Gall bladder patients at Missoula's Community Medical Center now have minimally invasive surgery option and it's on the cutting edge.
It's called the Da Vinci Surgical System, and instead of a scalpel, surgeons wield hand and foot controls guiding the robot through the surgical procedure.
Da Vinci allows doctors to make one small incision in the belly button, rather than the traditional laparoscopic approach for gallbladder removal. That requires four to six incisions and a recovery period that generally ranges from one week to ten days.
It makes for quicker procedures and shorter recovery times. Dr. Kristen Janczwski, a general surgeon at Missoula's Community Medical Center says even with the new technology, it's the same surgery as before.
"It's really an advancement in technology allowing us to use known procedures but limit the amount of invasiveness."
Community Medical Center is the first facility in Western Montana to use the Da Vinci for gall bladder removal.