Initial experience with robot-assisted nephrectomy for living-donor kidney transplantation: feasibility and technical notes

Transplant Proc. 2013 Sep;45(7):2627-31. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2013.07.038.


Background: Robot-assisted surgery provide endowrist instruments and 3-dimensional visualization of the operative field that are improvements over traditional laparoscopy. The few research studies published so far have demonstrated that living-donor nephrectomy using the robot-assisted technique is safe and feasible, providing advantages for patients.

Methods: Since November 2009, we performed 20 robot-assisted living-donor nephrectomies. Eight patients underwent hand-assisted robotic nephrectomy, whereas 20, totally robotic nephrectomy.

Results: Median intraoperative bleeding was 174 mL (range, 10-750) but no patient needed intraoperative transfusion with blood cells. The median warm ischemia time was 3.16 minutes (range, 0.30-6.5). there was no case of conversion to an open procedure. The median operative time was 311 minutes (range, 85-530); the median console time was 160 minutes (range, 135-220).

Conclusion: Robot-assisted living-donor kidney recovery was a safe and effective procedure. The totally robotic recovery is an evolving technique. The prospect of robotic staplers, endowrist ligature, and robotic single port may further increase these advantages.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Living Donors*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nephrectomy / instrumentation
  • Nephrectomy / methods*
  • Robotics*