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Published: Jul 24, 2009

By Tampa General Hospital


Tampa (July 24, 2009) - Last week (July 15, 2009),  Dr. Sharona Ross and Dr. Alex Rosemurgy – both  University of South Florida general surgeons and Dr. Devanand Mangar, anesthesiologist with Gulf-to-Bay Anesthesiology and Chief of Staff at Tampa General Hospital, performed what they believe is the first single incision gallbladder removal without  the use of general anesthesia.  Instead of fully sedating the patient as is traditionally practiced, they instead used an epidural in the thoracic area. The patient was able to converse with the medical team in the operating room. Epidurals are used for women delivering babies - to reduce the pain during labor, but are inserted in a different part of the spine, the lumbar. The 54-year-old patient and mother of two and grandmother of ten, Mary Harvey returned to her Tampa home on Monday and is recovering well. Doctor Ross and her partners Alex Rosemurgy MD and Michael Albrink MD pioneered the first laparoscopic endoscopic single site "LESS" surgeries (one incision through the belly button) in the Fall of 2007 at Tampa General. “Since the entire operation is performed through the belly button, it does not leave a visible scar like the traditional multi-port laparoscopic approach - which could be anywhere from three to six incisions”, Dr. Ross explains. “This new method benefits the patient by less post-operative pain, less blood loss, faster recovery time, fewer complications and better cosmetic results….with no visible scar.” Over 300 physicians from around the country have trained with TGH/USF and Ross, Rosemurgy and Albrink have traveled the world to teach the LESS method at conferences.  To date, they have performed anti-reflux operations, appendix removals, small bowel resections, liver cysts resections, stomach tumor resections, inguinal hernia repair, removal of adrenal gland and recently the first pancreatic mass resection utilizing the LESS surgical approach - to name a few. They have also performed combined operations in the same patient.   (i.e. a hysterectomy and a gallbladder removal…. or a gallbladder removal and an anti-reflux procedure) They continue to refine the LESS approach to surgery, and are developing surgeries using natural orifices (vagina, anus, mouth).  These gifted physicians with the University of South Florida Digestive Disorders Center are hosting a CME LESS Course at Tampa General in November of this year.