First robotic operation on the pancreas in Portugal promotes rapid recovery of the patient
Hospital Curry Cabral, in Lisbon, announced that it performed robotic surgery for the first time on cancer in the head of the pancreas, which allows the patient to recover faster and with less pain. The first pancreaticoduodenectomy by robotic surgery in the country was performed on Tuesday, November 29, in a 58-year-old man, with a subtype of tumor in the head of the pancreas, less aggressive, although malignant, called ampuloma, and the procedure was conducted by surgeon Emanuel Vigia.
In a statement, Hugo Pinto Marques, director of the Surgery Service and Transplantation Unit at Centro Hospitalar Universitário de Lisboa Central (which is part of Curry Cabral), “the possibility of performing this type of surgery using less invasive methods, in this case, robotics represents a very good perspective for patients, in the sense of having a better recovery from a surgery that is normally very complicated and aggressive”.
The clinician also said that conventional surgery leaves a “quite large” scar and “normally requires some hospitalization time”. The use of a robot makes the procedure possible through five holes of up to one centimeter each, “it is much less aggressive” and more precise, he detailed.
“It is a surgery with much greater precision, because the robot allows a movement that does not have tremor, more precise, with a visualization of the anatomy and structures that is magnified 10 times in high definition. Therefore, it allows an enlargement of the human eye in a slightly different way from that which occurs in conventional surgery”, stressed Hugo Pinto Marques.
For Hugo Pinto Marques, taking into account that between 100 and 150 operations are performed in Portugal on the head of the pancreas, the innovation allows “less aggression for the patient and a much faster recovery”. Although this factor is still under analysis, “everything indicates” that “it is likely that in terms of complications in the future the rate will be lower” with robotic surgery.
The operation, which took longer than the conventional one, lasting about five hours, took approximately 9:30 am. “The procedure takes longer than conventional surgery, which brings more benefits to the patient in terms of recovery”, said Hugo Pinto Marques.
The doctor underlined the increase, in global terms, of pancreatic cancer “all over the world and also in our country”. “Surgery is still the only procedure that cures pancreatic cancer,” he added.
The team, led by Emanuel Vigia, had the support of a Dutch team, as part of a European training program for this type of surgery. The operation consists of removing the head of the pancreas, duodenum and part of the stomach.
Robotic surgery has been implemented at CHULC since November 2019, the year in which the first equipment of this type appeared on the SNS, according to information from the Hospital Center. The use of robotics is already practiced in urology, colorectal cancer, surgical treatment of obesity, gynecology and hepato-biliary-pancreatic diseases.