A world first with surgical robots in Brussels


A team of doctors from UZ Brussel, the university hospital, have successfully completed an operation with the help of not one but two robots – a world first.

UZ Brussel professor Moustapha Hamdi, renowned for his reconstructive breast surgeries, teamed up with abdominal surgeon Martijn Schoneveld to bring this operation – a lymph node transplant – to a good end...along with the Da Vinci XI and the Symani surgical system, the two robots in question. 

The tools “offer more dexterity and finer motor control, leaving little scarring,” as Schoneveld has explained. The first-mentioned robot was used to remove good lymph nodes from the patient’s stomach, “ensuring minimal damage to blood vessels and lymph node tissue before reimplantation in the armpit, which is important for the successful outcome of the surgery."  

And that reimplantation is where the second robot comes in, to help drain the lymph and reduce future swelling, which is part of the major discomfort of lymphoedema – the reason for the operation. The innovative technology helps reduce risk for the patient and increases precision. 

Prof. Hamdi was already ahead of the game back in 2018, when he led a multidisciplinary team in performing the first robot-assisted lymph node transplant. 

Congratulations to the whole team involved in this innovative and successful surgery.