UT Southwestern Medical Center surgeons have completed the first single-incision Lap-Band weight-loss surgery in Texas.
Rather than the traditional five small incisions used for traditional laparoscopic gastric banding surgery, surgeons used a single 8-centimeter incision, reducing future scarring and accelerating healing.
"There's a current revolution in minimally invasive surgery: Can we make laparoscopic surgery better by decreasing the number of incisions?" said Dr. Daniel Scott, associate professor of surgery and director of the Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery at UT Southwestern. "The theory behind this, not yet proven, is that fewer scars are better cosmetically and for pain control. The pain may be less because you alleviate additional cuts, and therefore the recovery may be hastened."
The trend has taken two paths. With SILS, or single-incision laparoscopic surgery, surgeons make one incision instead of several through the abdominal wall. NOTES, or natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery, involves instrumentation access through an existing orifice such as the mouth, colon or vagina.
"SILS may be an appropriate compromise between conventional laparoscopic surgery that uses multiple incisions and multiple access ports, and NOTES, which strives to do away with all incisions on the abdominal wall and go through alternative natural access points of the body and therefore hide all the scars," Dr. Scott said.
Dr. Scott and Dr. Homero Rivas, assistant professor of surgery, completed the 2½-hour procedure April 1 at UT Southwestern University Hospital - Zale Lipshy. Surgeons used a special camera to see around obstructions and special graspers with a curved tip.
"We have a track record of innovations here," Dr. Scott said.
UT Southwestern surgeons were the first in a three-state area to perform laparoscopic gastric-bypass surgeries in the late 1990s. They also performed the region's first Lap-Band procedures.
UT Southwestern surgeons have achieved several firsts in single-incision surgery, including the nation's first single-incision kidney removal, North Texas' first single-incision gallbladder surgery and the first single-incision hysterectomy in Durango, Mexico. UT Southwestern surgeons have also performed single-incision colectomies and appendectomies.
UT Southwestern surgeons are part of a national group evaluating the feasibility and safety of single-incision surgeries and have a joint academic venture with surgeons in Shanghai, China, to develop the techniques.