In early November, a University of Kentucky transplant surgeon performed the state’s first ever robot-assisted nephrectomy.

Alejandro Cracco, MD, an assistant professor in the UK Department of Surgery’s Division of Transplantation, performed the donor kidney extraction utilizing the da Vinci Xi surgical robot. 

While this procedure is a first for the state of Kentucky, Dr. Cracco performed this procedure over a dozen times while an Abdominal Transplant and Hepatobiliary Surgery fellow at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. He joined the UK HealthCare faculty shortly after completing his fellowship

“This groundbreaking milestone marks a significant advancement for the University of Kentucky Transplant Center,” said Dr. Roberto Gedaly, director of the transplant center. “Incorporating innovative technologies is a key part of our vision to enhance patient care throughout the Commonwealth.”

With the success of this procedure, UK HealthCare joins a growing list of hospitals across the country adapting robotics to an increasing range of complex surgeries.