Sunday, September 28, 2008

New Laparoscopic Procedure Performed at Piedmont Fayette Hospital

Coweta County resident Mary Finnegan woke up feeling nauseated every morning for six weeks. It turned out that the way her gall bladder was functioning was making her feel ill, and her doctor informed her that to feel better she would have to have it removed. So Finnegan underwent an innovative new laparoscopy procedure through a single incision at her belly button at Piedmont Fayette Hospital (PFH).

“This innovative single-incision laparoscopic cholecystectomy is an improvement because it looks better, creates less stress, pain and a quicker recovery time for patients,” said John Goza, M.D. “It’s awesome – my patients leave the recovery room one hour after surgery and you can not tell that they have even had surgery. They return to the office two weeks later and are completely back their normal lives.”

Unlike traditional surgery on the colon or other parts of the intestines where a long incision down the center of the abdomen is required, laparoscopic surgery requires only small “keyhole” incisions in the abdomen. The standard procedure is to make four incisions through the abdominal muscle. With the new single site incision, a surgeon makes only one small incision approximately two centimeters in length at the belly button.

Using the single site procedure through the belly button shortens the recovery time for patients from about six weeks to only one week. As surgeons continue to develop this advanced minimally invasive procedure the benefits will expand to other applications like exploratory surgeries, appendectomies and removing ovaries. Laparoscopy is usually done under general anesthesia, although sometimes a spinal anesthetic may be used.

“I was waterskiing two weeks after my surgery,” said Finnegan. “I feel great and I am happy to report that my scar is practically hidden in my belly button, so it isn’t noticeable at all.”

Dr. Goza is one of approximately six surgeons in metro Atlanta performing this single site laparoscopic cholecystectomy. He performs laparoscopies at Piedmont Fayette Hospital. For more information on PFH’s laparoscopic services visit
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