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Archive Hot Technology 2019

Adding On to Abdominal Surgery

Robots and interactive imaging technology are set to transform minimally invasive procedures.

Jared Bilski


Yu Kwan Lee, Cleveland Clinic
ON THE MOVE Jihad Kaouk, MD, says single-incision robotic surgery can turn inpatient-only procedures into outpatient options.

In performing the world's first single-port robotic surgery, Jihad Kaouk, MD, removed a patient's prostate and kidney through a single umbilical incision. The patient left the hospital that same day, missing not only a couple organs, but also the pain and abdominal incisions that accompany a radical prostatectomy.

"The [robotic arm] turned a surgery that typically requires an overnight stay into an outpatient procedure," says Dr. Kaouk, a professor of surgery and director of the Center for Robotic and Image Guided Surgery in the Glickman Urologic and Kidney Institute at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, one of the first U.S. prostate programs to perform robotic radical prostatectomy. "Robotic single-incision surgery results in less post-op pain, which we can manage without opioids."

Operating through a single incision isn't the only clinical benefit of operating with robotic assistance, says Dr. Kaouk. He's able to maneuver the robot's arms outside of the extraperitoneal cavity, which lets him avoid the bowel and prevent an ileus, a common side effect of radical prostatectomies.

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