Removing gallbladders through belly buttons

October 14, 2012 12:10:02 AM PDT
Some of us have innies, others have outies, but besides collecting lint, what's your belly button really good for?

Now, your navel is changing a surgery more than half-a-million people undergo each year.

Jannett Matthews loves doing some exercises.

"It's hard but just to know I can do it is exciting," Jannett told Action News.

She hates others, but she does it all.

"I was at 280 pounds and decided that wasn't going to work for me," Jannett said.

With exercise and bariatric surgery she lost more than 100 pounds. After the rapid slim down her gallbladder wasn't working right.

"There were days when the pain was so bad, I just didn't have the strength to train," Jannett said.

Removal was her best option. She already had several abdominal scars from her weight loss surgery and wasn't looking forward to more. Then doctor Keith Kim told her with a robot, and just one cut he could do the surgery through her belly button.

He sits feet away from the patient and uses a robot to control the instruments. The doctor says the single incision laporoscopic procedure approved by the FDA less than a year ago, offers surgeons better ergonomics, visualization and precision.

"It minimizes the number of incisions but it also tries to hide that incision so there's very little residual scar left over after surgery," Keith Kim, M.D., a general and bariatric surgeon at Florida Hospital Celebration Health, explained.

He says because the incision is only an inch and hidden by the belly button, the biggest benefit is cosmetic, but doctors also believe the single incision surgery helps reduce recovery time and post-operative pain. Jannett says after her surgery she was back home within hours and back in the gym in three weeks.

"It's really exciting to see how far I've come," Jannett said.

Pain-free and scar-free she's once again doing what she loves and hates.

Candidates for traditional laparoscopic surgery usually meet the requirements to have the single port procedure.

If you would like more information, please contact:

Jennifer Roberts
Florida Hospital Media Relations Manager
(407) 303-8221
jennifer.n.roberts@flhosp.org


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