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First Robotic Surgery at UPMC Altoona

Altoona woman recovers quickly from gallbladder procedure.

A local woman who recently had gallbladder surgery says, if she had it to do again, she wouldn't consult google before going into the operating room. Megan Mccahan was the first patient to undergo robotic surgery at UPMC  Altoona.

She needed to have her gallbladder out because it was causing her a lot of pain, but she didn't want to be off the job very long. So she signed on for a robotic assisted procedure at UPMC Altoona that would probably mean a quicker recovery.

She says, "it didn't actually dawn on me what was going on until actually I saw Dr. Newlin's interview and then it sunk in. I  thought oh, I'm the first person that's going to have this done."

That scared her just alittle, and going on-line made it worse.

"I was googling on line and looking at other people's procedures with the gallbladder and I was really nervous."

With the help of a robot, her surgeon operated thorugh a few small incisions. The robot magnifies the area of surgery  up to ten teimes, allowing doctors to see tissues  more closely.

Also, it's arm can hold  three to four tiny surgical instruments   at the same time.

Surgeon Dr. Matthew Newlin says, "the big advantage is the instruments at the tip of those tools have the ability to move like your human wrist, so it's like having a miniature hand inside the abdominal cavity."

Proponents of the robotic assisted surgery say it results in less blood loss, quicker recovery, and less scarring.

Mccahan says her minimal pain could be controlled by Tylenol and stopped at a book store the day of her surgery.

She's happy with the way her scar is healing and says it's hard to tell she's had a procedure.
It's hard to tell she's had a procedure.

She had the procedure on a Tuesday in mid-August, was driving by Friday and back

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