Minimally Invasive Bariatric Surgery Gives a Young Emirati a New Lease on Life
Surgeons at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi have performed an innovative, fully robotic bariatric revisional operation in a first-of-its-kind procedure in the UAE, offering a minimally invasive alternative to patients in the UAE and wider region.
The young Emirati patient was treated with the first fully robotic Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch surgery in UAE. She had previously had surgery years ago for a Sleeve Gastrectomy procedure at another facility, but had regained the weight, reaching a body mass index (BMI) of 63 kg/m2 associated with obesity related disabilities.
To help the patient, her physicians decided to perform Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch surgery, which reroutes a lengthy portion of the small intestine, so that food travels more quickly through the body, reducing the amount of fat and calories absorbed.
By using robotic surgery, the surgeons benefited from more precision, easier angles for movement, and easier suturing to reconnect the tissues. The patient also benefits, because the more precise and less invasive nature of the surgery means a faster recovery time and improved pain management.
Dr. Ricard Corcelles, Staff Physician, in the Digestive Disease Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, who performed the surgery, said: “By deploying robotic surgery, we are able to reduce the amount of pain the patient experiences. She is very comfortable and was so happy to be well enough to travel home to Fujairah after only four days in hospital. Having now performed the first operation of this nature in the UAE, we believe there is strong potential to increase the use of robotics in bariatric surgery.”
The procedure only requires four small incisions of about one centimeter each in the stomach area: one for the camera and three for the robotic arms. The surgeon views the 3D image on the screen while controlling the robotic arms.
“3D imaging makes a big difference, providing a clear view of the entire area we are working on, and the increased angle provided by the robotic arm makes manual suturing much easier. This eliminates the risk of leaks and complications. You see everything on the console and the three robotic arms are controlled by the console surgeon, with the arms providing the necessary angles while suturing and doing intestinal anastomosis. These advantages are really important when operating on obese patients,” added Dr. Corcelles.
At her follow-up appointment, the patient was examined by Dr. Corcelles who was delighted with the progress she had made, having lost just under 10 kilos in as many days. She also met with a dietician who provided a diet sheet and meal schedule consisting of three meals a day which are designed to gradually build the patient up to a normal diet.
The patient said, “I first visited the hospital last November and they have taken such good care of me, preparing me for surgery while taking special care about every aspect of my health. They made sure I was ready for the operation and that the risks would be minimized.”
“I know I must stick to my daily routine and diet and I feel like my life has started again; like I have a second chance to become the person I want to be. I was walking very soon after surgery and I am making progress with this. Since the fifth day after my surgery I have been walking 20 to 30 minutes every day. My goal is to get down to 80 kilos, so I am determined to keep up my regime,” she added.
Robotic surgery is commonly used to perform a diverse range of operations such as urological, colorectal, hernia and hysterectomy. In addition, it is very well suited to revisional bariatric procedures, since the robot allows perfect 3D visualization, delicate intra-abdominal movements, and better surgical precision which significantly reduce the risk of any damage to the stomach or bowel during the procedure. Robotic surgery is especially beneficial for use with obese patients.
Patients who wish to book an appointment at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi can visit: https://www.clevelandclinicabudhabi.ae/en/patients-and-visitors/forms-and-documents/pages/request-an-appointment.aspx.