University of Pennsylvania Surgeons Use a Surgical Robot During Breast Reconstruction Surgery

A team of surgeons from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania recently were the first surgical team in the world to use a robot to assist with a bilateral free flap breast reconstruction.

The procedure involves taking tissue from the lower abdomen and using it to rebuild the breast. The robot allows surgeons to make a much smaller incision into the abdominal wall muscles, allowing patients to recover and be discharged more quickly, without the use of addictive narcotic painkillers. Additionally, since this surgery uses a patient’s own tissue, the procedure provides a more permanent solution than implant-based reconstructions, which often require additional surgeries and put the patient at risk for infection.

Suhai Kanchwala, an associate professor of plastic surgery led the team that performed the operation, which took place at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia. Dr. Kanchwala partnered with Ian Soriano, a clinical assistant professor of surgery, to develop the minimally invasive technique.

“We’ve been using a minimally-invasive, laparoscopic technique to reduce pain and get patients home more quickly without using narcotics for more than a year. The addition of the surgical robot allows for greater precision and is the next step in our evolution,” said Dr. Kanchwala.

Filed Under: Milestones


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