Augusta, GA - The technology of robotics combined with a single-site incision provides patients with a more comfortable, virtually painless gallbladder procedure.

Doctors Hospital is proud to announce that general surgeon, Samana Zulu, MD, performed Augusta’s first da Vinci System® Single-Site Cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal).

Traditionally called a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, the now minimally invasive robotic procedure combines the technology of the da Vinci System with a single incision through the patient’s belly button.

“Neither robotic surgery nor single-incision surgery is new,” relates Dr. Zulu, “but combining the procedure and the robotic equipment is truly revolutionary in the surgery field. This is an advanced procedure available locally only at Doctors Hospital.”

Unlike traditional robotic surgeries requiring three to five small incisions, this new technology allows for a single incision in the belly button where instruments are placed and the diseased gallbladder is removed.

Most people who require gallbladder removal are candidates for the robotic, single-incision surgery. According to the American College of Surgeons, surgery is the recommended treatment for gallbladder pain from gallstones and non-functioning gallbladders.

“The da Vinci single-site cholecystectomy is a revolutionary, minimally invasive procedure that vastly reduces the recovery time for the patient,” explains Dr. Zulu. “Patients generally return home the same day. There is less pain and discomfort associated with this procedure and patients are able to resume daily activities much sooner.”

Prior to the da Vinci single-site cholecystectomy, gallbladder surgery required numerous incisions underneath the ribcage and left patients to face longer recoveries and lifelong scars.

“The beauty of this procedure is there’s no scarring because we go in through the belly button,” explains Dr. Zulu. ‘There’s less postoperative pain because we no longer have to cut through the muscle, there is less blood loss, and overall, there is a lesser possibility of problems occurring during or after the procedure.”

More than 1 million people in the U.S. have their gallbladder removed each year. Most are performed with traditional laparoscopy using several incisions.

Doctors Hospital offers various types of robotic-assisted surgeries. In addition to gallbladder removal, Doctors Hospital surgeons perform robotic-assisted surgery in gynecology, urogynecology, urology, colorectal surgery, and thoracic surgery. Additionally, Doctors Hospital was recently named a Center of Excellence in Women’s Health Surgery by The American Institute of Minimally Invasive Surgery (AIMIS). The designation represents Doctors Hospital’s commitment to offering expert surgical care and new and proven medical technologies, including the da Vinci robotic surgical system. Patients that have robotic-assisted surgery experience:

For information on robotic and other minimally invasive surgeries at Doctors Hospital, call 706-651-4343 or visit                                      

Interview Opportunities:

Dr. Samana Zulu, General Surgeon at Doctors Hospital