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First robot-assisted liver transplant of its kind in Asia performed in Shanghai

ZHONGSHAN Hospital today announced the success of Asia's first robot-assisted liver transplant surgery involving a live adult donor and a child.

The 31-year-old mother donated 20 percent of her liver to save the life of her 20-month-old son, who had congenital liver disease and biliary atresia, a serious disease of the liver and bile ducts.

The transplant surgery was conducted on February 27, and a portion of the mother’s liver was collected with the assistance of a surgical robot, which can be more accurate and concise than an unassisted human surgeon. The surgery is minimally invasive, leaving a scar only one-fourth the length typical in standard surgery.

Dr Fan Jia from Zhongshan Hospital said both the mother and son have been recovering very well. The mother was able to walk the day after the surgery.

"With the assistance of the robot, the incision is much smaller and causes less bleeding and less pain for the donor," Fan said.

"The advanced technology can help relieve a donor's anxiety and fear about a donation and complications afterward."

The son will be moved today to the Children's Hospital of Fudan University for further rehabilitation and treatment.


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