Cleveland Clinic performs first prostate surgeries in U.S. using Single Port SP Robot

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CLEVELAND - The Cleveland Clinic has performed the first prostate surgeries in the United States using a robot that inserts surgical instruments through one small abdominal incision.

The Single Port SP Robot was successfully used for three surgeries at the Clinic Friday – two to remove cancerous prostates and one surgery to remove an enlarged prostate, according to a press release from the hospital.

“This new robot allows us to do the surgery through one cut rather than five or six cuts that the standard robot needs,” said Jihad Kaouk, M.D., who performed the surgery. “We will be able to revisit surgeries that we do, invent new approaches that we were not able to do with a multi-arm robot.”

Dr. Kaouk said the robot will allow for new routes for surgeries that were not previously possible.

“It is a unique feeling to know that you can push the envelope, even a small push forward where we can afford our patients less pain, less cuts, a quicker recovery,” he said.

Jim Sofranko of Suffield Township, was the first patient to undergo surgery with the SP Robot at the Clinic Friday. His cancerous prostate was removed and he was discharged Friday.

“I feel great. It's just amazing I was able to leave the same day I had the surgery,” Sofranko said.

Kaouk has been involved in tests of the robotic system for about a decade, including in Europe. He said robotics can be more precise than a surgeon’s hands.

“It's time to do surgery beyond human capabilities,” Kaouk said. “Robotics can filter tremor, scale your moves, allow you a steady angle at difficult corners. This is something that sometimes an experienced surgeon cannot do with free hands.”

The clinic plans to use the robot to perform kidney, bladder and reconstructive surgeries this week.

Right now, the robot is only FDA approved for urologic surgeries, but the clinic said that may expand to ENT and colorectal surgeries soon.

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