UK’s first ‘Firefly’ kidney surgery performed at St George’s
A robotic surgical technique which allows the accurate removal of cancerous tumours from the kidney has been performed for the first time in the UK at St George’s Hospital, Tooting. Using ‘Firefly’ technology in the da Vinci surgical robot, the technique is known as immunofluorescence assisted partial nephrectomy. This is a form of minimally invasive surgery which uses green dye to determine the blood supply to a kidney tumour. This allows surgeons to facilitate excision (removal) of the tumour. Knowing the exact pattern of blood supply to the tumour enables surgeons to spare as much kidney function as possible whilst removing the tumour. Dye injected into the patient shows up under the da Vinci robot’s specialised camera as bright green light, which gives the technology its ‘FireFly’ name. The procedure was performed by Professor Alex Mottrie, a worldwide expert on robotic partial nephrectomy surgery from Belgium. Chris Anderson, consultant urologist at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Partial nephrectomy is a complex operation and requires excision of the tumour and reconstruction of the remaining healthy kidney. Using this latest technology we are able to achieve this better than has been possible in the past. “It is an excellent innovation and we are fortunate to have been part of the pioneering process of this technique in the UK.”
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