Robotic Donor Hepatectomy – New horizon in Live donor transplantation

By: Mridul Arora

While Liver failure seems to be a life-threatening ailment, with the advent of robotics, the procedures have become scarless and the recovery made is faster, requiring lesser hospital stay. Recently many such patients from this region have been provided with a new lease of life after successfully undergoing advanced robotic procedures.

Explaining about the safety efficacy and reduced time for recovery when procedures are done with the help of a robot, Dr Abhideep Chaudhary, Dr Imtiakum Jamir, Dr Gaurav Sood and Dr Niteen Kumar shared the recent 3 cases who underwent three robotic donor hepatectomies using the latest 3D Xi DaVinci robotic system. All the three donors were women who had a previous caesarean section scar and avoiding an additional big (reverse L Shaped) upper abdominal scar posed a major challenge. Doctors made use of the new robotic system making pin hole sized incisions for the robotic ports and extracted the graft through the previous pfannenstiel scars. They had an uneventful post op recovery and were satisfactorily discharged on post operative day three.

BLK – MAX has evolved into a high-volume liver transplant centre. The growing demand for minimal scar and early recovery has motivated our team to venture into robotic donor surgery. The latest 3D Xi Da Vinci robotic system has manoeuvrable four articulated robotic arms which can be fitted with different instruments and act as an extension of the surgeon’s hands, allowing him or her to perform a surgery with pinpoint accuracy and maximal safety. Hence, it is under the control of the operating surgeon at all times. This new Da Vinci Xi has superlative ergonomics with enhanced 3D visualisation wherein the surgeon gets the advantage of performing the surgery in a comfortable sitting position without getting fatigued during the long donor surgeries. Said Dr Abhideep Chaudhary, Senior Director & HOD, HPB Surgery & Liver Transplantation, BLK-Max Hospital, New Delhi

It is important to note that there is a huge burden of liver diseases in our country, and for those who develop end-stage liver disease, the only definitive treatment is liver transplant. However, there is a huge scarcity of brain-dead organ donors in our country due to lack of awareness. In such circumstances, living related organ liver donors remains the only feasible option.

In addition to its ease of use for the surgeons, the da Vinci Xi robotic system has provided a number of benefits to our donors like: smaller scars, less blood loss, decreased postoperative pain, shorter hospital stay with faster recovery and return to daily activities, albeit the cost remains a limiting factor for its use presently.



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