Atlantic General Hospital Surgeon Performs Appendectomy Through Belly Button
On April 30, an Eastern Shore patient suffering from appendicitis, a common
condition that has been treated surgically since the late 1800s, was on
the receiving end of a very new approach: removal of the infected appendix
through a small incision in the belly button.
Performed by Thuan Dang, M.D., a general surgeon at Atlantic General Hospital,
the SILS (Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery) Port appendectomy was
the first of its kind in the region. With this new device, Dang was able
to make a small incision roughly two centimeters long – smaller
than the diameter of a nickel – in the belly button, insert instruments
and remove the appendix.
Under the skilled hands of a surgeon such as Dang, the procedure lasted
just a few minutes longer than a normal appendectomy, taking minimally
invasive laparoscopic surgery that involves three or four small incisions
one step further.
Though studies have yet to be conducted on this new device, it is theorized
that the single point of entry will mean less pain and an even quicker
recovery for patients. A cosmetic benefit, however, is very clear: no scars.
U.S. surgeons have been performing SILS single incision laparascopic surgery
through the umbilicus for more than a year now. However, the process was
cumbersome with limited means to stabilize the multiple port instruments
used. With this new technology, more single incision surgeries are being
“Since the inception of laparoscopic surgery in the 80s, the goals
have remained unchanged: to minimize the patient's post-op pain while
achieving equal or superior results as the comparable open procedure,”
said Dang. “This must be achieved with unwavering commitment to
“The SILS technique has developed as the next step toward those
goals,” he continued. “Minimally invasive procedures that
once required three or four incisions now can be performed through one.
Currently the SILS technique is being used for gall bladders, appendectomies
and even donor nephrectomies. As surgeons become more comfortable with
the equipment, that scope will only increase.”
About Dr. Thuan Dang
Thuan Dang, M.D. joined the medical staff at Atlantic General Hospital
in 2003. He completed his internship and residency at Drexel University
College of Medicine in Philadelphia after graduating from Howard University
College of Medicine. Dr. Dang is board certified by the American Board
of Surgery. Appointments can be made by calling his private practice at
About Atlantic General Hospital
Physicians perform more than 4,500 inpatient and outpatient surgeries
each year at Atlantic General Hospital, located in Berlin, Md. From tonsillectomies
to joint replacement operations, Atlantic General is proud to provide
state-of-the-art surgical suites and a highly experienced staff, including
a full team of board-certified anesthesiologists. In addition to general
surgeries, more advanced procedures are performed including gynecology,
bariatric, plastic, eye, and joint surgeries. For more information about
Atlantic General Hospital’s services, visit www.atlanticgeneral.org.