Gallbladder surgery or cholecystectomy is a surgical procedure that helps remove the pear-shaped organ called the gallbladder, located below the liver on the upper right side of the abdomen.
The gallbladder is an important organ of the digestive tract that collects and stores the bile juices(the digestive fluids produced in the liver). A gallbladder can have tumours, stones, or infections that need to be corrected surgically.
Cholecystectomy is a common gallbladder surgical procedure done laparoscopically. Here, the surgeon inserts a laparoscope- a light and camera-aided device into the small incisions to remove the gallbladder. However, sometimes, a large incision is made through open cholecystectomy.
The recent technologically advanced procedure is robotic gallbladder surgery or robotic cholecystectomy, where the surgeon deploys robot-assisted equipment to remove the gallbladder.
This article explores everything you need to know about robotic gallbladder surgery.
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What is Robotic Gallbladder Surgery?
Gallbladder surgery is one of the common surgeries performed for gallbladder stones or other gallbladder conditions. While gallbladder surgeries can be performed laparoscopically or through open procedures, the novel surgical procedure includes robotic technology.
Unlike conventional gallbladder surgeries, robotic gallbladder surgery involves robot-assisted visualisation, allowing the surgeon to carry out a wide array of procedures with a small incision, fewer complications, and immense safety. Robotic gallbladder surgery uses robotic arms, hands, and wrists similar to a surgeon’s hands to perform the surgery. The surgeon directs the robotic arms, and the system translates the surgeon’s instructions to work seamlessly like a natural surgeon’s hand.
The procedure requires continuous monitoring and guidance from the surgeon. During the surgery, the surgeon is next to the robot as they guide the robot for an uninterrupted, smooth surgery. A robot-guided surgery assures precision, fewer complications, less blood loss, and quicker healing.
Why is it done?
Gallbladder surgery is commonly performed for the following conditions.
- Presence of gallbladder stones in the gallbladder (Cholelithiasis),
- Gallstones in the bile duct (Choledocholithiasis),
- Inflammation of the gallbladder (Cholecystitis),
- Pancreatic inflammation (pancreatitis) due to gallstones,
- Polyps or tumours in the gallbladder.
What are the prerequisites for the surgery?
The robotic gallbladder surgery takes nearly an hour and involves general anaesthesia administration. The surgeon may recommend certain instructions before the surgery, such as:
- At least four hours of fasting before the surgery or overnight fasting without eating or drinking anything except water.
- You will also need to stop taking certain medications and supplements. However, you need to take the prescribed medications.
What to expect during the surgery?
During the robotic gallbladder surgery, the surgeon will carry out the following steps after anaesthesia administration.
- The surgeon makes a single-site incision of around 2 to 2.5 cm at the belly button, and a specialised port with multiple holes is placed.
- The multiple holes provide access to retract devices, robotic arms, surgical instruments, cameras, and light.
- During the surgery, the surgeon immobilises the gallbladder and removes it through the belly button while the cystic artery and duct are also ligated.
- The robotic arms and other equipment are retracted, and the incision is closed.
- The surgeon dresses the wound and allows it to heal.
After Surgery Care and Recovery
Usually, post-robotic gallbladder procedure, one is less likely to observe pain or discomfort. As the anaesthesia effect fades away, one can go home the same day after the surgery. Sometimes, a night’s stay at the hospital can also be considered, depending on your condition and anaesthesia effect.
The robotic gallbladder surgery recovery includes rest for a few days post-surgery. Mild pain and discomfort are possible. But can be taken care of through pain relievers. You may need to visit the hospital post-surgery for a change in dressing and follow check-ups.
Complete recovery can take at least a week, while one can resume daily routine and normal dietary intake a couple of days post-surgery.
Benefits of a Robotic Gallbladder Surgery
The robot-aided gallbladder surgery uses instruments that become an extension of the surgeon’s hands to move the surgical instruments precisely and accurately. The robotic assistance gives the surgeon a greater movement range, minimum incision, highly magnified, and 3-D visualisation.
During the surgery, the surgeon instructs the robotic arms and directs the surgery. Some of the other benefits of this surgery include:
- Reduced tissue damage and trauma to the body,
- Minimal post-surgical pain,
- Less scarring post-surgery,
- Faster recovery,
- Reduced blood loss,
- Minimum stay at the hospital,
- Low possibilities of additional blood transfusions,
- Fewer chances of risks or complications,
- Helps resume normal routine and activities faster,
Frequently Asked Questions
What is robotic cholecystectomy?
A robotic cholecystectomy is a surgical procedure performed to remove the gallbladder. The surgery involves robot assistance, where the surgeon performs the surgery with the help of robotic arms and 3-D visualisation.
Is robotic gallbladder surgery painful?
Robotic gallbladder surgery, like any other minimally invasive surgery, requires anaesthesia administration, and it is less likely for the patient to experience pain during the surgery. However, post-surgery pain is minimal with a single incision, less loss of blood, and fewer associated risks.
How long does a robotic cholecystectomy take?
As the surgeon directs the robot, the robotic arms translate the signals into real-time movement of arms, hands, and wrists and use the surgical instruments to remove the gallbladder precisely with fewer chances of surrounding tissue damage or trauma.
The entire procedure, from anaesthesia administration to incision closing, takes nearly an hour, and the hospital stays for a couple of hours post-surgery.
Gallbladder surgery involves delicate handling as it is a vital organ connected to the liver. Gallbladder houses or stores bile juices that are produced by the liver. Gallbladder removal can be due to varied reasons. However, a robot-assisted gallbladder surgery allows precise removal of gallbladder or gallbladder stones without much tissue damage. The surgery is less painful and involves minimal incisions, and is low risk.
If you are looking for a gallbladder surgeon in Delhi, get connected with Dr. Vikas Singhal, who will guide you through this seamless procedure of robotic gallbladder surgery at the best prices.