Mount Sinai First NY Hospital to Remove Spleen and Gall Bladder through Belly Button

The Mount Sinai Medical Center is the first in New York State to remove a spleen and gallbladder completely through a one-inch incision in the belly button.

New York, NY
 – April 23, 2010 /Press Release/  –– 

Physicians at The Mount Sinai Medical Center have become the first in New York State to perform a single-incision laparoscopic splenectomy and cholecystectomy, removing the spleen and gallbladder of a patient completely through a one-inch incision hidden in the belly button.

The procedure was performed by Peter Midulla, MD, Assistant Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics, and Edward Chin, MD, Assistant Professor of Surgery at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. With the patient under general anesthesia, the physicians made a one-inch incision in the belly button and guided a camera, or laparoscope, and two other instruments through it. By enclosing the spleen and breaking it down into smaller pieces, the surgeons were able to successfully remove it through the one-inch incision, followed by the gallbladder. The technique is a safe alternative to traditional laparoscopic surgery for the spleen and gallbladder, which usually requires six or seven incisions.

“Traditional laparoscopic surgery is the standard of care, but it requires multiple incisions,” said Dr. Chin. “This can be a cosmetic issue for the patient, especially if they are young. A single incision through the belly button provides a safe and effective way to remove the organs with a single scar on the belly button that is barely visible.”

The patient, a 17-year-old girl from New York, has sickle cell disease and gallstones. She had repeated abdominal pain on her left side affecting the spleen, which was enlarged, a common problem in people with sickle cell disease. The patient also had significant restrictions on her diet because many foods caused severe pain due to the gallstones.

After three days in the hospital the patient was able to return home and has recovered easily. She had no bruising or pain around the incision site, and the scar is almost invisible.

About The Mount Sinai Medical Center 

The Mount Sinai Medical Center encompasses both The Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Established in 1968, Mount Sinai School of Medicine is one of few medical schools embedded in a hospital in the United States. It has more than 3,400 faculty in 32 departments and 15 institutes, and ranks among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institute of Health funding and by U.S. News & World Report. The school received the 2009 Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Service from the Association of American Medical Colleges. 

The Mount Sinai Hospital, founded in 1852, is a 1,171-bed tertiary- and quaternary-care teaching facility and one of the nation’s oldest, largest and most-respected voluntary hospitals. In 2009, U.S. News & World Report ranked The Mount Sinai Hospital among the nation’s top 20 hospitals based on reputation, patient safety, and other patient-care factors. Nearly 60,000 people were treated at Mount Sinai as inpatients last year, and approximately 530,000 outpatient visits took place. 

For more information, visit www.mountsinai.org.