Omelia Bennett talks about getting the first robotic living donor kidney transplant in Maryland.

University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) proudly offers a safer, more advanced alternative to a traditional kidney transplant — robotic kidney transplant.

Robotic tools have long been used at UMMC for various surgical procedures, including the removal of living donor kidneys. UMMC is the first hospital in Maryland to use robot-assisted surgery to transplant a patient with a kidney from a living donor. This minimally invasive approach results in fewer complications and a faster recovery than a traditional transplant. It also helps transplant more patients with chronic kidney disease, particularly those who are overweight.

Our transplant surgery team, highly experienced in robotic techniques, is excited to use robot-assisted kidney transplantation to improve your quality of life and help you return to your normal activities safely and more quickly.

How it Works

Robot-assisted kidney transplantation allows for smaller, more precise incisions.

During the procedure, the surgeon makes small incisions in your abdomen to insert a camera and tiny surgical instruments about the size of a fingernail. Using a computer console, the surgeon directs movements of robotic arms to implant the donor kidney. The camera provides a magnified 3-D view that is more detailed than the traditional 2-D laparoscopic view and makes it easier to navigate the inside of the patient's body.

A traditional open transplant procedure usually requires an 8- to 14-inch abdominal incision. The robotic procedure requires smaller incisions — a two-inch cut above the belly button and three or four smaller incisions in the abdomen — helping to reduce post-surgical wound complications.

Benefits of Robotic Kidney Transplant 

  • Faster recovery and earlier return to daily activities
  • Less pain
  • Less scarring
  • Reduced chance of wound complications
  • Shorter hospital stay

More Options for Overweight Patients

Most transplant centers in the United States don't approve traditional kidney transplant access for patients with a body mass index over 35 because they are at higher risk for complications during and after surgery.

Traditional open surgery calls for a large incision so the surgeon can reach the lower portion of the abdomen to insert the kidney. But robot-assisted kidney transplantation requires only tiny incisions, reducing complications related to scarring and healing, thereby potentially making kidney transplantation an option for obese patients who would otherwise be denied.

Are You a Candidate for a Robotic Kidney Transplant?

If you need a kidney transplant, you should begin with a comprehensive evaluation for transplantation, which will help you determine if the robotic procedure is right for you. If you have already completed the evaluation and been listed and are interested in a robotic kidney transplant, contact your assigned nurse coordinator and ask to be evaluated by our surgical team.

Schedule Your Evaluation

Call 410-328-5408 for an appointment or email to learn more about robotic kidney transplantation.