwent the 45-minute procedure. “I was released from the hospital the day of the surgery, and the pain at the incision site was minor. It just felt like I had exercised too much the day before.”

“And I can finally eat a burger again; it tasted awesome. It’s great to eat what I want without worry, and I feel wonderful just two weeks after surgery,” explained Kellogg-Hoggard.

With robotic-assisted surgery, surgeons are able to operate with greater precision and accuracy because the da Vinci system affords better control and stability, as well as high-definition, 3-dimensional visualization.

“After surgery, the vast majority of patients go home the same day and start living life pain free, some for the first time in a very long time,” said Dr. Deppen, “The scarless surgery technique has come a long way from the 5- to 7-inch incision of open surgery, which was the method of performing all gallbladder operations until just awhile ago. The robotic device, like the one I use at McLaren Greater Lansing, allows me greater surgical control and better overall visualization. In the end, this means a better recovery for patients.”

About McLaren Greater Lansing

McLaren Greater Lansing and McLaren Orthopedic Hospital operate the region’s largest open-heart and orthopedic surgery programs that together with McLaren Greater Lansing’s oncology, women’s care and a wide range of diagnostic, therapeutic and surgical services consistently rank among the nation’s best hospitals in clinical quality and efficiency. The hospitals are part of McLaren Health Care, mid-Michigan’s largest health care system. Visit mclaren.org/lansing.

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