Cleveland Clinic First in the World to Perform Robotic Single Port Kidney Transplant

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Cleveland Clinic is the first hospital in the world to successfully perform a robotic single-port kidney transplant, which enables all surgical instruments and the donor kidney to be placed through one small abdominal incision.

The Glickman Urological & Kidney Institute surgical team included Jihad Kaouk, M.D., director of the Center for Robotic and Image Guided Surgery; Alvin Wee, M.D., surgical director of Renal Transplantation; Mohamed Eltemamy, M.D.; David Goldfarb, M.D.; and Eric Miller, M.D. These surgeons combined their collective expertise in minimally invasive, robotic, and kidney transplant surgery to successfully complete the operation in October.

Dr. Kaouk and his team were the first in the country to successfully perform robotic single-port prostatectomy and kidney cancer surgery in September 2018. 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.

“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,” said Dr. Kaouk. “This resulted in minimal post-operative pain and no opioids needed after surgery.”

The robotic single-port platform may provide an alternative option for the appropriate patient, including patients with obesity or challenging anatomy. During the operation, the surgical team created a small four-centimeter incision on the patient’s abdomen. The surgeon then used the single-port robot to prepare the site for the donor kidney, connect the blood vessels, and lastly reconstruct the urinary drainage, before suturing the incision.

“The robotic single-port approach is very promising,” said Dr. Wee. “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.”

The robotic single-port platform may provide an alternative option for the appropriate patient, including patients with obesity or challenging anatomy. During the operation, the surgical team created a small four-centimeter incision on the patient’s abdomen. The surgeon then used the single-port robot to prepare the site for the donor kidney, connect the blood vessels, and lastly reconstruct the urinary drainage, before suturing the incision.

“The robotic single-port approach is very promising,” said Dr. Wee. “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.”

About Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 66,000 employees are more than 4,200 salaried physicians and researchers and 16,600 nurses, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic’s health system includes a 165-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 11 regional hospitals in northeast Ohio, more than 180 northern Ohio outpatient locations – including 18 full-service family health centers and three health and wellness centers – and locations in southeast Florida; Las Vegas, Nev.; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2018, there were 7.9 million total outpatient visits, 238,000 hospital admissions and observations, and 220,000 surgical cases throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 185 countries. Visit us at clevelandclinic.org.