Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery
What is Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery?
Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery (SILS) is the use of a single cut within the belly button to perform laparoscopic procedures such as ovarian cystectomy, myomectomy and even hysterectomy. In contrast, standard laparoscopy is the use of multiple ports or small incisions (usually 3-4) to perform such procedures.
What are the advantages of SILS?
SILS utilises the thinnest part of the abdominal wall (which is the umbilicus) to gain entry and operate in the abdominal cavity. This results in excellent cosmesis and near “scarless” surgery. In addition, post-operative surgical pain is also reduced since there are less wounds on the abdomen. This results in faster recovery with shorter hospitalisation and hence shorter downtime for the patient.
What type of surgery is suitable for SILS?
SILS can be performed for a wide range of gynaecological procedures including removal of ovarian cysts and fibroids, fertility evaluation, surgery for ectopic pregnancy etc. It can also be used for hysterectomy (removal of the womb), especially for pre-cancer or early stage cancer disease.
How long has SILS been in practice?
SILS has been performed for the last 10 years locally. A/Prof Fong was among the early practitioners in the region to perform single incision surgery for gynaecology in 2008. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3195858/pdf/MIS2011-105643.pdf)
Since then, he has gone on to perform close to 300 surgeries using this technique. He has been invited to perform live surgery at various overseas conferences and he also kick-started training workshops on SILS in the region. Within the region, he was early in performing a combined single port procedure with a general surgeon, whereby the procedures of oophorectomy (removal of a diseased ovary) and hernia repair were done through the same single incision.