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HMC Performs Procedure on Covid-19 Patient to Treat Kidney Stones Using Laser Technology and Robotic


Hamad Medical Corporation announced Sunday that it achieved a qualitative development that is unprecedented anywhere in the world, after successfully performing a highly-advanced surgery to treat kidney stones using laser technology and robotics.

The surgery took place this week. It is the first surgery of its kind in the world to treat a Covid-19 patient from Kidney Stones using the Thulium Fiber Laser. It marks the first time the technology has been used on a Covid-19 positive patient in the Middle East, using the Ibn Sina Robot (Roboflex). It is also the first surgery of its kind in the world to combine highly advanced laser techniques and robotic surgery technology and allowed for precautionary distancing in the operating theater. The technology allowed the surgical team to perform the operation on the Covid-19 positive patient, while ensuring two meters of distance between the patient and surgeons.

The surgery was one of a three kidney stone procedure performed during a single day at Hazm Mebaireek General Hospital (HMGH). The other two surgeries were performed on non-Covid-19 patients using the Thulium Fiber Laser but without robotic surgery technology.

Chief Medical Officer at HMC Dr. Abdulla Al Ansari, along with Senior Consultant, Surgery and Head of the Surgery and Urology Departments at Hazm Mebaireek General Hospital Dr. Morshed Ali Salah performed the three procedures.

“While the world and healthcare organizations are struggling from the continuous pressure resulted from the Covid-19 pandemic, HMC continues to be committed to providing the best care for patients according to global quality standards,” Dr. Al Ansari said.

“HMC has succeeded, despite the circumstances of the pandemic, to introduce a state-of-the-art surgical technology using the thulium fiber laser to perform this first of its kind surgery in the world. This surgery combined laser technology and robotic surgery, allowing for precautionary distance between the patient and healthcare teams. It demonstrates our commitment to providing the highest medical and safety standards,” he added.

He then moved to reassure all patients that emergency surgical services at HMC are available as usual and that the corporation is applying all measures and safety procedures to protect patients and medical teams.

“We understand the stress and anxiety that some patients may feel towards being treated in hospital but they should feel confident knowing that we are applying all recommended procedures to reduce their risk of Covid-19 infection,” Dr. Al Ansari said.

On the details of the three surgeries, Dr. Salah noted that the patients had kidney stones that ranged in size from 1.2 cm and 2 cm, and that two of the three patients had stones located in their ureter. He said the third surgery was more complicated as the 33 years old patient was Covid-19 positive and was suffering from a 1.5 stone located in his right kidney.

He said that HMC started using the Ibn Sina Robot (Roboflex) nine months ago, with 42 surgeries performed to date. He noted that the robot was highly accurate in terms of targeting, as the laser can target kidney stones from different angles and in a circulated diameter that reaches 440 degrees. It also allows surgeons to keep a safe distance from the patient, which is essential when caring for patients who are Covid-19 positive as an example. The technology allowed the medical team to stay 2.5 meters away from the patient while ensuring less movement for the endoscope inside the kidney and reducing any potential trauma.

He noted that the new thulium fiber is an advanced technology that cuts down the time required to complete the procedure by half. This allows most patients to be discharged from hospital more quickly, and helps ensure patients experience less post-surgery pain, he added.

Medical Director of HMGH Dr. Ahmad Al Mohammed said HMC is continuing to provide all medical services to Covid-19 patients that are being monitored in the hospital. He praised the efforts made by staff to ensure the best possible care of all patients, including those who are Covid-19 positive, and noted that all care is being provided in accordance with a comprehensive treatment plan coordinated across the various hospital departments. He expressed his satisfaction with the success of the surgery that used the latest technology while adhering to safety guidelines when dealing Covid-19 patients.

For his part, Executive Director of HMGH Hussein Al Ishaq said that Hazm Mebaireek General Hospital was fully prepared to treat Covid-19 patients and to provide all required medical services as part of the hospital’s efforts to ensure the burden on other HMC facilities is reduced and that patients and staff at non-Covid-19 treatment facilities are not unnecessarily exposed to the virus. He added that the strategic plan was prepared by the System Wide Incident Command Committee (SWICC) and has proven to be very effective in ensuring the best care for all of the hospital’s patients.


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