Jessica Reino, a recent transplant to California by way of New Jersey, had been diagnosed with gallbladder disease by her gastroenterologist after several months of experiencing pain on the right side of her abdomen, and the decision was made to undergo surgery, specifically, a cholecystectomy, which is gallbladder removal surgery.

However, as a registered nurse (RN) with two young children, Jessica’s daily life entails constant physical activity, and the fact is, she simply could not afford to be on bed rest recovery for very long following any procedure.

“I did not want to have multiple scars on my abdomen and I needed a quick and minimally painful recovery time, so robotic surgery was the option I pursued.”

After doing research and consulting with several of her colleagues in the medical field, Jessica consulted with Dr. Stephen G. Pereira, M.D. of Hackensack, NJ.

Dr. Pereira is the chief of gastrointestinal surgery at Hackensack University Medical Center, where he specializes in abdominal, gastrointestinal and hernia surgery; one of the first doctors in New Jersey to perform robotic surgery and the first surgeon in New Jersey and the New York metropolitan area to perform robotic gallbladder removal surgery using a single 1-inch incision through the belly button. By comparison, performing cholecystectomy with traditional laparoscopic surgery requires four incisions in the abdomen. Robotic single incision gallbladder surgery provides enhanced dexterity and visibility for the surgeon and patients benefit from minimal pain, rapid recovery, and virtually no scars.


Note: The visible scar around Jessica’s belly button is from a
previous belly button ring, NOT her surgery incision.

“I knew that Dr. Pereira had performed many robotic single incision cholecystectomy procedures, and consistently had great results,” said Jessica from her new home in California. “I did not want to have multiple scars on my abdomen and I needed a quick and minimally painful recovery time, so robotic surgery was the option I pursued.”

After examining Jessica, Dr. Pereira confirmed that she would be a good candidate for robotic single incision cholecystectomy “Dr. Pereira explained the procedure to me in detail, answered all my questions, and allowed me to take the time to think about it all before making a decision, Jessica recounted. “Dr. Pereira examined my abdomen in the office, and actually explained exactly how the incision would be in my belly button.”

According to Dr. Pereira, Jessica’s concerns were common, and he welcomes a thorough discussion when consulting with patients. “When discussing robotic surgery options for abdominal procedures, advantages of robotic surgery over traditional surgery to the patients include reduced scarring, markedly less pain, and shorter recovery from surgery,” he said. “The minimally invasive da Vinci Surgery device enables surgeons to operate through a few tiny incisions, as opposed to bigger incisions that are used in traditional open surgery. This enables us to work with enhanced vision, precision, dexterity and control, while offering our patients reduced surgical trauma and potentially lowered risk of complications.”

Six months after her robotic single incision cholecystectomy, Jessica is still amazed by the results: “I wear a bikini, and no one can tell I had surgery six months ago. My scar is very small, most of it being inside my belly button, and if I didn’t have a previous scar from an old belly ring, it would be almost invisible.”

Most importantly, Jessica reports that the “symptoms I had prior to the surgery are gone now and I can live my life pain free and eat what I want with no problem.”

For further information and to learn if you are a candidate for robotic surgery, please visit or call (201) 343-3433.

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