Harbor Hospital Center recently began performing an innovative gall bladder procedure, called the laparoscopic cholecystectomy, a procedure previously available only at large research institutions.

The operation includes the use of video monitors and specialized surgical instruments to dissect and extract the gall bladder through a tiny incision in the patient's navel.

In the recent past, most patients who had gall bladder surgery required a long and painful recovery process, since surgeons had to cut through stomach muscles to reach the gall bladder.

Today, many patients benefit from the new procedure, which only requires four small incisions. Patients are hospitalized overnight with the new procedure, and miss only one week of work, instead of four to six as was necessary before.

Most patients report great comfort within a few days of the surgery, and the reduced cost, resulting from a shorter hospital stay, is an added bonus.

For more information on the procedure, contact the hospital.

Information: 347-2441.

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