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First robotic kidney donor surgery

Complex surgery reflects Dubai’s healthcare advances and potential as medical tourism hub


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.

The complex surgery done using state-of-the-art medical technology demonstrates Dubai’s rapid advancements and innovation capabilities in the healthcare sector as well as the city's potential as a global medical tourism destination.

The healthcare sector in the UAE and Dubai is on par with the most advanced in the world, with the availability of a large pool of medical talent and skilled human resources, the latest technologies, and smart solutions.

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.

The robotic arm’s instrumentation offers a greater range of motion than the human wrist with efficient and precise action. This is very useful for deep anatomical areas. The advantage of this approach lies in its safety - the smaller incisions, combined with greater precision, help reduce pain, scarring, and potential injury to the bowel, which ultimately leads to rapid recovery, less hospitalization, and a faster return to normal life.

The patients benefiting from the surgeries were a 42-year-old Dubai resident who was 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 AED 22 million to cover the transplant surgery costs of 38 patients.