ROBOTIC SURGERY BENEFITS LIVING KIDNEY DONORS AND RECIPIENTS
BY PAM MCGRATH
IMAGE COURTESY OF BARNES-JEWISH HOSPITAL
When used to perform living-donor nephrectomy—the removal of a kidney from a living donor for transplantation into a recipient—a robotic surgery system offers a number of benefits. For example, the donor’s stay in the hospital may be shortened and recovery may happen more quickly.
THE USE OF ROBOTICS
OFFERS ADDITIONAL PRECISION IN LIVING KIDNEY-DONOR AND KIDNEY TRANSPLANTATION SURGERIES.
Though many such donation surgeries already are being done using a minimally invasive procedure that offers living donors similar benefits, the robotic procedure allows for additional improvements.
Use of a robotic system for nephrectomy isn’t new. “Robotic nephrectomy has already been proven highly effective in both partial and radical, or complete, removal of kidneys due to cancer,” says Adeel Khan, MD, MPH, transplant surgeon at the Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Transplant Center. “The robotic system offers a three-dimensional view of the surgical field that is magnified up to 15 times greater than the human eye. And the system’s instruments, which are under the surgeon’s command, offer the precision needed to remove a tumor while preserving healthy parts of the kidney.”
This precision is what makes robotic surgery an excellent option for some living kidney donors and for transplant recipients. Jason Wellen, MD, MBA, Washington University transplant surgeon at the Transplant Center, explains why that’s true.