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First Fully Robotic Kidney Transplant in Midwest


Dr. Enrico Benedetti (photo taken by Lloyd DeGrane)

On June 6, 2009 Dr. Benedetti and his team of surgeons, at the University of Illinois Chicago, Medical Center (UICMC), successfully performed the first minimally invasive robotic surgery for a kidney transplant occurring within the Midwestern, United States. Dr. Benedetti who heads up the Department of Surgery at UIC, is also involved with the Warren H. Cole Association, an alumni association for surgeons.

Jennifer Yates, age 34, from Chicago, was the recipient of this "first". Following the kidney transplant, Jennifer spent a mere six days in hospital recovery, before returning home, to continue the healing process within the comfort of her home. This brave patient, joked with the medical staff, saying that the pain was less painful than a cesarean-section she experienceed during the delivery of her daughter.

Dr. Enrico Benedetti, encourages patients and their families to recognize that safer and faster recoveries are facilitated when small localized incisions can be administered to the patient's body, using advanced UIC’s robotically controlled precision instruments. Minimally invasive robotic procedures, using the da Vinci system, reduce the risk of surgical site infection and minimize a patient's postoperative pain and bleeding. Dr. Benedetti works closely with his team of experts including Dr. Pier Cristoforo Giulianotti, Dr. José Oberholzer and Dr. Fabio Sbrana.

Dr. Benedetti recommends minimally invasive robotic surgery for complex procedures. He states, "This procedure has advantages for all patients but is especially crucial for patients who are at risk for infection." Dr. Benedetti explains that, "Individuals with a body mass index of 35 or greater are at a high risk of developing surgical site infections."

Ms. Yates had been diagnosed with kidney failure in 2003. She endured six years of dialysis treatments, prior to her surgery. Dr. Benedetti and his team were gratified to help Jennifer. She can, now, better enjoy and keep up with her daughter. The team knows that there is no better reward than, helping patients like Jennifer, as they benefit from robotic procedures.

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