Minimally invasive, ‘single-site’ surgery offers big benefits
As a busy wife and working mother of four boys, Yolanda Patzi, 38, of Germantown, was hoping the stomach pain she had been experiencing would go away on its own. “I didn’t want to miss work,” Patzi says. “But when the pain on my right side didn’t go away after nearly four weeks, I decided to go to the emergency room.”
After an emergency room visit and a checkup with her primary care physician, doctors determined the problem was gallstones. Patzi was referred to Takoma Surgical to discuss her treatment options with a surgeon.
Greater Precision, Better Results
“I speak Spanish, so when I called Takoma Surgical, I told them it was important to me to have a surgeon who spoke Spanish,” Patzi says. “I chose to see Dr. Cynthia Plate because she spoke my language and I wanted the ability to communicate with her and navigate my options in a way that made me feel most comfortable.”
Adds Cynthia Plate, MD, general surgeon at Washington Adventist Hospital: “When I met with Yolanda, exams indicated she had multiple gallstones. We discussed removing the gallbladder, and I told her we could do this with a minimally invasive technique that includes only one small incision using the da Vinci robotic surgical system at Washington Adventist Hospital.”
Using state-of-the-art robotic and computer technologies, the da Vinci Surgical System allows surgeons to perform complex operations with greater precision. The robot translates the surgeon’s hand, wrist and finger movements into precise, real-time movements of surgical instruments.
Minimal Scarring, Quicker Recovery
The procedure Dr. Plate recommended to Patzi, known as a single-site cholecystectomy, uses robotic technology to assist the surgeon in removing a person’s gallbladder through a single, 1-inch incision made through the belly button.
“I told Yolanda she would experience virtually no scarring, minimal pain and a quick recovery,” Dr. Plate says. “For a young, busy mother, we agreed it was her best option.”
For Patzi, the quick recovery and no scarring were important in her decision to go ahead with the surgery.
“I knew the incision would be small, but after surgery I tried to find it and I kept asking, ‘Where is it?’ ” Patzi says. “I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. Dr. Plate was so nice and calm, and the whole hospital team was friendly yet professional. I knew I was in good hands.”