UTMB Makes History with First Uniportal Robotic Lobectomies in the US

The University of Texas Medical Branch marks a significant breakthrough in the field of thoracic surgery as Dr. Roman Petrov, professor of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, successfully performed the first robotic lobectomies in the United States with a single port of entry. 

“The success using this intricate surgical technique highlights our commitment to advancing patient care through a cutting-edge approach,” said Petrov.  

Traditionally, lung resection for cancer is performed via multiportal robotic assisted thoracoscopic surgery (RATS). This method involves performing a procedure using four robotic ports and an assistant port. However, Petrov's recent successes showcase the pioneering use of Uniportal RATS (URATS), a technique that incorporates only one small incision, eliminating the need for additional incisions. 

Two patients underwent the surgery using the Uniportal RATS method and have been recovering well.  “The recovery following the procedure was much better than I expected. I did not use much pain meds and was able to get up the next day,” said the first patient who received the treatment. “Since then, I’ve been feeling much better and hopefully this is the end of my cancer journey.” 

Petrov recently travelled to Europe to learn this technique from Dr. Diego Gonzalez Rivas, a pioneering surgeon who developed this approach. Petrov expresses confidence in the adoption of URATS.  "The adoption of Uniportal RATS appears to be feasible and safe, without increasing resources needed during the surgery,” Petrov said. “Although the procedure is technically more challenging and complex, it provides better cosmetic results and less postoperative discomfort for patients, conveying the same oncological benefit."  

This innovative approach marks a significant advancement in thoracic surgery, providing a minimally invasive alternative with potential benefits for patients in terms of recovery and reduced postoperative discomfort. 

“Uniportal robotic surgery is the most recent advancement in the field and having Dr. Petrov’s vision and expertise provides this valuable technique to our patients,” said Dr. Abe DeAnda, professor at the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at UTMB. 

The successful outcomes of the recent surgeries at UTMB demonstrate the institution's commitment to pushing the boundaries of medical excellence and offering cutting-edge treatments to the community.  “This incredible accomplishment reinforces our dedication to advancing patient care through state-of-the-art surgical techniques,” said Petrov.