Introduction: Single-port laparoscopic surgery usually uses the transumbilical approach. However, the transumbilical incision may be associated with a high frequency of wound-related complications, including trocar site hernia and infection. Therefore, we developed remote access laparoscopic (REAL) surgery, a new access technique for single-port surgery within the pubic hairline. This study reports on a technique developed at our institution and describes our preliminary results.
Materials and Surgical Technique: Ten patients with cholecystolithiasis underwent REAL surgery. A single 2.5-cm transverse incision was made medially within the pubic hairline area, and a SILS Port was inserted. A 5-mm flexible endoscope and an articulating grasper or a long laparoscopic grasper were used. Dissection of the gallbladder was achieved with laparoscopic ultrasonic shears just as in the conventional laparoscopic cholecystectomy. All procedures were successfully performed without conversion to conventional laparoscopic technique. There were no postoperative complications, and outpatient evaluation showed a clean scar within the pubic hair area in all patients.
Discussion: Our early experience shows that REAL surgery is feasible and safe. This novel access technique can preserve the native umbilicus and provides an invisible scar that is concealed within the pubic hair.