Single-Incision Robotic Gallbladder Surgery Puts New Lenox Woman in Good Mood
For years, Christina Fisher experienced episodes of heart burn, acid reflux and abdominal bloating that would last for hours or days at a time. Thinking that it would eventually go away, she coped with it best she could – avoiding chocolate and Italian food.
While working in the Silver Cross Emergency Department (ED) on Christmas Eve 2013, Christina had another painful attack after eating some sweets. “I was sitting at my desk in the ED when the pain set in. Dr. Dan Checco took one look at me and diagnosed me on the spot. I was having a gallbladder attack,” said the 48 year-old New Lenox resident.
After the holidays, Christina went to see her primary doctor, Latha Arla, D.O. sent her for an ultrasound. The test results showed Christina had gall stones inside her gallbladder. She referred Christina to Dr. Laura Ragauskaite, general surgeon with The Midwest Institute for Robotic Surgery at Silver Cross Hospital. Home to some of the most highly skilled surgeons in the United States, Silver Cross performs more surgeries using robotic-assisted technology than anyone else in the Chicago area. In fact, Dr. Ragauskaite was the first female surgeon in Illinois to perform Robotic Single-Site® Cholecystectomy to remove a gallbladder through one tiny incision in the belly button and has performed over 200 procedures since 2014.
“Dr. Ragauskaite touched my stomach and immediately knew that I needed surgery,” said Christina. “She said that I was a candidate for Single-Site robotic surgery explaining that, although it was major surgery, it could be done through one hole in my belly button so that I wouldn’t have any scars and heal faster.”
One Tiny Incision, No scars!
Dr. Ragauskaite performed Christina’s surgery at Silver Cross Hospital using a daVinci® robot. During the one-hour procedure, Dr. Ragauskaite sat at a counsel in the operating room controlling the robot to translate her hand and wrist movements into smaller precise movements of long, thin instruments and a video camera inside Christina’s body. At the counsel, Dr. Ragauskaite viewed the 3D images in real-time to guide her in removing Christina’s gallbladder through the tiny incision in her belly button.
“The daVinci robot allows me to see more clearly inside the body so I can remove the gallbladder with the utmost accuracy leading to a safer, less traumatic, quicker recovery and superior cosmetic outcome for the patient,” said Dr. Ragauskaite.
In 2014, Christina had surgery on Good Friday and was in church on Easter Sunday. With no complications, Christina went home from the hospital on the same day and was back at work in just two weeks.
“Working at Silver Cross, I knew Dr. Ragauskaite has a reputation as an excellent surgeon, but was truly pleased with her astounding bedside manner,” said Christina. “She was so kind and caring; I had the best of both worlds.”
Today, Christina works nights as a telecommunications operator at Silver Cross Hospital and days at Moody Blues Jeans Boutique in New Lenox.
“Since surgery three years ago, my quality of life has really improved. I feel fabulous. I had no idea how sick I really was.”