UNM Children's Hospital Performs Robotic Surgery

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. –Surgeons at the University of New Mexico Children’s Hospital have successfully performed the state’s first ever pediatric robotic surgery.

The surgical team, led by Dr. Jason Wilson, associate professor in the UNM Department of Surgery and section chief of Pediatric Urology at UNM, performed the procedure on a three-year-old boy who had a non-functioning kidney that required reconstructive surgery.

The surgical robot at UNM Hospital has been used to serve primarily adult patients, but with the success of the first pediatric surgery, Wilson says more pediatric patients will be able to benefit from the robotic surgery.

The surgical robot is equipped with advanced instruments and a miniature camera that provides a high-definition, three-dimensional view inside the body. The surgery delivers precision that is not possible in conventional laparoscopic surgery.

In contrast to traditional laparoscopic surgery, the arms on the surgical robot are capable of movements similar to the human wrist, giving the surgeon more dexterity. This capability, says Wilson, is very helpful when performing on smaller pediatric patients.

Robotic surgery also helps with a quicker recovery time compared to conventional, open surgical procedures. The three-year-old patient was able to be discharged in less than 24 hours after surgery. Conventional surgery is usually associated with a hospital stay of at least 3-4 days.

Contact: Lauren Cruse, 272-3322

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