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Rancho Springs Medical Center Performs First Single-Incision Gallbladder Removal in Southwest Riverside County

Minimally invasive surgery has taken yet another step forward, and Rancho Springs Medical Center in Murrieta is the first in Southwest Riverside County to offer this new advancement to patients. Brad Neet, hospital CEO said, “We are committed to offering our community the finest technology in surgical procedures.” Francis Essien, M.D. performed the gallbladder removal by utilizing the da Vinci robotic-assisted surgical system by making one single 2½ centimeter incision through the belly button. Dr. Essien was seated at the robotic console in the corner of the operating room while assistant surgeon, Tito Gorski, M.D. was at the patient’s side.

Each year, about one million people in the United States will undergo gallbladder removal surgery. Of that number, 40% of these patients are women, ages 18 to 44. Many women of this age group are still cosmetically sensitive. Thanks to the latest breakthrough in robotic-assisted surgery, patients can now have their gallbladder removed through a small incision buried in their belly button, where no visible scar can be seen. After surgery, patients may still be home in a few hours with minimal discomfort.

“This exciting new procedure paired with the da Vinci® Si™ Surgical System is another step in our efforts to make surgery less invasive, in a safe environment for the patients who trust us with their health.” says, Brad Neet. Dr. Essien added, “I would estimate that with conventional single incision laparoscopic surgery a relatively small percentage of my patients were good candidates, but now with the aid of the da Vinci system, I think I will be able to offer this type of surgery to a broader scope of patients. The da Vinci surgical system allows me to do this with accurate precision, enhanced maneuverability, and allows me to operate in 3-D with high definition visualization.”

Surgeons at Rancho Springs Medical Center utilize the da Vinci System for a variety of minimally invasive robotic surgical procedures, including general, gynecologic, and urologic surgery. Rancho Springs Medical Center is the only hospital in the entire region to acquire and utilize the da Vinci® Robotic Surgical System.

For additional hospital information, log on to  or call 1-800-879-1020 for a free physician referral.