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Advantages of Single Site Surgery Now Available Locally


Advantages of Single Site Surgery
Vickie Baird, center, of Sidney discusses single-site surgery with Dr. Patrick Larreategui, left, and Dr. Chris Grove, right.

Single-site surgery offers patients all of the results of traditional surgery, except for the scar.

The single site surgery approach now is available at Upper Valley Medical Center (UVMC) through Christopher Grove, M.D., and Patrick Larreategui, D.O., of Miami County Surgeons.

“It is surgery that used to be done through three, four or five incisions that now can be done through a single site,” Dr. Grove said.

The surgery also is referred to as minimally invasive surgery. “People sometimes think you have to go to the big city to get this,” Dr. Larreategui said.

He and Dr. Grove began offering the single site procedure after attending specialized training in Chicago and Tampa, Fla., respectively.

“We were among the first in this area to do it. It is really nice for patients because instead of having multiple scars all over, you can hide the scar in the belly button. Once they heal, within about six weeks, it is not even noticeable anymore,” Dr. Larreategui said.

The most common procedure using the single site method has been gallbladder surgery followed by appendectomies and some right colon surgeries.

Dr. Grove said any pain associated with the surgery is about the same, but the most attractive offering of the surgery is the cosmetic result.  With the equipment used in the surgery, “we tend to dilate the tissue, rather than cut it,” he said. “That makes, theoretically, less risk of a hernia.”

There are no additional complications posed by the single-site method, Dr. Larreategui said. “It is the same surgery done through one tiny incision,” he noted.

The surgery is accomplished using a gel-point disk that allows the surgeon to put several small instruments through one incision. A new camera created for single-site surgery and obtained recently by UVMC enhances the ability to perform the procedure.

Not everyone is a candidate for single-site surgery. If the method is selected, but cannot be used once the procedure begins, the surgeon can proceed with traditional laparoscopic surgery, Dr. Larreategui said.

When Dr. Grove suggested single-site surgery for Vickie Baird’s gallbladder removal, she was more than happy to consent to the procedure.

She’s glad she did.  “I was helping my husband with the mowing two days after the surgery,” said Baird, a Sidney resident.

Baird was referred by her family physician to Dr. Grove and Miami County Surgeons. The surgery was performed in early September at UVMC.

“Dr. Grove was a blessing,” Baird said. “He explained everything. I like a doctor to listen.”

She was told she could have one incision or up to four if the single site approach was not the best option once her surgery began, and she ended up with the single-site procedure.

The benefits of single site surgery include shorter operating room time and shorter recovery times for the patient -- “therefore huge for patient satisfaction,” said Terry Fry, RN, BSN, MA, director of surgical services at UVMC.

To learn more about single site surgery, contact Miami County Surgeons at (937) 773-4123.