SILS Surgical Technique Now Available at MUMC

(May 23, 2008) – Memorial University Medical Center (MUMC) now offers a type of gallbladder surgery that requires only one small incision in the belly button. It’s called single incision laparoscopic surgery, or SILS. Less than 20 surgeons nationwide are skilled in the SILS technique. One of them is Christopher Senkowski, M.D., at MUMC.

Using SILS, Senkowski can remove the gallbladder through a 1cm. incision in the belly button. Patients walk away with no visible scarring. Currently, the standard minimally invasive gallbladder operation requires at least four incisions.

“The SILS approach allows patients to have a better cosmetic result with minimal discomfort after surgery. Fewer incisions can mean a faster recovery, less risk for infection or later hernia, less risk for bleeding, and less pain," said Senkowski. At MUMC, SILS has also been used to remove the appendix and for cancer staging procedures.

Senkowski has more than 15 years of experience performing advanced laparoscopic surgery. He is a pioneer in the use of laparoscopic approaches for esophageal resection, pancreatic resection, and liver resection. He also has extensive experience managing gallbladder disease and its complications.
In addition, Senkowski is widely published and highly respected in the field of advanced laparoscopic surgery. He serves on a national committee of the Society for American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons, the dominant surgical society for minimally invasive surgery. He also works with the American College of Surgeons as an advisor to the committee which helps value new procedures.

Memorial University Medical Center is a two-state healthcare organization serving a 35-county area in southeast Georgia and southern South Carolina. The system includes its flagship hospital, a 530-bed tertiary medical center; Memorial primary and specialty care physician networks; a major medical education program; business and industry services; and NurseOne, a 24-hour call center. Memorial University Medical Center has been named a Distinguished Hospital by J.D. Power and Associates four years in a row for providing an outstanding patient experience.