Surgeons at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System are developing new treatment options for obese kidney patients.
Many US transplant centres currently refuse to perform transplant on these patients due to poorer outcomes.
By simultaneously undergoing two procedures -- robotic-assisted kidney transplantation and robotic-assisted sleeve gastrectomy -- patients have to make only one visit to the operating room and one general anaesthesia. Surgeons can utilise the same minimally invasive incisions.
Aidee Diaz, a 35-year-old Chicago woman, is the first patient in the world to have the combined procedure, according to University of Illinois surgeons. When Diaz was diagnosed with kidney disease and high blood pressure five years ago, doctors began intensive treatment, including chemotherapy and steroids, to treat abnormal protein production that was causing her kidney disease.
In Diaz's case, her weight jumped from 180 pounds to 300 pounds, and she needed dialysis three times a week.
"Many obese patients come to us because they have been excluded from transplant waiting lists or been told that they must lose weight prior to transplantation," said Dr. Enrico Benedetti, professor and head of surgery at UIC. "Unfortunately, successful weight loss in patients with chronic illness is uncommon and often unrealistic."