New Gallbladder Procedure Successfully Performed At Trinitas Regional Medical Center

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ELIZABETH—The first gallbladder removal (cholecystectomy) surgery using next-generation Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery (SILS) technique was recently performed by Dr. Joao A. Lopes, a surgeon at Trinitas Regional Medical Center.

The excitement surrounding this new technique is—as its name implies—the need for only one incision resulting in a virtually invisible scar.  By comparison, a traditional gallbladder removal surgery requires four incisions.  In addition to the much-desired cosmetic benefit of the SILS, patients experience less pain and enjoy a shorter recovery time.


Dr. Joao A. Lopes, an associate at Advanced Surgical Associates in Springfield, NJ, was joined by a skilled operating team including Dr. James Frost, and Trinitas staff members Maria C. Ancheta, RN, BSN, CNOR, and Olga McGruder, LPN, to perform the first SILS procedure at Trinitas. Dr. Lopes utilized a special port developed by surgical device manufacturer, Covidien of Norwalk, Connecticut. This single-incision procedure was performed in the same amount of time it takes for traditional laparoscopic surgery performed with the standard four incisions.

Approximately, 500,000 procedures are performed each year in the US to remove the gallbladder. The gallbladder is a small pear-shaped organ located in the upper abdomen beneath the liver that stores bile which helps break down fat.  Stones can develop in the gallbladder, which may lead to inflammation and infection in the organ.  Dr. Lopes explained that “the SILS procedure is well suited for gallbladder surgery, since the procedure can be performed safely through a single incision, resulting in a scar which is hidden in the umbilicus making it barely noticeable.”

Dr. Lopes completed his surgical residency at Indiana University, followed by a fellowship at Yale University.  Dr Lopes also trained with Dr. Michael Curcillo, MD, a renowned leader in single incision laparoscopic surgery.  Dr. Lopes is a member of Advanced Surgical Associates in Springfield, NJ, a leading surgical practice at the forefront of advances in laparoscopic surgery, bariatric surgery as well as general surgery.

“Single incision laparoscopy requires a higher level of technical skill since the surgeon is working through a single incision while performing the procedure.  Only about five percent of surgeons are currently trained in this advanced procedure,” Dr. Lopes explains.

“As long as technology continues to push forward, Advanced Surgical Associates along with Trinitas Regional Medical Center will continue to expand our technical capabilities to provide the best surgical modalities in an effort to obtain the most optimal benefits for our patients.”

With the success of this first SILS procedure for the removal of a gall bladder, Dr. Lopes anticipates that the new procedure will become the preferred surgical technique for both surgeons and patients in years to come.

“At Trinitas Regional Medical Center, patient care is our highest priority,” notes Gary S. Horan, FACHE, President & CEO.  “Procedures including the SILS technique are instrumental in helping us fulfill our goal of offering patients the latest advancements in medicine.”

New Gallbladder Procedure Successfully Performed At Trinitas Regional Medical Center
The SILS procedure requires a high degree of skill and expertise.  Drs. Joao Lopes and James Frost of Advanced Surgical Associates concentrate on video monitors that guide their progress as they perform the surgery at Trinitas Regional Medical Center.

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