UC Irvine Medical Center surgeon Dr. Amir Abolhoda has performed Orange County’s first robot-assisted lobe removal to treat lung cancer.

On March 25, Abolhoda used the da Vinci surgical robot to excise the lowest lobe of the right lung and sample the nearby lymph nodes in a 52-year-old patient with early-stage lung cancer.

“The patient was able to leave the hospital in two days and is experiencing no complications,” Abolhoda said.

An alternative to traditional open thoracotomy or thoracoscopic lobectomy, he said, the minimally invasive robotic approach offers a more precise resection of the lung and clearance of lymph nodes – resulting in less postoperative pain and a shorter recovery.

Abolhoda is among only a few California cardiothoracic surgeons to utilize the robot in performing lobectomies on lung cancer patients, according to the maker of the da Vinci Surgical System.

UC Irvine is renowned for adopting cutting-edge medical technologies and is an international pioneer in robot-assisted surgeries for numerous conditions.

In 2002, UC Irvine was Orange County’s first medical center – and among the first on the West Coast – to use the da Vinci Surgical System. Dr. Thomas Ahlering has become a world leader in robotic prostate surgery and removal, with more than 1,000 prostatectomies since da Vinci’s introduction.

In 2010, Dr. Jason Kim became the first surgeon in the West to take out a thyroid with the robot, and UC Irvine established the country’s first Robotic Oncology Center, which seeks to harness robotic technology to create better outcomes for cancer patients.

About UC Irvine Medical Center: Orange County’s only university hospital, UC Irvine Medical Center offers acute- and general-care services at its new, 482,000-square-foot UC Irvine Douglas Hospital and is home to the county’s only Level I trauma center, American College of Surgeons-verified regional burn center and National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center. U.S. News & World Report has included UC Irvine for 10 consecutive years on its list of America’s Best Hospitals, giving special recognition to its urology, gynecology, and ear, nose & throat programs.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Led by Chancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UCI is among the most dynamic campuses in the University of California system, with nearly 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 1,100 faculty and 9,000 staff. Orange County’s largest employer, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $4.2 billion. For more UCI news, visit www.today.uci.edu.

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