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First Surgeon in Gwinnett Performs Single Incision Laparscopic Colon Resection Surgery: Colon Cancer is removed through the bellybutton



Lawrenceville, GA–Gwinnett Medical Center is now offering single incision colon surgery that is the one of the latest technological advancements in the treatment of colon cancer.

This surgical advancement reduces scarring, facilitates healing and may reduce infection rates in the colon, which is prone to infection given the large amount of bacteria and waste products in the bowel.

According to healthcare researchers from Hospital Review, proliferation of single incision laparoscopic surgery (SILS) is listed as one of the top five medtech trends of 2009 and is quickly becoming the procedure method of choice.

David Schmidt, MD, is the first surgeon in Gwinnett County, and one of a few surgeons in the state, to successfully perform a left colon SILS.

“Adapting and advancing the SILS technique to remove the colon cancer in an identical surgical technique avoids the large intra-abdominal incision and provides a much easier recovery,” said Dr. Schmidt.

Traditionally, surgeons use a scalpel that cuts about an 8 inch incision across the abdomen. The new single incision technique requires no more than 2 cm. right under the bellybutton.

“The patient came in with colon cancer.  He was able to use the SILS technique to remove the cancer through a 2 cm incision through her bellybutton,” said Debbie Walker, RNFA.

The patient benefits of a single incision procedure include no scarring, faster recovery time and much less pain. Doctors even say that patients aren’t using the pain medications prescribed to them because they are recovering at a much faster speed than anticipated.

“The quicker we can get our patients moving, the faster the recovery time is for them. This decreases post-operative complications which lead to a decrease in the overall length of their stay,” says Nancy Stockwell, RN and clinical manager for GMC. “Technology makes a significant impact on the quality of care GMC provides. Simply put, the minimally invasive technique is a highly effective surgical option we can now offer to our community.”

“The most advanced surgical techniques are happening right now at GMC,” said Dr. Schmidt. “Many of us are trained at some of the nation’s most renowned universities and board certified physicians who enjoy the quality of life in Gwinnett. We are improving our surgical techniques to provide the most up to date surgical care to our patients in our community.”

About Gwinnett Medical Center
Now celebrating the 25th anniversary of its flagship campus, Gwinnett Medical Center is a not-for-profit healthcare network providing award-winning healthcare services to the Gwinnett community and beyond. Campuses in both Duluth and Lawrenceville provide acute care, outpatient services, orthopedic and neuroscience specialty care as well as a full continuum of wellness services. Digital imaging is the standard of care at all GMC facilities including the newest imaging center in north Gwinnett’s Hamilton Mill area. In 2008, GMC’s 4,300 associates and 800 physicians served more than 400,000 patients. Gwinnett Medical Center’s incredible vision for the future is to transform healthcare.

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