The triumphal march of robot-assisted operations has reached a new high: on June 19, 2016, the first two robot-assisted kidney transplants in Germany were performed at Saarland University Hospital (UKS). The interventions were carried out with the support of Dr. Alberto Breda from Barcelona, who established this surgical technique at his clinic in summer 2015. Germany is now the fourth European country to use this state-of-the-art surgical technique to perform kidney transplants in the past two years. The development is very young, the total number of such operations in Europe has so far been less than 30 operations.
"Thanks to the continuous development of robot surgery, even complex operations can increasingly be performed minimally invasively," says Prof. Dr. Michael Stöckle, Director of the Clinic for Urology and Pediatric Urology in Homburg / Saar. The establishment of the “daVinci” surgical robot began about ten years ago with the introduction of robot-assisted prostate cancer surgery. Since then, the spectrum of robot-assisted surgeries in Homburg has been steadily expanded: “Bladder cancer surgeries can now be performed minimally invasively, including the formation of replacement bladders,” adds Prof. Stefan Siemer, deputy clinic director. In addition, reconstructive surgery for renal pelvic drainage disorders and kidney tumor surgery were almost completely switched to the minimally invasive access route. Since 2010, donor kidney removal for living donation transplantation has also been carried out robot-assisted.
In addition to minimizing the access trauma, the surgical technique in kidney transplantation has other advantages, the relevance of which can only be determined by long-term observation of the affected patients: “The clearly improved visibility compared to open surgery allows a more subtle vascular suture when connecting the blood vessels of the transplant to the Blood vessels of the recipient. On the other hand, so-called lymphoceles, that is, collections of lymphatic fluid around the graft, one of the most common complications of kidney transplantation so far, should become significantly less common, ”says Prof. Stöckle. Since the minimally invasive transplantation is carried out from the free abdominal cavity, the lymphatic fluid can flow into the abdominal cavity and be resorbed there. (pm)