SILS in Gallbladder and Appendix Procedures • Technique & Technology

02 September 2021

Article by: Dr Hairol Azrin Othman, Consultant General and Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgeon


Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) is performed using small surgical cuts, which minimalises scars and trauma to the body. In recent years, MIS has become the standard of care for various procedures under many subspecialties.

At Sunway Medical Centre, single-incision laparoscopic surgery (SILS) is used for gallbladder and appendix surgeries. It only requires one incision that will be hidden within the umbilicus (belly button), making near-scarless surgery a reality. 

Traditional open surgery cuts a long wound; even standard laparoscopic surgery requires a few small cuts. Compared to them, the single-incision technique has many benefits that come with operating through one small entry. 

It is a safe and well-established treatment option in hepatobiliary, pancreatic, urological, oncological, and gynaecological conditions that have been performed globally for many years, and is still increasingly being used. 

Key Benefits

  • Minimises pain
  • Minimises wound infection risks
  • Minimises blood loss
  • Minimises scar (potentially scarless)
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Faster recovery / Shorter downtime
  • Better cosmetic results 

Key Features

Length of incision/wound 25mm to 30mm

Instruments used

  • 5.5mm diameter Hopkins® 30˚ telescope
  • Long conventional laparoscope
  • Curved Karl Storz® laparoscope
  • Harmonic scalpel ultrasonic dissection device

Average operating time 

52 minutes

Average pain score

3 out of 10

Common conditions treated 

  • Gallstones — cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal)
  • Appendicitis — appendicectomy (appendix removal)





For patients, the most significant benefit of SILS is the cosmetic outcomes. Patients are often delighted with how well the wound heals and becomes concealed, along with reduced pain felt and low risks of major complications. 

Nevertheless, the procedure is not suitable for patients who have undergone previous abdominal surgery, are overweight, or has other factors such as organ positions or conditions that will make the procedure challenging.