Options for Complex Cases

Robotic Technique for Patients with Obesity

Our program is widely recognized for its expertise performing transplantation on patients with high body weight. This is important because patients with obesity are usually turned away from transplant at other health centers due to having a BMI over 35. We have transplanted the highest number of kidney transplants to patients with BMIs over 40/m2 nationally, with above average outcomes. We also have a program that allows patients living outside of Illinois to be worked up in 6 weeks or fewer.

Our experienced surgeons perform robotic-assisted kidney transplantation in the setting of obesity. This technique has been proven to be:

  • Safe and effective
  • Reducing the size of the incisions
  • Minimizes the risk of surgical complications
  • Lowers the risk of surgical site infections

Calcified Vessels

For obese patients who are not candidates for robotic assisted kidney transplants, mostly due to vascular calcifications, we can perform a panniculectomy at the time of transplant. This technique has been proven to reduce the rate of infection and improve the transplanted kidney's outcome

Our surgeons are proficient in finding solutions for patients with complex vascular problems such as vascular calcifications and or living donors with multiple arteries. Performing these surgeries with robotic techniques minimizes surgical sight infections while maintaining the efficacy of the kidney transplant.

Kidney Transplant and Gastric Sleeve

Selected transplant patients living with obesity can also benefit from simultaneous robotic assisted kidney transplantation, bariatric surgery, and integrated surgery at UI Health. This approach is used address kidney failure and obesity at the same time with a single operation.

Performing these surgeries with a robotic technique helps to minimize surgical complications and surgical site infections, maintaining the efficacy of kidney transplant. During your transplant evaluation, a multidisciplinary team will provide you with options that are appropriate for you.

Polycystic Kidney Disease and Bilateral Nephrectomy

At UI Health the removal of the polycystic kidneys and the subsequent kidney transplantation are performed simultaneously with a robotic approach, which allows reduction in surgical trauma, duration of hospitalization, morbidity, and faster recovery.

Bilateral native nephrectomy is occasionally found in patients with end-stage renal disease in association with kidney transplantation. Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease, which is characterized by a progressive replacement of the renal parenchyma with cysts. Those enlarged kidneys may become symptomatic causing abdominal distension or pain, nausea, back pain, gastro-esophageal reflux syndrome, hypertension, but also serious complications such as hematuria, intra-cystic hemorrhage, cyst rupture, or even severe infections. Once symptomatic those kidneys are generally removed surgically.