The Department of Surgery at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC) performed the first robotic plastic surgery in Lebanon and the region through a robot-assisted breast reconstruction post mastectomy for cancer. The new robotic approach provides better surgeon comfort and mobility, with a greater precision, extending the capabilities of the human hand. This first-of-its-kind procedure offers patients the most advanced surgical care by providing procedures with no incisions and therefore scar-less results and a faster recovery with decreased post-operative pain and complications.
The procedure was performed on March 26, 2019 to a patient with breast cancer who required surgical removal of the breast followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The breast cancer reconstruction required using both a breast implant and a muscle flap harvested from the back. It was performed by Dr. Amir Ibrahim, Assistant Professor of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the Department of Surgery at AUBMC. Dr. Ramzi Alami, Assistant Professor of the Clinical Surgery department and member of the Robotic Surgery team at AUBMC, was present during the surgery for assistance and support as well.
Dr. Amir Ibrahim said, “The muscle harvested from the back usually requires an incision that leaves a scar of 20 to 25 cm over the back skin. However, we were able to harvest the muscle using the robot through the breast incision only without making any extra incisions and without leaving scars on the back”. The procedure went smoothly, and the patient stayed under supervision for one night only before discharge. Usually, in the traditional surgery, the patient was required to stay in hospital for at least 2 to 3 days.
Dr. Alami said, “The robotic surgeons at AUBMC continue to be the pioneers in the region. On top of the commonly performed prostate and rectal procedures, the robotic surgeons continue to expand the applications of this technology. From doing the first partial nephrectomies in urology, to the abdominal wall hernias in general surgery and now flap harvesting in plastic surgery, AUBMC continues its long tradition of first in the region”.
In line with its commitment to providing advanced surgical care using cutting-edge technology, AUBMC became one of the few centers worldwide and the first in Lebanon and the MENA region to perform this procedure which proved to be a real success.
“This marks the beginning of robotic surgery in breast mastectomy, a remarkably innovative technique that is still at an early stage. Promising results are being shown in reconstructive procedures that are likely to change the lives of many patients. The future is quite exciting!” commented Dr. Amir Ibrahim.
Performing such a procedure helps the patient benefit from a fast recovery and no scars. With the Da Vinci robot, it is safe to perform surgery with the most advanced technology. “We are honored to be amongst the first to present hope for Lebanon and the MENA region with the success of the first Robotic Assisted Plastic Surgery,” concluded Dr. Amir Ibrahim.