4 incisions or 1? FDA approves less invasive robotic procedure

46 year old Wayne Hardin is feeling almost like his old self--a couple of weeks ago he was diagnosed with gallstones and was told it would be a good idea to have his gallbladder removed.

He became the first in Dallas-Fort Worth to have a choice--the old robotic way which included four incisions or the new one which reduces the number to one.

"It's amazing that you can go in there with one relatively small incision using the tools that they have to be able to go in there and efficiently remove one of your organs like that," Wayne said.

Medical City Dallas Hospital surgeon Christopher Bell performed Wayne's surgery and calls the newly approved procedure exciting.

Dr. Bell said patients recover faster with less risk of infections. Cosmetically--the single incision is less than an inch.

"I think most of the time when you tell a patient we can do an operation through a single incision as effectively as using multiple incisions most people will opt for single incision," Dr. Bell said. “I know I would.”

It was for Wayne--his surgery took about 90 minutes. Dr. Bell said four devices can be inserted into the single incision--including a camera which produces a crystal clear 3D image.

While Wayne liked the single incision concept--for Dr. Bell the 3D picture in real-time makes for a more accurate procedure.

"It's nice to have the 3D input rather than to have your brain convert a 2D image into a 3D image," Dr. Bell said.

Wayne had his surgery at Medical City Dallas in the morning and by late afternoon he was home.

We interviewed him just four days after his surgery--which he finds amazing.

"Looking back I remember my father had his gallbladder out back in the late 70's and he had a rather large incision on his abdomen and he was out with us in about six weeks," Wayne recalled.

But not Wayne, he'll be back at work later this week.

"It's really remarkable that they were able to do that," Wayne said.