USF physician performs Tampa General’s first single-site robotic surgery

Dr. Michael Albrink, a general surgeon at  the University of South Florida, performed the first minimally invasive single-site robotic surgery at Tampa General Hospital on Saturday morning, Oct. 29.  The 30-minute surgery, a laparoscopic cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal) was performed using the da Vinci Si HD Surgical System.

Dr. Michael Albrink, USF Health general surgeon

The new single-site computer assisted-surgical technique was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration last December. Traditionally, da Vinci surgery has been performed using four incisions and the patient may be required to stay overnight in the hospital.  Using the da Vinci Single-Site laparoscopic surgery allows surgeons to make only one cut through the belly button with more stability and greater dexterity.

The virtually “scarless” incision is a cosmetic advantage and is also less painful, less blood is lost, and allows for shorter hospital stay and less recovery time. Patients can usually leave the hospital the same day.

“In keeping with being pioneers in single site surgery here, this offers numerous advantages to patients,” said Michael Albrink, MD, the USF associate professor of surgery who performed the first single-site robotic case at Tampa General. “There is applicability for all laparoscopic surgery.  It is the future and all operations may one day be done this way.”

It was another robotic first for USF Health physicians working at teaching affiliate Tampa General Hospital.  This summer USF maternal-fetal medicine specialist Dr. Valerie White  and urogynecologist Dr. Lennox Hoyte  performed the hospital’s first robot-assisted cervical stitch surgery, allowing a patient who struggled with lost pregnancies for years to finally deliver a healthy baby last week.

This is the second da Vinci surgical system that Tampa General has acquired for robotic surgery.

- Adapted from a news release by Ellen Fiss, Tampa General Hospital Public Relations