Meet Da Vinci, the four-armed robot who performed the lung transplant

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A Spanish hospital performed a lung transplant during Pioneering technology with Android and a new access route that no longer requires separating the ribs and opening the chest, experts reported Monday.

Surgeons of the Val d’Ebron Hospital in Barcelona They used a four-armed robot called “Da Vinci”. Cutting a small section of the patient’s skin, fat, and muscle to remove the damaged lung and inserting a new one through a 3-inch incision below the breastbone, just above the diaphragm.

They said the new procedure is less painful for the patient, because the incision closes easily. Traditional methods require a 12-inch incision, and while some hospitals are already making smaller incisions for lung transplants, this was the first time that surgeons had been able to limit the incision to soft tissue.

“We believe it is a technology that will improve patients’ quality of life, improve the postoperative period, and improve the pain that patients experience. It is a technology that we hope will spread to more centers over time,” said Albert Jauregui, Head of Thoracic and Lung Transplant Surgery at Val d’Ebron, to the press on Monday.

In order to insert the new lung, he added, the organ is “deflated” to reduce its size so that it can enter through a narrow incision.

The 3-inch cut is made at the bottom of the chest, and smaller cuts are made on either side of the rib cage to accommodate Robot arms and 3D cameras.

Zero pain

The groundbreaking procedure, which until now had only been used to treat lung cancer, was performed on Xavier, a 65-year-old man who required a lung transplant due to pulmonary fibrosis.

Xavier said he has benefited from the new technology. “For me the pain was zero,” he said. Due to the small size of the incision, Xavier only took paracetamol after the operation. Conventional lung transplants often require postoperative treatment with opioid analgesics.

Spain is the world leader in organ transplantation, with an average of 7 donors and 15 transplants per day in 2022, according to data from the Spanish Ministry of Health.

With information from Reuters

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