Methodist Dallas Medical Center surgeons Alejandro Mejia, MD, FACS, and Richard Dickerman, MD, FACS, have performed the first robotic auto-transplantation in North Texas.
The surgeons used the da Vinci® Surgical System in December on a 42-year-old female patient who suffers from loin pain hematuria syndrome, a rare condition causing persistent or recurrent pain in the upper abdomen or back and sides and blood in the urine. While she possesses both kidneys, one needed to be moved to the other side to alleviate her pain.
According to Methodist Dallas, Dickerman and Mejia believed the patient would be a good candidate for robotic auto-transplantation given her rare condition. Mejia, who has been performing robotic kidney retrieval for three years, executed the robotic retrieval, while Dickerman implanted the organ through open surgery.
Mejia, executive program director of organ transplantation at Methodist Dallas, says only certain conditions benefit from auto-transplantation.
“Both of the patient’s kidneys worked. We just needed to move one to the other site to alleviate the pain,” Meija said. “It’s been very gratifying as a surgeon to see how this changed her life, and I was honored to be part of the team.”
Mejia has extensive experience in hepatobiliary and transplantation surgery, as does Dickerman. Dickerman began the kidney transplantation program at Methodist Dallas in 1981.
Methodist Dallas was the first in the nation to be certified by The Joint Commission for pancreatic cancer, pancreatic surgery, and pancreatitis.
Dickerman, surgical director for kidney and pancreas transplant, general surgery, and vascular surgery at Methodist Dallas, says the patient was the perfect candidate to undergo the first auto-transplantation at Methodist—and the results proved it.
“Even the next day, she was a new person, and we are thrilled we could take her pain away with a minimally-invasive transplant procedure,” Dickerman said.
The patient is now at home recovering and looking forward to driving and working again in the coming weeks.