The Val d’Ebron Hospital in Barcelona has succeeded in carrying out the first completely robotic-surgery lung transplant through a new route, which is a small incision under the sternum through which the diseased lung is removed and the new lung inserted, without the need to open the rib cage.
Today, the Spanish hospital presented this pioneering technology that represents an international milestone, since there is only one precedent at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York but the robotic surgery was partial, notes the Head of Thoracic Surgery and the Lung Transplant Service at Vall d’Hebron. Albert Jauregui.
Lung transplants are considered invasive surgeries because they require an incision in a large part of the chest and broken ribs to access the organs.
In an effort to avoid this situation, Vall d’Hebron created “a new minimally invasive technique, so as not to open the chest or sternum as if it were a hood,” Jauregui explained.
He explained that this new technique consists of “a small incision below the sternum without breaking the ribs, as the lung enters and exits.”
In addition, smaller incisions are made on the side of the rib cage to insert the arms and 3D cameras of the da Vinci surgical robot, as the surgeon works to remove and insert organs using the opening just below the sternum.
To insert the new lung, specialists “hollowed out” the organ in the operating room so it could enter through a small incision just below the sternum, in a place on the body that has “very elastic” skin, giving room for the opening to widen though “without touching.” A rib,” Jauregui explained.
This innovative intervention was carried out at the end of February at the Val d’Ebronne Hospital and lasted about 5 hours.
Transplant recipients take medications for life to control rejection of the new organ and this complicates recovery from surgery, but because the incisions in this case were small, the patient only needs paracetamol after the intervention. When undergoing a transplant, traditional lung medications are given opioid analgesics, analgesics Much stronger.
Not only does this new technology reduce postoperative pain, but it also enables advances in respiratory rehabilitation and has the potential to reduce hospitalization days, although it is still too early to say how many days can be reduced compared to conventional implants, because it has not been There is only Jauregui referred to the first case.