USF-TGH doctors perform gallbladder removal surgery without anesthesia

L to R: Dr. Alexander Rosemurgy, Dr. Sharona Ross and Dr. Devanand Mangar

Tampa FL (July 24, 2009) — Dr. Sharona Ross and Dr. Alexander Rosemurgy – both University of South Florida general surgeons and Dr. Devanand Mangar, anesthesiologist with Gulf-to-Bay Anesthesiology and Chief of Staff at Tampa General Hospital — last week performed what they believe is the first single incision gallbladder removal without the use of general anesthesia.

Instead of fully sedating the patient as is traditionally practiced, they used an epidural in the thoracic area. The patient was able to converse with the medical team in the operating room. Epidurals are used for women delivering babies — to reduce the pain during labor, but are inserted in a different part of the spine, the lumbar.

The 54 year-old patient, mother of two and grandmother of 10, returned to her Tampa home on Monday and is recovering well.

USF Health’s Dr. Ross and her partners Alex Rosemurgy, MD, and Michael Albrink, MD, pioneered the first laparoscopic endoscopic single site “LESS” surgeries (one incision through the belly button) in Fall 2007 at Tampa General.

“Since the entire operation is performed through the belly button, it does not leave a visible scar like the traditional multi-port laparoscopic approach – which could be anywhere from three to six incisions”, Dr. Ross explains. “This new method benefits the patient by less post-operative pain, less blood loss, faster recovery time, fewer complications and better cosmetic results….with no visible scar.”

More than 300 physicians across the country have trained with USF/TGH and Drs. Ross, Rosemurgy and Albrink have traveled the world to teach the LESS method at conferences. To date, they have performed anti-reflux operations, appendix removals, small bowel resections, liver cysts resections, stomach tumor resections, inguinal hernia repair, removal of adrenal gland and recently the first pancreatic mass resection utilizing the LESS surgical approach – to name a few.

They have also performed combined operations in the same patient (i.e., a hysterectomy and a gallbladder removal, or a gallbladder removal and an anti-reflux procedure). They continue to refine the LESS approach to surgery, and are developing surgeries using natural orifices (vagina, anus, mouth). The physicians with the USF Digestive Disorders Center are hosting a CME LESS Course at Tampa General in November.

About USF Health

USF Health is dedicated to creating a model of health care based on understanding the full spectrum of health. It includes the University of South Florida’s colleges of medicine, nursing, and public health; the schools of biomedical sciences as well as physical therapy & rehabilitation sciences; and the USF Physicians Group. With more than $360 million in research grants and contracts last year, USF is one of the nation’s top 63 public research universities and one of 39 community-engaged, four-year public universities designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For more information, visit

About TGH
Tampa General is a 958-bed acute care hospital on the west coast of Florida that serves as the region’s only center for Level I trauma care, comprehensive burn care and adult solid organ transplants. It is the primary teaching hospital for the University of South Florida College of Medicine. TGH is also one of only eleven comprehensive stroke centers in Florida and is a state-certified spinal cord and head injury rehabilitation center. For more information, visit