A BARCELONA hospital has carried out a pioneering lung transplant operation with a robot involving a less invasive procedure for the patient.

The four-pronged robot called ‘Da Vinci’ was used at the Vall d’Hebron hospital in a surgery that no longer required opening up the chest and separating ribs.

‘Da Vinci’ cut through just a small area of the patient’s skin, fat and muscle to remove the damaged lung and inserted a new one through an eight-centimetre incision in the lower part of the sternum, just above the diaphragm.

Besides being safer than previous techniques, which needed a 30-centimetre cut, the patient’s post-op treatment offers less pain as the smaller wound closes far easier.

Vall d’Hebron’s Lung Transplant head, Albert Jauregui, said: “We believe it is a technique that will improve patients’ life quality, the post-surgery period and reduce pain. We hope this technique will eventually spread to more centres.”

The procedure had only previously been used in lung cancer operations and was used on 65-year-old Xavier who needed a lung transplant after suffering from pulminory fibrosis since 2007.

“I weighed up the pros and cons,” he told reporters on Monday.

“I totally trusted the robot machines because they reduce human error,” added Xavier.

He backed up Albert Jauregui’s analysis by saying that he woke up after February’s operation and felt no pain whatsoever.

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