RIYADH — In an unprecedented medical achievement, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center (KFSH&RC) of Riyadh has succeeded in performing a whole liver transplant using a robot, the first of its kind in the world.

A Saudi patient in his 60s who suffered from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) underwent the successful transplant surgery.

Prof. Dieter Brüring, executive director of the Center of Excellence for Organ Transplant at KFSH&RC, led the medical team that carried out the transplant surgery. Speaking about the remarkable feat, Brüring said: “This qualitative achievement confirms KFSH&RC’s commitment to medical innovation and enhancing the quality of healthcare services provided to patients around the world. The success achieved in fully robotic liver transplant operations represents a pivotal shift in the history of organ transplantation, confirming the position of KFSH&RC as a global leader in this field.”

KFSH&RC is unique in the world in performing a whole liver transplant using a robot in the resection and transplantation stages, after it had adopted an approach that combined traditional and robotic surgeries in carrying out the transplantation process. Since 2018, the hospital has relied entirely on robotic surgery to partially remove the liver from living donors.

Robotic liver transplantation is distinguished from others by making smaller incisions in the patient’s body, reducing the recovery period, and bringing down the possibility of complications, unlike traditional liver transplantation or the hybrid approach, which involves making an incision in the patient’s body up to 15 cm long, which may lead to complications in 50 percent of cases, and requires a longer stay in the hospital.

This achievement represents a transformation in the services provided by KFSH&RC to specialists in organ transplantation, as the hospital is a specialized training center in robotic organ transplantation surgery, through which it cooperates with other medical institutions to share knowledge and enhance global understanding of minimally invasive transplant procedures.

This achievement comes within the framework of KFSH&RC’s constant endeavors to harness all capabilities and bring in the latest technologies to improve results and operating efficiency, to be the ideal choice for every patient in the field of providing specialized healthcare, and to make its services available to a wider segment of beneficiaries.

King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center is among the major hospitals in the world in providing specialized healthcare, and was recently ranked first in the Middle East and Africa and 20th in the list of the best healthcare institutions in the world for the year 2023, according to the “Brand Finance” classification.

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