News | July 23, 2007

SPA Surgery Removes Ovaries Through Single Incision in Belly Button

July 24, 2007 - Stephanie A. King, M.D., associate professor and chief of Gynecologic Oncology, Drexel University College of Medicine, removed a woman's ovaries through a single incision in the patient's belly button. Believed to be the world's first single port access (SPA) bilateral oopherectomy, the procedure left the patient with a hidden scar in her belly button.
The SPA technique was developed by Paul G. Curcillo, II, M.D., vice chairman of Surgery and director of Robotic and Minimally Invasive Surgery at Drexel University College of Medicine. Dr. Curcillo has completed more than 15 procedures using this technique, however, this is the first time the technique has been used for gynecologic surgery.
"Dr. King's use of the SPA technique to perform a bilateral oopherectomy clearly demonstrates that this new platform of laparoscopy can be applied across surgical fields," said Dr. Curcillo. "This now expands the benefits of hidden-scar surgery to gynecology patients."
The patient, a 54-year-old woman, reportedly experienced minimal discomfort and has a barely visible scar compared to traditional laparoscopic oopherectomy (ovary removal) requiring three to four incisions — one in the belly button, and two to three others elsewhere on the abdominal wall.
"To be able to incorporate this new technique and instrumentation into gynecologic surgery is a wonderful benefit to the patient, both in lessening discomfort and hastening recovery, not to mention the hidden scar," said Dr. King. "It will decrease the number of incisions required in routine gynecologic laparoscopy, as well as allow us to do more advanced gynecologic procedures using fewer incisions."
Dr. King performed the SPA surgery with a newly developed set of high dexterity instrumentation known as RealHand. Engineered by Novare Surgical Systems, RealHand laparoscopic instruments, according to the company, are the first full range of motion hand-held laparoscopic instruments designed to mirror the surgeon's hand direction with the added benefit of tactile feedback —when the surgeon's hand moves in one direction, the tip of the instrument exactly follows.
For more information: www.drexelmed.edu

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