The patient, a native of Farrukhabad in Uttar Pradesh, had a kidney failure and was awaiting a transplant for the past five years, said Dr Anup Kumar, head of the department of Urology, Robotics and Renal Transplant, who performed the surgery.
He was on hemodialysis, doctors said.
The patient’s 34-year-old wife wanted to donate her kidney and were trying to get the surgery done in other hospitals.
Dr Kumar said while they could not afford the surgery at private hospitals, there was a long waiting list at government hospitals.
They approached the Safdarjung hospital three months ago. Both the donor and the recipient were evaluated and after completing all the protocols, the patient was posted for kidney transplant, Dr Kumar said.
“As the patient was obsese, conducting a traditional open surgery would have been difficult and so we decided to go for the robotic kidney transplant,” Dr Kumar explained.
The surgery took place on Wednesday.
In an open surgery, a long incision measuring 12 to 14 cm is required which can cause post-operative pain, infection and hernia formation, he said.
“Doing the robotic surgery in this patient provided the best outcome. During the procedure, four 8 mm incisions were made and the robot was docked over the patient,” he said.
During robotic surgeries, the surgeon sits on the console and the movements of his fingers are transmitted on to the robotic arms which performs the surgery, the doctor explained.
In this way, the renal artery, vein and ureter were sutured and there was neither any bleeding nor any blood transfusion was required, Dr Kumar stated.
Also, there is no requirement of post-operative pain medication, he said.
“Both the donor and the recipient are doing fine after the surgery which lasted for around one-and-half hour,” Dr Kumar said.
The patient will be discharged tomorrow while the donor would be discharged after five days according to protocol.
This kind of surgery is the most difficult robotic and urology surgery because it requires excellent expertise in robotics and renal transplant. Currently, very few centres in the country are able to perform this and that too it is done mostly in private hospitals, Dr Kumar said.
This is the first time that a robotic kidney transplant has been performed at a central government hospital in the country, he said.
“This surgery would not have been possible without the support of medical superitendent Dr BL Sherwal, the Urology department, OT team ,Nephrology team led by Dr Himanshu Verma and Anesthesia team led by Dr Madhu Dayal ,” Dr Kumar said.