Canadian first robotic single-site gallbladder removal promises evolution in surgical options for patients


For Immediate Release

October 21, 2013


LONDON, Ontario –A da Vinci single-site cholecystectomy, or gallbladder removal, was performed at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) for the first time in Canada on September 13 by Dr. Christopher Schlachta, medical director, Canadian Surgical Technologies and Advanced Robotics (CSTAR).

“Traditional laparoscopic surgery is performed through four small incisions,” says Dr. Schlachta. “With a single-site robotic surgery, the gallbladder is removed through a single small incision, hidden in the belly button, and patients experience virtually scarless results.”

Patient Melanie Sabino, 33, a nurse from St. Mary’s Ontario, says she felt excited to be offered this surgical option. “I was back to normal in just two days. Without a scar my co-workers don’t believe I’ve had surgery.”

“This technology represents an exciting evolution in robotic surgery. In 25 years, we have gone from big incisions, to a series of small incisions for each of the surgeon’s hands, to this development of just one small, hidden incision. This is a whole new world that we plan to apply to even more complex surgeries including colorectal cancer surgery, anti-reflux surgery, kidney surgery, as well as pancreatic and liver surgeries,” says Dr. Schlachta.

Dr. Anthony Gonzalez, chief of surgery and minimally invasive and robotic surgery at Baptiste Hospital in South Florida was one of the first surgeons in North America to perform single-site robotic surgery and has since performed 300 single-site gallbladder removals robotically. “Having this surgical option available in Canada is an important first step in offering patients nearly scarless surgery with other more complex surgeries.”


About London Health Sciences Centre

London Health Sciences Centre has been at the forefront of medicine in Canada for 138 years and offers the broadest range of specialized clinical services in Ontario. Building on the traditions of its founding hospitals to provide compassionate care in an academic teaching setting, London Health Sciences Centre is home to Children’s Hospital, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital, the Kidney Care Centre, two family medical centres, and two research institutes – Children’s Health Research Institute and Lawson Health Research Institute, a joint research initiative with St. Joseph’s Health Care London. As a leader in medical discovery and health research, London Health Sciences Centre has a history of over 65 international and national firsts and attracts top clinicians and researchers from around the world. As a regional referral centre, London Health Sciences Centre cares for the most medically complex patients including critically injured adults and children in southwestern Ontario and beyond. The hospital’s nearly 15,000 staff, physicians, students and volunteers provide care for more than one million patient visits a year. For more information visit

Contact Information:

Marek Kubow

London Health Sciences Centre

Corporate Communications and Public Relations

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