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New, Less Invasive Surgery for Gall Bladder Removal

West Hills Hospital & Medical Center's own David Schreier, MD, FACS, is performing specialized surgery for gallbladder removal that is less invasive than utilizing current emerging robotic technology. The surgery is a single-site laparoscopic procedure, one that Dr. Schreier and his partner, Frank Candela, MD, FACS, have now performed on more than 35 cases since receiving the necessary equipment in November 2011.

Laparo-Endoscopic Single-Site surgery (LESS) is a relatively new procedure that allows for a smaller incision, decreased risk of wound infection, less or no visible scarring, less pain and less risk of hernia. The procedure is done with a single port through the bellybutton, creating only a 1/2-inch incision. A traditional laparoscopic operation requires 3-4 incisions. Current robotic techniques can utilize a single incision that is at least twice the length, thereby increasing the risk of hernia and resulting in a less favorable cosmetic result.

Alternative systems can be more costly and may require longer operating time. The LESS procedure requires only the surgeon's skill and the Olympus Endoeye FLEX 5 video laparoscope for visibility. "The Endoeye allows us to look inside the abdomen and can flex up to 100 degrees in four directions, so we get tremendous exposure through a single port," Dr. Schreier says. "It really is a more efficient way to perform the operation, and more beneficial for the patient."

LESS technology will also be used for colon surgery (removal of part or all of the colon due to cancer or diverticulitis) in the near future, and has been used for hysterectomies at West Hills Hospital.

About Dr. Schreier
Dr. David Schreier joined with Dr. Frank Candela in 1999 and has been a member of the medical staff at West Hills Hospital & Medical Center since then. He recently completed two consecutive two-year terms as Chief of Surgery for West Hills Hospital. Dr. Schreier is a Diplomat of the American Board of Surgery, and is a Fellow of American College Surgeons. He completed an oncology fellowship at Los Angeles County - USC Medical Center, where he also completed his residency.

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