9 December, 2015
Dr. Antonio Alcaraz performs the first full renal transplant through the vagina
A few days ago the 50th anniversary of the first renal transplantation in Spain, carried out in the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona was celebrated. Recently, Dr. Antonio Alcaraz , head of the Urology Department of the Hospital Clínic and specialist of Urology barnaclínic+, and his team carried out for the first time in the world, a full kidney transplant full through the vagina.
This intervention consists of the kidney being removed through the vagina of the live donor, and then it being introduced into the patient in the same way. The urology team performed this pioneering minimally invasive technique for the first time in the world, simultaneously with a hospital in Bordeaux.
Days after the intervention, Dr.Antonio Alcaraz acknowledged that the surgery “was a real success”. This new technique represents a further step in such interventions. Dr. Alcaraz’s team is famed for its research and innovation in the use of minimally invasive techniques. Years ago, driving the laparoscopy and the NOTES surgery (by natural orifices) for kidney transplantation and they have converted themselves into a pioneering and internationally renowned team in this type of intervention.
Since the installation of the latest generation Da Vinci Xi robot, the urology team at the Clinic and barnaclínic+ have been able to perform kidney transplants with greater precision and practically without leaving any scars. Now, Dr. Alcaraz’s team has taken it one step further. As always, with the help of the Da Vinci Xi, they have developed a technique that even prevents abdominal cuts in the donor and the patient. If a few months ago they managed to remove the kidney from the donor through the vagina and insert it in the patient using robotic surgery, on this occasion, the introduction of the kidney into the patient has also been through the vagina. Using this technique, a cut of six centimetres at the level of the navel or an incision in the belly like in a caesarean section is avoided.
Dr. Antonio Alcaraz, recognizes that: “A less invasive technique doesn’t exist, and I can’t think of another way either” and he adds: “we are defying the laws of physics” The objective of this type of minimally invasive surgery is not only aesthetic, it also reduces postoperative care and side effects.
Speaking of the future, Dr. Alcaraz says that by the end of the coming year, they hope “to have operated on eight or ten more women” using this technique.