CRMC surgeon among first 50 in U.S. to perform belly button hysterectomy with da Vinci

COOKEVILLE – Dr. Bert Geer and a surgical team at Cookeville Regional Medical Center (CRMC) are now performing da Vinci single-site hysterectomies and are among the first 50 in the nation to do so. Geer, gynecologic surgeon, is one of fewer than 50 surgeons in the United States and only the second surgeon in Tennessee trained to do this specific procedure.

The procedure is done through one tiny incision in the belly button, making the procedure virtually scarless. Led by Geer, the team performed the minimally invasive procedure using single-site instruments on a da Vinci system.

The Food and Drug Administration cleared the specialized single-site instruments for use with the da Vinci system in December 2011. The da Vinci is a robotic surgical system widely used in complex minimally invasive surgery.

“Neither robotic surgery nor single-incision surgery is new, but combining the two to perform a hysterectomy requires additional training and special equipment,” Geer said. “To be one of the first hospitals to offer this technically advanced surgery demonstrates Cookeville Regional’s leadership in providing patients with the most up-to-date minimally invasive surgical options.”

Geer is one of a small group of surgeons in the country who has received training to perform the surgery.

“Single-site instruments used with the da Vinci platform are the next step in the evolution of surgical technologies,” Geer said. “We are truly excited to be a leader today in the surgical treatment of tomorrow.”

Potential benefits of single-site hysterectomy surgery may include virtually scarless results, minimal pain, low blood loss, fast recovery, a short hospital stay and high patient satisfaction. The surgery can be performed in about one hour with a typical hospital stay of less than 24 hours.

During the procedure, the surgeon sits at a console, viewing a 3-D, high-definition image of the patient’s anatomy. The surgeon uses controls below the viewer to move the instrument arms and camera. In real-time, the system translates the surgeon’s hand, wrist and finger movements into more precise movements of the miniaturized instruments inside the patient.

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 uterus is removed.

Many women who require a hysterectomy are candidates for the robotic, single-incision surgery. Hysterectomies are the second most common operation for U.S. women. As a matter of fact, by age 60, one in three women will have a hysterectomy.

The first hospital in Tennessee to offer robotic procedures in five surgical specialties, CRMC has 13 surgeons offering daVinci robotic procedures in the specialties of gynecology, urology, cardiothoracic surgery, general surgery and ENT surgery. CRMC is the second hospital in the state to offer robotic surgical technology with the recent purchase of the new daVinci Si™ Surgical System, one of the most advanced robotic systems in the world.

CRMC also offers a wide range of minimally invasive conventional laparoscopic surgeries. For more information, call (931) 783-2629 or visit

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