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Your Healthy Family: Robots help doctors remove a gallbladder in minutes

Posted at 7:31 AM, Sep 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-09 05:45:14-04

NAPLES, Fla. — Robots are helping doctors at NCH Healthcare System remove a patient's gallbladder in as little as 14 minutes.

Dr. Robert Grossman says doctors can do just about any kind of surgery using a robot.

Fox 4 was in the operating room as he removed a woman's gallbladder.

“She came in with a gallstone blocking the main gallbladder duct that was causing her pain and discomfort, in addition to a little bit of inflammation of the liver," Dr. Grossman said.

The gallbladder is an organ on the upper right side of your abdomen. It sits just below your liver and collects and stores bile, which is the digestive fluid produced in your liver.

“You can have a healthy, happy, normal life without a gallbladder. It will not cause you any discomfort or problem,” he said.

Dr. Grossman said gallbladder surgery is probably the most common surgery in our country, and using a robot cuts a 1-2 hour procedure down to minutes.

“The fastest I've done one of these is about 14 minutes," he said. "This is our fourth case today, our third gallbladder, and it's not even 3 o'clock.”

He said for many parts of the world, open gallbladder surgery is still the standard of care.

"We're lucky that we're in a country where we have advanced modern medicine," Dr. Grossman said.

During the operation, Dr. Grossman sits in the corner of the operating room, looks through a console that shows a 3-D image of inside the abdomen, and does the operation using small devices on his fingers, and pedals at his feet.

Dr. Grossman removed the woman's gallbladder through a tiny incision by her belly button.