BCM LogoNowadays, a minimally invasive surgery seems to be even more minimal. More so that doctors at Baylor College of Medicine are making use of only one incision for some procedures in turn leaving behind little to no scar.

One-incision surgeries are known to use the same type of devices like traditional laparoscopic surgeries. However, instead of making up to four or more incisions in the stomach and abdomen area, only one appears to have been made through the belly button.

“This technique has been around for a couple of years. What we are doing now is expanding the types of surgeries for which we can use this method and understanding the benefits in a research setting,” says Dr. Vadim Sherman, assistant professor of surgery and director of the Comprehensive Bariatric Surgery Center at BCM.

Sherman further said that, “The belly button is easy to access regardless of a person’s weight and it’s centrally located on the body, making it easy to reach many different organs. The umbilical ring can be slightly expanded, allowing multiple instruments to be inserted at once.”

Though this technique is safe, the benefits over traditional laparoscopy may have not yet been defined except doctor and patient word of mouth. Sherman and his colleagues are believed to be analyzing all aspects of one-incision surgeries from how it affects surgery time for different conditions, to recovery issues such as healing and pain.

“We are also looking at how we can redesign, if necessary, the tools we use for this procedure. From my patient’s reaction, it seems the recovery process is equivalent to or better than the regular laparoscopic surgery,” adds Sherman.

Supposedly, the most apparent benefit is less scarring. While there may be a scar left behind, it is known to be located inside the belly button and is typically unseen. Sherman was observed to have made use of this technique to remove appendixes, gallbladders, feeding tubes and of lately, some obstetrical-related surgeries. Moreover, he seems to be adapting the techniques to certain weight loss procedures.

Even as this is becoming a more frequently used surgery technique, the authors’ goal appears to make sure in evaluating and reviewing all aspects in order to continue to improve upon patient care.