DALLAS Feb. 28, 2008 UT Southwestern Medical Center surgeons have removed a gallbladder through a unique operation requiring only a single incision in the bellybutton rather than the traditional four incisions in the abdomen. It is the first such operation in North Texas.
It went better than we expected, said Dr. Homero Rivas, assistant professor of surgery, who completed the 80-minute procedure with Dr. J. Esteban Varela, assistant professor of surgery. Through a single hole, we were able to introduce more than one instrument into the patients abdomen at once, and we were able to remove her gallbladder very safely, just like we do routinely through four incisions.
Melanie Willhite, a 28-year-old professional golfer, said she had suffered for more than a decade with gallbladder attacks that caused recurring abdominal pain, sometimes so intense she could not stand.
I wasnt eating. I had lost about 12 pounds in the past two months. It came on when I was under stress, so I got attacks after almost every tournament round, said Ms. Willhite, a Farmers Branch resident who has been on the professional circuit for five years.
She said she opted for the single-incision cholecystectomy in January to reduce scarring afterwards and have less down time.
There were a lot of advantages to doing it through one hole, including less scarring and the possibility for quicker healing, she said. Im young. I also wanted to get back on the golf course as soon as possible. The season technically starts in March. I was a little worried, but not too concerned. I trust Dr. Rivas.
A day after the surgery she was already feeling better and the next day she was eating spaghetti, a meal previously off-limits due to the gallbladder problems. Within a week, she was back on the course putting and two weeks out was able to go through the full range of golf swings.
Ive been really pleased, she said. Im looking forward to the s
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UT Southwestern Medical Center