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Da Vinci Robotic System: Breast Reconstruction

First Time Tissue Removal From The Abdomen Using Surgical Robot

©UKF / Britt Schilling

Robot-assisted tissue removal for microsurgical breast reconstruction was performed for the first time in Germany at the Medical Center - University of Freiburg.

At the Medical Center - University of Freiburg, a 38-year-old female patient recently underwent successful microsurgical breast reconstruction with autologous tissue using a robotic assistance system. It was the first operation of its kind in Germany. This robotic-assisted form of surgery particularly benefits women who previously had a high risk of long-term damage to the abdominal wall due to the removal of autologous tissue from the abdominal cavity. The technically and medically very complex operation was performed in close cooperation between the Department of Plastic Surgery,                                               the Department of Urology and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

“This makes breast reconstruction after breast cancer surgery even safer and allows us to reduce the side effects of the procedure,” says Prof. Dr. Steffen Eisenhardt, Interim Medical Director of the Department of Plastic Surgery at the Medical Center - University of Freiburg.

Breast Reconstruction When Preservation Is Not Possible

A portion of breast cancer patients still require complete removal of a breast. To restore their body image, affected individuals can receive breast reconstruction with their own tissue, known as autologous reconstruction. “Autologous reconstruction already provides durable and excellent results,” says Prof. Dr. Eisenhardt.

The minimally invasive robotic-assisted surgery technique, not previously established in Germany for this procedure, now makes it possible to perform parts of the procedure from inside the abdomen, preserving the stability of the outer abdominal wall. “We can use imaging techniques to see exactly beforehand which patient is suitable for and will benefit from robotic-assisted surgery,” Prof. Dr. Eisenhardt explains.

“The surgical method is technically very demanding and requires a lot of experience, which we already have thanks to similar robotic-assisted procedures,” says Dr. Nikolaos Liakos, senior physician at the Department of Urology at the Medical Center - University of Freiburg. Close cooperation and extensive experience among the departments, which is only available in large centers like the Medical Center - University of Freiburg, are also crucial. “We live close interdisciplinary cooperation for the benefit of our patients. In addition to the experience of our staff, technical progress is essential here. Both combined make an absolute added value possible for our patients,” says Prof. Dr. Eisenhardt.


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