Objective: To analyze the preliminary experience with the new da Vinci single-site technology for cholecystectomy. Hypothesis: Single-incision laparoscopic cholecystectomy is technically challenging and a related learning curve clearly exists. A novel approved robotic single-port platform has recently been introduced. This technology may help overcome some of the limitations of manual single-incision surgery relating to triangulation of instruments, ergonomics, and surgical exposure. Design: A prospective longitudinal observational study was conducted on 100 consecutive da Vinci single-site cholecystectomies. Setting: Five Italian centers of robotic general surgery. Main Outcome Measures: Primary end points were feasibility without conversion and the absence of major complications. Operative times were analyzed to define the learning curve using a mixed regression model. A questionnaire collected the opinions of the surgeons involved in using the new technique. Results: Two patients underwent conversion. No major intraoperative complications occurred, but there were 12 minor incidents (7 ruptures of the gallbladder and 5 cases of minor bleeding from the gallbladder bed). Mean (SD) total operative time was 71 (19) minutes, with a mean (SD) console time of 32 (13) minutes. No significant reduction in the operative times was observed with the increasing of each surgeon's experience. The technique was judged more complex than standard 4-port laparoscopy but easier than single-incision laparoscopy. Conclusions: Da Vinci single-site cholecystectomy is an easy and safe procedure for expert robotic surgeons. It allows the quick overcoming of the learning curve typical of single-incision laparoscopic surgery and may potentially increase the safety of this approach.
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