Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, part of the M42 network, and Cleveland Clinic colleagues in the US have conducted three robot-assisted kidney transplants for the first time in the UAE, marking a significant milestone for the regional healthcare landscape.

The procedures were conducted on three UAE National patients diagnosed with end-stage renal illness, underscoring Abu Dhabi’s commitment to transforming the healthcare sector through advanced technologies.

The three operations were the outcome of the collaborative effort of Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Dr Bashir Sankari, Institute Chair of the Surgical Subspecialties Institute, and Dr Waleed Hassen, Department Chair of Urology, as well as the experts at Cleveland Clinic located in the US, Dr Georges-Pascal Haber, Professor and Enterprise Chair of Urology and Dr Mohamed Eltemamy, Lead Robotic and Kidney Transplant Surgeon.

Dr Georges-Pascal Haber, Professor and Enterprise Chair of Urology and Chair of the Glickman Urological Institute at Cleveland Clinic, said: “The collaborative achievement of performing three complex kidney transplants using robotic surgeries in the UAE highlights the advancement we have made in living related transplantation. Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi is at the forefront of delivering complex, technologically enhanced, world-class care to patients in the UAE and in the region and we are proud to be their partners in introducing such cutting-edge innovation to enhance patient outcomes and save more lives.”

The robotic surgical system employed for these procedures allows for highly precise and minimally invasive surgeries, offering benefits such as reduced pain, minimal blood loss, smaller scars, shorter recovery times, reduced risk of infection and improved clinical outcomes—representing a paradigm shift in the field of medicine and healthcare. The surgeon controls a console that provides a 3D high-definition view of the surgical site. Specialised instruments, attached to robotic arms, mimic the movements of the surgeon with a greater range of motion and finer control. The surgeon's commands are translated in real-time to carry out highly intricate procedures with matchless accuracy.

Dr Bashir Sankari, Institute Chair, Urology, Surgical Subspecialties Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, said: “As the first and only multi organ transplant centre in the country, we continue to invest in innovative technologies and expertise, delivering unparalleled patient experiences and outcomes. The adoption of robot-assisted kidney transplantation reaffirms our position as an innovator in healthcare, elevating the overall standard of medical practice both locally and in the wider region. This is a promising option for patients with end-stage kidney disease and brings new opportunities for personalised care.”

In 2019, Cleveland Clinic marked a significant milestone with the world's first successful robotic single-port kidney transplant. Initially developed for prostatectomies and kidney cancer procedures, the innovative approach has been adapted for kidney transplant patients with the primary objective of minimising incision size and post-surgery discomfort.