Published on July 28, 2009

Gallbladder Removal through Belly Button First of its Kind at Mary Greeley Medical Center and in the State

Ames , IA - Mary Greeley Medical Center announced today the success of its first operation using the next generation SILSTM procedure. The single-incision cholecystectomy, or gallbladder removal, was the first of its kind to be completed at Mary Greeley Medical Center and in the state of Iowa.

According to James Partridge, M.D., the surgeon who performed the procedure, the patient is already at home a mere 2 hours after her operation. Dr. Partridge said the patient may not even see evidence of the surgery. One of the major advantages of the SILSTM procedure is that it uses only one access point through the patient's navel, resulting in the potential for no visible scar. By comparison, traditional laparoscopic gall bladder removal involves four ½-inch or smaller incisions which may leave scars.

 "With the successful completion of this procedure, Mary Greeley Medical Center is now equipped to offer patients the most advanced form of laparoscopic cholecystectomy," said Dr. Partridge. "We are thrilled to be at the forefront of a new kind of operation that continues to transform the minimally invasive arena, resulting in even better experiences for patients."

Currently, more than 80 percent of all gall bladder removals performed in the United States are done laparoscopically with multiple access points. Using the next generation SILSTM procedure, surgeons can make a single 20mm incision through the belly button, minimizing the pain that may be associated with additional sites of entry.

Approximately 500,000 procedures are performed each year in the U.S. to remove the gallbladder, a small pear-shaped organ located in the upper abdomen beneath the liver. While the gallbladder's main function - to store bile produced by the liver and release it for digestion - is important to the body, it is not essential. Gallbladder operations are usually performed for the treatment of gallstones - small solid formations of cholesterol and bile salts within the gallbladder - or inflammation of the gallbladder, known as cholecystitis.

"At Mary Greeley Medical Center, patient care is our highest priority. Procedures including the SILSTM technique are instrumental in helping us fulfill our goal of offering patients the latest advancements in medicine," said Brian Dieter, MGMC President and CEO.

Accomplished by using specialized RoticulatorTM instruments - manufactured by Covidien - the SILSTM procedure is performed in operations related to gynecologic, bariatric and urologic conditions. Covidien's newest technological advancement, the SILSTM Port, is available for SILSTM procedures across multiple surgical specialties. This instrument, the first of its kind, replaces the multiple ports currently utilized in single incision operations.

The SILSTM technique, along with all the treatments and services available, supports Mary Greeley Medical Center's mission to provide high quality, cost-effective health care services that advance the health of central Iowans through specialized care and personal touch.

For more information, visit or call 515-239-2011.