The impact of a dedicated operating room team on robotic transplant program growth and fellowship training

Angela L. Hill, Meranda D. Scherer, Amen Kiani, Neeta Vachharajani, Sarah Matson, Darren R. Cullinan, Greg R. Martens, Jennifer Yu, Jesse T. Davidson, Jason R. Wellen, William C. Chapman, Majella B. Doyle, Adeel S. Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: Despite considerable interest in robotic surgery, successful incorporation of robotics into transplant programs has been challenging. Lack of a dedicated OR team with expertise in both robotics and transplant is felt to be a major barrier. This paper assesses the impact of a dedicated robotic transplant team (DART) on program growth and fellowship training at one of the largest robotic transplant programs in North America. Methods: This is a single center, retrospective review of all robotic operations performed on the transplant surgery service from October 2017 to October 2022. DART was incorporated in February 2020 and included transplant first assists (RFAs), scrub technologists and circulating nurses who received robotic training. Robotic experience before and after DART was compared to assess its impact on program growth and training. Results: Four hundred and two robotic cases were performed by five transplant surgeons: 63 pre-DART and 339 post-DART. 40% of cases were transplant-related and 59.5%, HPB. There was a significant increase in case volume (2.5–10.6 cases/month, p <.0001) and complexity (36.5% vs. 70.3% high complexity cases, p <.0001) post-DART. RFA case coverage increased from 17% to 95%, and participation of transplant fellows as primary surgeons increased from 17% to 95% post-DART period (both p <.05). Conversion rates (9.5% vs. 4.1%) and room turn-around-times (TAT) (58.4 vs. 40.3 min) were lower post-DART (p <.05). There were no emergent conversions, conversions in transplant patients, or robot-related complications in either group. Conclusion: OR teams with expertise in robotics and transplant surgery can accelerate growth of robotic transplant programs while maintaining patient safety.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere15103
JournalClinical Transplantation
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2023


  • fellow education
  • medical education
  • nursing education
  • operating room nursing
  • operating room team
  • robot assisted kidney transplant
  • robot assisted transplant
  • robotic surgery
  • robotic transplant
  • transplantation


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