Background: Compared with the standard open approach, multiport robotic-assisted kidney transplantation (RAKT) has emerged as a less morbid alternative. The use of a single-port robotic approach for kidney transplantation (KT) is presented in this study as having the potential for further reducing the morbidity of KT. Objective: To present the technique and evaluate perioperative and short-term (≤1 yr) postoperative outcomes of single-port RAKT. Design, setting, and participants: Prospective evaluation of peri- and postoperative outcomes in patients who underwent allograft KT (n = 6) or kidney autotransplantation (n = 3). The IDEAL model (www.ideal-collaboration.net/framework) for safe surgical innovation was used. Surgical procedure: Kidney allografts from living or deceased donors were transplanted into six patients with end-stage renal disease. Single-port robotic surgery was performed through a 5-cm midline periumbilical abdominal incision with transperitoneal or extraperitoneal approaches. With similar incision and technique, the right or left kidney was removed and autotransplantation was performed in three patients. Measurements: Intra- and postoperative variables, and outcomes were assessed with a descriptive analysis. Results and limitations: Single-port RAKT procedures were completed successfully, with total operative and vascular anastomosis times ranging from 300 to 450 mins and from 52 to 92 mins, respectively. All six patients had excellent graft function with serum creatinine levels at the last follow-up (2 wk to 1 yr), ranging from 1.2 to 1.5 mg/dl. Renal autotransplantation was also completed successfully with a single-port robotic approach in three patients. The total operative and vascular anastomosis times ranged from 510 to 600 mins and from 65 to 83 mins, respectively. In all three cases, serum creatinine levels remained normal after the surgery and during follow-up, and all remained symptom-free at the time of this writing (4–8 mo after their surgeries). Conclusions: In this initial experience, single-port RAKT is feasible with potential benefits such as offering true single-site minimally invasive surgery, extraperitoneal approach, less morbidity, and comparable short-term graft functional outcomes. Patient summary: We presented the initial experience with the application of single-port robotic surgery for kidney transplantation and autotransplantation. This technique was found to be safe and effective, with promising postoperative outcomes and potentially with less morbidity.
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