Cleveland Clinic first to perform robotic single-port kidney transplant

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Surgeons at the Cleveland Clinic have successfully conducted a kidney transplant using a new generation of robot that inserts all surgical instruments and the donor organ through a small abdominal incision.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, it is the first hospital in the world to perform a robotic single-port kidney transplant using the Single Port SP Robot from Intuitive Surgical, which is designed to provide more precise and effective surgeries with improved surgical outcomes.

In particular, the ability to enter the body through a single, small incision is meant to help surgeons perform more complex procedures, while improving surgical outcomes and enabling quicker patient recovery.

“The aim was not only to make a smaller incision, but also to minimize the area in which the operation was performed by limiting the number of cuts inside the patient,” says Jihad Kaouk, MD, director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Robotic and Image Guided Surgery. “This resulted in minimal post-operative pain and no opioids needed after surgery.”

As part of the kidney transplant, Kaouk and his surgical team made a small four-centimeter incision on the patient’s abdomen and then used the single-port robot to prepare the site for the donor kidney, connect the blood vessels, as well as reconstruct the urinary drainage—before suturing the incision.

“The robotic single-port approach is very promising,” says Alvin Wee, MD, surgical director of renal transplantation at the Cleveland Clinic. “We are looking forward to continuing to refine this technique, and our team is optimistic that this minimally invasive surgery can add to our range of options for kidney transplantation.”

Last year, the Cleveland Clinic announced that Kaouk and his surgical team were the first in the country to successfully perform robotic single-port prostatectomy and kidney cancer surgery in which they removed cancerous prostates as well as an enlarged prostate blocking the urinary system.

“This latest surgical technique provides evidence that the single-port approach is feasible not only for patients with cancer, but also for patients who are in need of a kidney transplant,” according to the Cleveland Clinic.

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