Posted: Friday, May 12, 2023
Urologists with Keck Medicine of the University of Southern California are actively screening potential participants for the first-ever bladder transplant in humans. During the procedure, the diseased bladder will be removed and replaced with a healthy bladder from a deceased donor. Inderbir Gill, MD, founding Executive Director for USC Urology, part of Keck Medicine; Nima Nassiri, MD, a urologic surgeon and researcher at Keck School of Medicine; and colleagues presented their surgical research update at the 2023 American Urologic Association (AUA) Annual Meeting (Abstracts V08-01 and MP65-05) and published the details in The Journal of Urology.
A successful bladder transplant has never been performed in humans, and for good reason. Technical challenges such as complicated deep pelvic vascular anatomy, limited visualization, and procedural complexity have made the procedure difficult for surgeons. In preparation for this trial, a robotic vascularized composite bladder allograft autotransplantation was performed in a brain-dead, heart-beating research donor. The allograft was well tolerated in the donor, with an operative time of approximately 11 hours. Other practice transplantation surgeries included the first-ever robotic bladder retrievals and successful robotic transplantations in recently deceased donors with cardiac function maintained. The team concluded that a robotic approach was necessary for the fine vascular dissection in the deep pelvis that future bladder transplants will require.
“The intention of this clinical trial is to develop a new treatment option for a certain subset of patients with debilitating bladder conditions that can severely hamper quality of life and, ultimately, even shorten life,” said Dr. Nassiri in a Keck Medicine press release. “We have worked diligently to expand the boundaries of what is considered possible for severely compromised patients who traditionally have had few options.”
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