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Vidant, ECU Brody School of Medicine surgeons perform first robotic kidney transplant in North Carolina

December 06, 2019 posted by Vidant Health News

Team854.jpgLeft to right back: Emily Massey, Registered Nurse, Specialty Coordinator. Melissa Waller, Registered Nurse, Specialty Coordinator. Tonnette Darden, Lead Surgical Technologist Coordinator. Danielle Gray, Surgical Technologist. Jill Collins, Registered Nurse, First Assist. Lindsey Brickhouse, Lead Surgical Technologist Coordinator. Cassandra Whitney, Registered Nurse, Sr. Administrator Perioperative Services. Steve Tripp Vice President Perioperative Services. Left to right front: Homayoun Pournik, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor, Surgical Immunology and Transplantation, Brody School of Medicine; Transplant Surgeon, Vidant Medical Center. David B. Leeser, MD, Chief, Surgical Immunology and Transplantation, Brody School of Medicine; Chief of Transplantation, Vidant Medical Center. Brian Floyd, RN, President, Vidant Medical Center.

What an amazing day in Greenville at Vidant Medical Center and the ECU Brody School of Medicine. Surgeons and care providers successfully performed a robotic kidney transplant, the first of its kind in the state of North Carolina. We are proud of these team members for leading innovation in the East and bringing the best in transplantation to those we serve. Join us in recognizing the entire care team that made this procedure a success, including surgeons Dr. David B. Leeser and Dr. Homayoun Pournik.

The minimally invasive procedure uses a six-centimeter incision and five smaller incisions on the patient's abdomen. Doctors hope the use of the most advanced Da Vinci XI model can get patients home quicker, with less pain and use less pain medication.

Dr. Leeser also said the robotic transplant helps open the door for more patients to qualify for kidney transplant than in a typical surgery setting.

"This is going to enable patients in eastern North Carolina who have issues with their weight to have kidney transplants. We can safely transplant them now, and we could not before. This is really going to change the game for many patients for whom kidney transplant was not a possibility."

Dr. David B. Leeser
Chief, surgical immunology and transplantation, Brody School of Medicine; Chief of transplantation, Vidant Medical Center

Dr. Leeser said Dr. Pournik first came to him about eight months ago to pitch the idea of performing a robotic transplant. The pair reviewed information on the surgery, trained with doctors familiar with the procedure, identified a patient and earned approval from Vidant Health and Brody School of Medicine before a successful surgery in December.

Dr. Leeser learned while studying the benefits of a robotic kidney transplant that in patients with a BMI over 30, the risk of wound complications and post-operative complications is far lower.

The advancement gives Vidant Health a better ability to serve eastern North Carolina and its unique health challenges, Dr. Leeser said.

Coverage is also available on WNCTWCTIThe Daily ReflectorWITN

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