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Robot-assisted Kidney Transplantation

One of the most important advantages of robotic surgery is that the surgeon’s visual quality during the operation is much better. The camera used in laparoscopic kidney transplantation methods only provides a two-dimensional image.

The cameras used in robotic kidney transplantation are Full-HD cameras that transmit separate images to each eye. In this way, a three-dimensional image is obtained. In addition, these cameras can magnify 15 times. Thus, the operation is performed under a much more comfortable vision. After the kidney transplant surgery performed with robotics, the patient recovers in a shorter time and can return to his daily life.

Kidney transplantation with robot 
requires high surgical experience and advanced technology. Robotic kidney transplant surgery has great advantages in terms of both the doctor performing the surgery and the transplanted patient.

Robotic Surgery System N.A.S.A. It was built by astronauts in space to operate remotely. It consists of a surgeon’s console part where the surgeon performs the surgery while seated, a patient console part containing the robotic arms that are placed next to the patient on the operating table and prepared and brought to the field under sterile conditions, and a camera system tower that provides the advanced imaging system. In this system, the surgeon performs difficult and sensitive surgeries by activating the other arms of the robot, which can move like his hand, accompanied by a three-dimensional image.

Removing the kidney to be transplanted by surgery is provided without damaging the tissues.

Distinctives of robotic kidney transplant

When implanting the kidney in the robotic procedure, the surgeon does not stand over the surgical field and place hands inside the patient to directly perform tasks such as suturing and tying. The surgeon sits at a console and controls the surgical robot, creating small incisions and inserting the instruments through ports, similar to laparoscopic surgery. Surgical assistants, however, touch the patient and manipulate instruments inside the patient.

For patients, a robot-assisted kidney transplant offers these benefits:

  • Smaller incisions. In this type of transplant, the surgeon creates an approximately 2-inch incision around the belly button and then a smaller incision to insert the robotic instruments. In traditional open kidney transplant, the surgeon creates a 4- to 8-inch incision.
  • Lower incision option for cosmetic purposes. Robotic surgery affords the option to make lower incisions than those used for open kidney transplant surgery.
  • Lower complication risk. The minimized incision in a robot-assisted kidney transplant lowers risk of complications such as hernia and infection.
  • Faster recovery. A smaller incision with robot-assisted transplant implies that the patient will likely have less from which to heal, reducing recovery time and making possible a faster return to work and daily life activities.
  • Reduced discomfort and hospitalization. This surgical technique’s smaller incisions involve less discomfort for the patient. Reduced discomfort combined with speedier recovery time means that a patient usually leaves the hospital earlier than with open kidney transplant.

For surgeons performing the kidney transplant, a robot-assisted transplant offers these benefits:

  • Relief from hours standing in surgery. In the robotic procedure, rather than standing over the patient to work in the surgical field, the surgeon sits at a console. A literature review published in Rehabilitation Nursing in 2015 found significant evidence that standing at work for prolonged periods is associated with multiple health risks. Surgeons can avoid these health risks if sitting for a robotic transplant.
  • Visualization. This type of surgery allows the surgeon an enhanced view compared with the view using the surgeon’s eyes alone.

Appropriate patients for robotic kidney surgery referral

For most patients, traditional open kidney transplant surgery remains the best option, indicating that this type of kidney transplant has been safe and successful.

Open kidney transplantation remains the gold standard. Robot-assisted kidney transplant will not replace open kidney transplantation entirely. It will, however, offer another option for those who may benefit from an alternative incision site.

 Patients who might benefit the most from robotic kidney transplant and would be appropriate for referral to our hospital are those with higher BMIs, especially individuals carrying weight around the central torso. If a patient’s body habitus dictates that open surgery must penetrate very deeply into the abdomen, robotics can help avoid that surgical challenge by improving visualization. Robotic surgery’s smaller incisions and faster and simpler recovery can help avoid incisional complications.

Post-Instructions For Robotic Kidney Transplantation

Kidney transplantation is the most effective treatment known today for chronic kidney failure, which is caused by the permanent loss of kidney function. Patients with chronic renal failure can return to their lives as healthy individuals in a short time with a successful transplantation and postoperative follow-up process. Thanks to the developing technology, the post-operative life comfort of the patients increases.

The successful use of robotic surgery in organ transplantation, as well as making the surgery more comfortable and safe for the doctor, faster recovery for the patient, a quick return to social life, and less cosmetic loss (small incision scars and sutures) due to the minimally invasive surgery.