It took Horgan just a single incision to do it, with the help of a new surgical system, enabling the patient to return home five hours after the ground-breaking surgery. The system enables surgeons to reduce the traditional number of incisions from four to six down to one incision that is less than an inch across.
"Our goal is to offer surgery options that reduce discomfort, shorten hospital stays and minimize scarring," said Horgan, also director of the University of California San Diego Centre for the Future of Surgery.
"With the aid of this robotic system, we can accomplish all three. This is a significant advancement for the 750,000 patients who need gallbladder removal each year," said Horgan, according to a university statement.
Intuitive Surgical received FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and approval on the new operating platform specifically for cholecystectomy procedures, the surgical removal of the gallbladder.
"What we have here is a convergence of new technologies and advanced surgical skills," said Mark Talamini, professor and chairman of surgery at California San Diego Health System.
"Instead of multiple incisions, we can operate through one small cut with tools that function with great precision in a narrow space. This is a win-win for the surgeon and patients," he added.