(August 5, 2009) - A surgeon at Memorial University Medical
Center (MUMC) has performed the region's first "scarless"
splenectomy (spleen removal).
Christopher Senkowski, M.D., removed a patient's spleen through
an advanced technique known as Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery
(SILS). Only a handful of surgeons worldwide are able to perform
complex spleen removal with SILS.
"Removing the spleen via a single one-inch incision represents a
great stride forward for patient comfort and ability to return to
normal activity. In the past, this surgery required a large
incision or multiple small incisions. We can now perform this major
operation safely and successfully with a single incision, and the
patient can go home after just 24 hours in the hospital," said
Senkowski began using the SILS technique for gallbladder removal
a year ago. He removes the gallbladder through a one-inch incision
hidden within the belly button -- a virtually invisible scar. Senkowski has performed more than 100
gallbladder operations with SILS, and recently used it for the more
complicated spleen removal.
The SILS approach has an excellent safety and outcomes record.
In southeast Georgia, MUMC is the only hospital offering SILS. At
MUMC, the SILS technique has also been used successfully for
appendix, colon, and adrenal gland removal. 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, gallbladder removal, and liver
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 (SAGES), the dominant surgical society for
minimally invasive surgery. He also works with the American College
of Surgeons as an advisor to the committee that helps assess new
procedures. He practices at
ACI - Surgical Associates.
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 academic 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.