What is Single Port Access?
Single Port Access (SPA) surgery, also known as Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery (SILS) or Single Access Surgery, is a form of advanced, minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery that uses a specialized technique where one small incision provides laparoscopic access for optics and instruments. The procedure is usually performed through the patient’s umbilicus, also known as the navel or belly button.
The first SPA surgery was performed in October 2005 in Turkey and, since that time, the SPA technique has been used around the world to perform surgeries such as:
- cholecystectomies (removal of the gallbladder)
- appendectomies, nephrectomies (removal of a kidney)
- gastric bypass
- hernia repair
- colon resection
- liver resection.
At Northeast Georgia Medical Center, surgeons have been using the technique since 2008, mostly for appendectomies, gallbladder removal and hysterectomies, and it has been met with high patient satisfaction.
The Benefits of SPA
In any type of laparoscopic surgery, the surgeon makes the needed incisions (typically four small openings), inserts instruments through the incisions, and uses a miniature video camera called a laparoscope to see inside the patient. For example, in a typical laparoscopic gallbladder operation, four incisions are involved—one for the laparoscope, the others for instruments to retract organs and to detach and remove the gallbladder.
However, with single port, all the equipment goes through one incision, leaving the patient with one incision at the umbilicus (belly button), rather than the usual four.
The technique is not focused on eliminating scars, but rather minimizing them to one well-obscured scar. Surgeons performing SPA surgery also state that in addition to better cosmetic results, many patients have:
- less post-operative pain
- faster recovery time
- fewer complications.
As with all new technology, the single-port technique is not appropriate for everyone. Patients who may need a more traditional procedure would be:
- those who are considered morbidly obese
- have had multiple previous abdominal surgery
- have cirrhosis of the liver
- have a severe infection
Surgeons performing single port access surgeries at Northeast Georgia Medical Center:
Chad Copper, MD
The Longstreet Clinic
Casey Graybeal, MD
Northeast Georgia Physicians Group Surgical Associates
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