Mayo Clinic surgeons perform first robotic kidney transplant in Minnesota

(ABC 6 News) – Mayo Clinic surgeons in Rochester successfully performed Minnesota’s first robotic-assisted on Oct. 4, 2023 on a woman in her 60s utilizing her daughter’s kidney in Rochester.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the robotic procedure can reduce risk of incisional complications, such as a hernia or infection, and can prove more beneficial for patients with higher body mass indexes.

Doctors Timucin Taner and Patrick Dean performed the robotic-assisted surgery.

About a month before the procedure, the patient received a call from the doctors asking for her permission to be the first person to undergo a robotic kidney transplant.

According to Mayo, a kidney transplant remains the best treatment available for patients with kidney failure, with most transplants done via open surgery.

The human hand done procedure requires surgeons make a 4 to 8 inch incision along the lower abdomen to transplant a donated kidney. However, a robotic-assisted kidney transplant allows the surgeon to make a roughly 2-inch incision around the belly button.

“It lowers the risk that patients will experience complications, such as an infection or hernia. Patients may also have less discomfort and a speedier recovery, potentially meaning less time in the hospital after surgery,” says Dean, surgical director of Mayo Clinic’s Kidney Transplant Program in Minnesota.

According to the patient, she has not experienced any pain following the procedure.