USF physicians combine gall bladder removal, fertility-promoting surgery in single-site procedure

USF Health physicians performed the first single-site minimally invasive procedure combining general surgery and fertility-promoting surgery April 14 at Tampa General Hospital 

The two-hour combined surgeries involved laparoendoscopic removal of the gallbladder, two ovarian cysts and pelvic scar tissue. All this was done with one incision through the belly button, compared to a possible 10 surgical sites if done through traditional methods. Sharona Ross, MD, director of Surgical Endoscopy at USF and TGH, and Shayne Plosker, MD, division director of IVF and Reproductive Endocrinology at USF Health, collaborated on the multidisciplinary surgery.


Patient Elizabeth Byrd, center, with Dr Sharona Ross of USF Surgery and Dr. Shayne Plosker of USF Obstetrics and Gynecology. 

The patient was 34-year-old Elizabeth Byrd of Tampa who works for a Tampa law firm and is a wife and mother of a 3-year-old boy. “I was impressed with the short recovery period – which allowed me to get back to daily activities….most importantly playing with my son,” Byrd said. “I hope that other women will benefit from this advancement in the medical field.

“This is not only a great cosmetic improvement with one single scar hidden in the belly button, but her discharge from the hospital within 24 hours attests to the potential for less post-operative discomfort,” Dr. Plosker said. “This approach shows great promise for many fertility-promoting reproductive surgeries.”

Dr. Ross concurred, “Single incision laparoscopy via the belly button is the ideal surgical approach for women, especially young women who need their gallbladder removed and/or any fertility-related procedure done. We leave no scar! This approach is safe and results in shorter recovery time, less pain, decreased risk of wound infections, less risk of hernias, and last but not least, better cosmetic outcomes.”

Single-site surgeries through the belly button have been performed by USF physicians at Tampa General since 2007.  Dr. Alexander Rosemurgy, Dr. Michael Albrink and Dr. Sharona Ross, who together pioneered the minimally-invasive technique, have trained surgeons worldwide in this innovative laparoendoscopic approach.

USF-TGH physicians continue to take surgery to the next level. A combined single-site surgery involving a hysterectomy and gallbladder removal was performed  April 26 by Dr. Sharona Ross, Dr. Larry Glazerman and Dr. Devanand Mangar using no general anesthesia, only a local nerve block.