The Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU) and Mediclinic Middle East have successfully carried out the UAE’s first robotic kidney donor surgery on two male patients at Mediclinic City Hospital.
Awadh Seghayer Al Ketbi, director-general of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), congratulated MBRU, Mediclinic Middle East and the medical team that performed the two operations, saying this was an important milestone that will enhance medical tourism in the country.
The robotic living donor nephrectomy surgeries, each lasting around three hours, were carried out using the latest da Vinci Surgical System that has small robotic arms that imitate natural dexterity.
The robotic arm was controlled by a team of surgeons from a console which enabled the removal of the donor kidney through small incisions, said Dr Farhad Janahi, assistant professor of surgery, MBRU, consultant urologist and transplant surgeon and part of the Mediclinic City Hospital transplant team.
“Kidneys are at the back of the abdominal cavity behind the bowel in the retroperitoneum — a small space which is difficult to access,” he said.
“The robotic arm’s instrumentation offers a greater range of motion than the human wrist with efficient and precise action. This is incredibly useful for such deep anatomical areas.
"The advantage of this approach lies in its safety as the smaller incisions, combined with greater precision, help reduce pain and scarring and potential injury to the bowel, which ultimately leads to rapid recovery, less hospitalisation, and a faster return to normal life.”
Those who benefited from the surgeries were a 42-year-old Dubai resident, a dialysis patient suffering from end-stage renal disease prior to surgery, whose younger Dubai-based brother donated his kidney for the operation; and a 32-year-old former flight attendant whose first cousin donated his kidney.
One of the operations was funded through the Ramadan campaign 'Your Donation Saves Lives', launched by Emarat Al Youm, the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department and MBRU to support patients living with kidney failure. The campaign raised over Dh22 million to cover the transplant surgery costs of 38 patients.
Dr Amer Sharif, vice chancellor, MBRU, said the university is thrilled to be part of this medical milestone.
“Our mission at MBRU is to advance health in the UAE and beyond through pioneering innovative practices. These breakthrough procedures are the result of an integrated academic health system; they are made possible through such collaborations with our clinical partners.
“Most importantly, we are glad to have played a part in giving these young men a new lease of life and wish them well in all their future endeavours. These surgeries, which greatly alleviate their suffering and improve their lives, are aligned with our vision to be a global hub that serves humanity,” he said.
David Hadley, CEO of Mediclinic Middle East, said: “These two procedures represent a major milestone in the continuing development of Dubai’s kidney transplant programme. With the support of Dubai’s leadership and MBRU, the programme has gone from strength to strength since the first kidney transplant was carried out at Mediclinic City Hospital in 2016."
The complex surgery, done using state-of-the-art medical technology, demonstrates Dubai’s rapid advancements and innovative capabilities in the healthcare sector as well as the potential the city holds as a global medical tourism destination.
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