Spanish doctors performed the world’s first fully robotic lung transplant. A four-armed Da Vinci robot was used in the surgery, which was performed with a small incision under the breast without damaging the ribs.
Vall d’Hebron Hospital in Barcelona has announced that Spanish doctors have performed the world’s first fully robotic lung transplant. Details about the operation were shared at the press conference. It was stated that a minimally invasive method was used in the surgery.
An 8 cm incision was made under the rib cage and the diseased lung was removed and a new lung was inserted without breaking the ribs. After the incision in the lower part of the sternum was made manually by a surgeon, the operation was performed completely robotically.
The four arms of the da Vinci robot were inserted through four small holes (8 to 12 millimeters wide) located in different parts of the rib cage. The arms were controlled by a thoracic surgeon, and the diseased lung was removed and replaced with a new lung. Since the skin is very elastic, an 8 cm incision was sufficient for the lungs to pass through.
Details of Fully Robotic Lung Transplantation
This surgery, which went down in world history, was performed on a 65-year-old patient who needed a lung transplant due to pulmonary fibrosis. It was stated that since it is a minimally invasive technique, it is less painful and less intrusive than the traditional surgical approach.
Lung transplants are very difficult surgeries as a large incision must be made in the thorax and the ribs must be broken to reach the organs. Albert Jauregui, Head of the Thoracic Surgery and Lung Transplantation Department at Vall d’Hebron Hospital, made the following statements on the subject:
“This new technique in surgery allows us to cut a small area of skin, fat and muscle and leave a wound that can heal quickly. It is much safer than the traditional method and causes almost no pain in the patient. We are talking about a historical milestone that we believe will improve the lives of thousands of patients.”