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Published: Apr 2, 2009

By Tampa General Hospital


TGH/USF Health physicians from General Surgery and OB/GYN worked together to perform the combined minimally-invasive procedure. Tampa (April 2, 2009) - USF Health surgeons at Tampa General Hospital recently removed the uterus and gall bladder of a 37-year-old woman, operating through a single entry point – the patient’s belly button. The advanced minimally invasive procedure, known as “hidden scar” or more formally know as Laparoendoscopic Single-Site Surgery (LESS), left virtually no scar and the patient went home the next day. “To the best of our knowledge, this appears to be the first combined single incision procedure involving both a hysterectomy and cholecystectomy (gall bladder removal),” said Stuart Hart, MD, assistant professor in the USF Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Shortly after performing the combined hysterectomy and gall bladder removal using LESS, the USF surgeons successfully performed the first single-incision laparoendoscopic procedure to remove an adrenal gland tumor. They have also used single incision laparoendoscopic techniques to remove appendixes and liver cysts, to repair hernias, and to treat acid reflux disease and achalasia (a disorder of the esophagus). For the patient, LESS has the cosmetic advantage of virtually no scar since it requires one tiny laparoscopic incision, typically in the navel, instead of several. Physicians say fewer incisions mean quicker recovery time, less pain and less risk for bleeding and infections. The combination operation was performed the end of February at Tampa General Hospital by Alexander Rosemurgy, M.D; Sharona Ross, MD; and Kellie McFarlin, MD, all from the USF Health Division of General Surgery; and Dr. Stuart Hart. The team removed the patient’s gall bladder first, followed by the uterus, extracting both through the vagina. The entire case took less than three hours. More than 150 surgeons from across the country have come to Tampa General to learn LESS from Dr. Alex Rosemurgy, Dr. Sharona Ross and Dr. Michael Albrink. They are developing single-incision surgeries using natural orifices (vagina, anus, mouth) and working with industry leaders to help refine the equipment and tools needed to take minimally invasive surgeries to the next level.