On July 2, a team of surgeons led by Inderbir S. Gill, MD, Distinguished Professor of Urology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and executive director of the USC Institute of Urology, performed Mumbai’s first robotic kidney transplant at Sir H. N. Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre.

This cutting-edge robotic technology replaces traditional open transplant surgery. During robotic surgery, the kidney, placed within an ice-filled bag, is inserted into the lower abdomen via a small, non muscle-cutting incision next to the pubic bone. All three anastomoses — the arterial, venous and ureteral surgical connections — are performed robotically through keyhole incisions. This surgery is not yet offered at Keck Medicine of USC.

From left, nephrologist Shruti Tapiawala; P.P. Rao, chair of urology at H. N. Hospital; Hemant Mehta, chief of anesthesiology; Inderbir Gill; Gustad Daver, chief medical officer; Bharat Shah; Jitendra Jagtap; and Lokesh Sinha are seen after performing a robotic kidney transplant in Mumbai. (Photo/Courtesy Sir H. N. Reliance Foundation Hospital)

“This is an advanced robotic procedure performed in only a few centers worldwide,” said Gill, who also is chair of the Catherine and Joseph Aresty Department of Urology and the Shirley and Donald Skinner Chair in Urologic Cancer Surgery at the Keck School. “We hopefully are laying the foundation for Sir H. N. Reliance Foundation Hospital to be the primary destination for robotic kidney transplants, not only in Mumbai, but in the entire country of India.”

The 59-year-old recipient with renal failure received the kidney from his 55-year-old wife. The procedure was covered by numerous news outlets across India, including some of the country’s top newspapers.

For nearly four years, the USC Institute of Urology has been supporting the urology services at Sir H. N. Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre, the newest major hospital in India. Gill also serves as chairman of urology and robotics at the hospital, which is a premiere 345-bed, multi-specialty, tertiary care institution dedicated to providing state-of-the-art patient care to people of all socioeconomic backgrounds. This is the university’s first example of active and formal clinical collaboration with an international partner.

“The Sir H. N. Reliance Foundation Hospital’s fruitful relationship with Dr. Inderbir Gill and the USC Institute of Urology at Keck Medicine has been a key element in our mission to provide world-class health care services,” said Nita Ambani, founder and chair of the Reliance Foundation. “We look forward to our continued collaboration to draw on USC’s technological expertise and innovative practices to provide exceptional patient care and advance our research efforts.”

— Mary Dacuma