Surgeons within the UNM School of Medicine Department of Surgery recently performed a new procedure, a Single Incision (A.K.A. “SILS”) Laparoscopic kidney removal through an incision less than 2 inches long. This is the first such procedure in the state of New Mexico and only a handful of surgeons nationally have been able to perform such a surgery.

The team, lead by Satyan K. Shah, MD, Director of Minimally Invasive Urologic Surgery, and Director of Robotic Surgery, performed the procedure on a patient with kidney cancer.

The technical name for the procedure, which has been handful of times nationally, is a “Single Incision laparoscopic radical nephrectomy.” SILS surgery is a significant advancement over standard laparoscopic surgery, which although minimally invasive, still requires 4-5 small incisions. Dr. Shah said this has the potential to result in less pain, less scarring, and faster recovery for patients.

The patient who had the procedure was able to be discharged from the hospital less than 24 hours after the procedure. Traditional open kidney surgery is usually associated with a hospital stay of at least 2-3 days.