Single site surgery is a form of laparoscopic procedure that allows Dr. Podolsky to enter the body through a single site or port, typically the navel. Often, laparoscopic techniques require the surgeon to make a number of small incisions to access the inside of the patient's body. With single site surgery, there is just one entry point, generally a small incision made in the umbilicus, or navel. Dr. Podolsky inserts a laparoscope and a series of laparoscopic surgical instruments through that one site. All instruments go into a gel diaphragm device that is placed into the incision to manage the various tools.
It varies based on the practitioner and patient. In Dr. Podolsky's practice, she might use this technique for a gastric sleeve procedure that allows her to physically reduce the size of the patient's stomach, to create a tube-like organ that holds less food. She then resects the small intestine to the new stomach all through the site port. It may also be beneficial when she does hernia repairs on a patient.
The most obvious benefit is a reduction in scarring. Even with traditional laparoscopic procedures, there are a number of small scars. With this method, the surgery only leaves one scar, and a fairly stealth one, too. By entering through the belly button, Dr. Podolsky quite literally hides any potential scar in an already existing structure.
Single site surgery also offers the same benefits as any laparoscopic surgery. Patients spend less time, if any, in the hospital. There is less pain and a faster recovery, as well. By eliminating the one large incision that opens up the body cavity, laparoscopic techniques reduce the risk of complications like excessive bleeding and infection. There are fewer chances of opening up the closed incision or of developing a blood clot, too.
Ultimately, it is up to Dr. Podolsky to decide which patients are right for this procedure. It will also depend on the type of surgery she is performing. It won't work for all surgeries. It won't even work for all laparoscopic procedures. She will assess the situation and discuss all surgical options including single site, if possible.
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