3D robotics helps remove diseased kidney for first time

August 26th, 2008 - 5:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Aug 26 (IANS) Sophisticated 3D robotics helped surgeons remove a diseased kidney through a single incision at Henry Ford Hospital in Michigan.”We made several improvements in the technique that could allow us to perform this type of procedure routinely,” said Craig Rogers, the hospital’s director of robotic renal surgery.

Rogers inserts the robotic arms through a single incision near the belly button, and sits at a nearby machine, controlling the robot throughout the operation. “The robotic instruments are like having my hands inside the body,” he said.

Then the robot-assisted surgeon inflates the abdomen; moves the large intestine aside to reach the kidney; clips or ties off the vein and artery that takes blood to and from the kidney; detaches the rest of the kidney and removes it.

He performed the delicate operation last week using the da Vinci Surgical System, which has already been used in thousands of successful surgeries for complete and partial removal of diseased prostates.

The kidney, damaged by four tumours, was extracted through an incision of about three inches near the navel of a 50-year-old patient, during a complex, yet minimally invasive robotic procedure that lasted approximately 2.5 hours.

The potential benefits of performing single incision robotic surgery (SIRS) nephrectomy (partial or full removal of kidney) are improved cosmetics, quicker recovery times, and less scarring and blood loss.

Dr. Rogers and his colleagues have also pioneered robotic surgery for smaller kidney tumours. While these procedures are considered revolutionary because they preserve the healthy portion of the kidney and shorten recovery time, they are not practical for patients with large tumours.

Henry Ford doctors have performed more than 130 robotic kidney surgeries using four or five incisions of less than one inch.

Kidney cancer is diagnosed in approximately 55,000 people a year and the most common treatment option is an open surgery with a large incision about a foot long.

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