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Surg Technol Int. 2009 Apr;18:19-25.

Single Port Access (SPA™) Minimal Access Surgery Through a Single Incision.

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Department of Surgery Director, Robotic and Minimally Invasive Surgery, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA.


The practice of surgical techniques is constantly improving and evolving. In the last two decades, minimally invasive surgery has gained widespread acceptance. Virtually all procedures can now be performed laparoscopically. This trend not only provides better cosmesis, but offers decreased recovery times as well. The initial trend from open to laparoscopic surgery was to use smaller incisions. The natural continuation of this is to now decrease the number of incisions necessary to perform minimal access surgery. To this end, the authors have seen a constantly evolving stream of technology and instrumentation in laparoscopy. New venues, such as robotics and Natural Orifice. Transluminal Endoscopic Surgery (NOTES), have developed as well. As part of this evolution, the authors developed Single Port Access (SPA™) surgery in April 2007 as a novel and innovative platform of minimal access surgery. Its acceptance through our training programs, as well as the subsequent development of modified Single Port techniques, demonstrates the potential to develop a new platform of minimal access surgery. The SPA™ technique is a method of abdominal entry for a wide spectrum of laparoscopic procedures performed by multiple surgical specialties. Using the access techniques we developed, the authors have performed nearly 200 general surgical and gynecologic procedures through a single incision, often <2 cm in length and hidden within the umbilicus. In addition, the development of SPA™ surgery has been focused on using current and standard instrumentation, as well as currently practiced surgical techniques already familiar to surgeons in standard multiport laparoscopy. The "Independence of Motion" attained in this access technique, without the need for any new access or operative devices, allows up to four instruments to be place through a single incision<2 cm in length. We have striven to maintain safety principles of multiport laparoscopy, as well, and have continued to improve the technique to increase the availability and broad application of SPA™ surgery. Out technique and its application, across a broad range of surgical procedures and surgical specialties, are presented herein.

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