Information for the public

There is not much good evidence about how well robot-assisted kidney transplant works or how safe it is. This procedure can be used for people with obesity who otherwise wouldn’t be able to have a kidney transplant, but only if they have regular checks to see how well it is working or if it has caused problems. This is because of uncertainties about its long-term effects and serious complications.

In people who could have a kidney transplant using open surgery, this procedure can only be done as part of a research study. This is because there is not enough evidence to be sure how well it works and how safe it is.

A kidney transplant is an effective treatment for people who have kidney failure. A robot-assisted kidney transplant is a ‘keyhole’ technique in which the surgeon uses a robot to assist with the surgery. The aim is to use smaller cuts (the largest being about 7 cm) and decrease blood loss during surgery, and to reduce recovery time.

NHS Choices may be a good place to find out more. NICE’s information on interventional procedures guidance has more about what a procedure is and how we assess them.

Is this procedure right for me?

If you’ve been offered this procedure, your healthcare professionals should discuss with you what is involved, and tell you about the risks and benefits. They should talk with you about your options, and listen carefully to your views and concerns. Your family can be involved too, if you wish. All of this should happen before you agree (consent) to have the procedure. You should also be told how to find more information about the procedure, and your healthcare professional should talk to you about the research study if this applies to you. Read more about making decisions about your care.

Some questions to think about

  • What does the procedure involve?
  • What are the possible benefits? How likely am I to get them?
  • What are the risks or side effects? How likely are they?
  • What happens if the procedure doesn’t work or something goes wrong?
  • What happens if I don’t want the procedure? Are there other treatments available?

NICE’s information on interventional procedures guidance has more about what a procedure is and how we assess them.

ISBN: 978-1-4731-2893-4


This page was last updated: 24 April 2018