News from the BioCity Campus

First robotic pancreas surgery at Leipzig University Hospital

For the first time, a robotic operation on the pancreas was recently performed by the visceral surgeons of the University Hospital Leipzig (UKL). "Interventions on this organ are complex due to its anatomy alone," says Prof. Dr. Ines Gockel, Head of UKL Visceral Surgery.

“It is also our aim to carry out procedures in the abdomen as minimally invasive as possible, i.e. gently for our patients. This is where the DaVinci system can fully exploit its advantages. The patient we operated on has now been discharged.”

The patient had been diagnosed with intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasia (IPMN), a pancreatic tumor. Because of the possibility of developing cancer cells with this disease, a partial resection of the pancreas was performed.

With the DaVinci robot, surgeons can operate minimally invasively and at the same time particularly precisely and gently. Another advantage of the robot is that the surgeon sees a 3D image and not just a 2D image, as in conventional minimally invasive surgery. The robot also has four arms with which the surgeons can prepare, hold, cut and sew very precisely.

"Of course, the DaVinci does not operate itself. My hands control the operating system, which is able to implement every degree of movement of the human hand very precisely," explains Prof. Gockel. “The enlarged, high-resolution 3D video image and the complete freedom of movement of the instruments also give the surgeon more options for angulation, i.e. bending, in narrow surgical fields. Overall, the interaction of people and technology results in an extremely high level of precision, which makes it possible to operate very gently.” However, this requires extensive training.

With the successful pancreas operation using the DaVinci system, according to Prof. Gockel, the surgical options in pancreas surgery are expanding to the benefit of the patient. She expects the robot, which is particularly suitable for minimally invasive operations, to continue to be used more and more – it is exactly the right technology for the center for minimally invasive surgery at the UKL, which is also headed by Prof. Gockel and has recently been successfully recertified.

Source: Press release University Hospital Leipzig from 19.07.2022

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