Westmead partnership delivers Australia’s first robotic kidney transplant

25 Aug 2016

A medical team from Westmead Hospital and Westmead Private Hospital has combined their expertise to deliver Australia’s first robotic kidney transplant.

A medical team from Westmead Hospital and Westmead Private Hospital 

The surgery, which used a robot valued at $4 million, was led by Westmead Hospital urologist and transplant surgeon Professor Howard Lau.

This major technical advancement was announced and celebrated at 2016 Westmead Hospital Week on Tuesday.

Katie Steele, aged 33 and from Quakers Hill, has recovered well from the surgery conducted in June and is forever grateful for the transplant.

Her surgery was required due to a complication from bowel surgery last year.

“I was a bit nervous being the first in Australia but I had all faith in Dr Lau. I knew he’d be the best person to lead the surgery,” said Katie.

“I had bowel surgery last year, so compared to that the recovery was a lot better. I was home in just five days. My wound healed really well too.”

Professor Howard Lau, the lead surgeon and Westmead Hospital urologist and transplant surgeon, said it was great to combine the resources of the public and private hospital.

“The partnership of the two hospitals has allowed this ground-breaking surgery to take place,” said Dr Lau.

“It’s a major technical advancement that will provide less invasive surgery and reduces the incision size, results in less pain and faster recovery.

“Precision and speed has also been dramatically improved,” he said.

The machine, which is an automated robot, costs $4,000 per use.

The surgery is currently only available to selected patients through collaboration between Westmead public and private hospitals.