Toni Brown – da Vinci Single-Site Gallbladder Surgery Success Story

Putting pain in its place

Da Vinci® robot helps surgeons take a shot at gallbladder pain

Toni Brown “The recovery felt fast to me and didn’t affect
my game. I was back on the court in two weeks.”

“She’s so modest, but Mama is proud,” Robbie Brown says about her daughter, Toni, who has just come in from basketball practice. Finally, the high school senior fesses up that she also does track and field.

“The recovery felt fast to me and didn’t affect my game. I was back on the court in two weeks.”

On a national level. And is ranked second in the country in her age group for shot put. Mama should be proud.

Last summer, Toni earned silver in the Junior Olympics for shot put in the 17–18 division.

“We have college letters everywhere,” the mom says. “You wouldn’t believe all the trophies and medals in her room.”

However, last winter, the coveted collegiate athlete found herself benched with extreme abdominal pain.

Toni Brown shotputting.Gallbladder gone wrong

Toni and her brothers had been spending the week with their grandmother, and for dinner one night, Toni decided she wanted nachos.

“That’s when I realized something was wrong,” Toni says. “My stomach just turned over.”

After returning home, the pain persisted to the point that Toni was doubled over.

In a nearby emergency department, a sonogram found gallstones in Toni’s gallbladder with signs of inflammation, and it was recommended that the organ be removed, a procedure called a cholecystectomy.

Robbie wanted to keep the procedure close to the family’s Lancaster home, and both Toni’s pediatrician and OB-GYN recommended Ron Calhoun, MD, FACS, general surgeon at Methodist Charlton Medical Center.

How gallstones get in the way

Dr. Calhoun says that while spicy and greasy foods, like nachos, don’t cause gallstones, they can let you know they’re there.

“Greasy or spicy food causes the gallbladder to contract,” he says. “If there are already gallstones present in the gallbladder, this will push them into the neck of the organ, causing the acute pain that brings people to the doctor.”

Once you’re feeling that pain, Dr. Calhoun says it’s time to say goodbye to the gallbladder. Gallstones can lead to jaundice and pancreatitis, and once you have one gallstone attack, you’re more likely to have more frequent and severe ones over time.

Da Vinci does it better

Fortunately, gallbladder removal is easier than ever, thanks to the robotic da Vinci® Surgical System. At first Toni was nervous about a robotic procedure — until Dr. Calhoun set the record straight.

“The robot does not do the surgery,” he says. “The surgeon interacts with the robot for a safer, more precise procedure. With more control, there is less bending, moving, and pressure on the abdominal wall. For almost all of my patients, they experience less pain.”

As for Toni, she raves about her experience.

“Everyone at Methodist Charlton was nice, and the doctors really tried to help me relax,” she says.

“The recovery felt fast to me and didn’t affect my game. I was back on the court in two weeks.”

Did You Know?

Women are 12 times more vulnerable to gallstones. If you are experiencing severe abdominal pain, nausea, bloating, or gas, connect with your doctor to see if your gallbladder could be at fault. Find a physician at MethodistHealthSystem.org/FindAPhysician or by calling 214-947-6296.

Let da Vinci Help You

To find a da Vinci-trained surgeon to address your gallbladder woes, call 214-947-6296.