Transplantation and MIS

Transplantation at the Department of Urologic Sciences

The Department of Urologic Sciences (DUS) Transplantation Group is dedicated to the success of renal transplantation in the province of British Columbia. Through the efforts of Drs. William Gourlay, Christopher Nguan, Mark Nigro, Jamie Wright, Andrew MacNeily and Kourosh Afshar, the living donor program is expected to continue to expand year over year. This group is housed at two sites for adult transplantation (Vancouver General Hospital and St. Paul’s Hospital), and a separate site for childrens transplantation (BC Children’s Hospital), and provides all of the surgical service to renal donors and recipients in the province. Recently the program has adopted a laparoscopic approach towards donor nephrectomy, and currently over 90% of renal donors are operated on in this manner. The transplant program success rate stands for itself at over 98% for living related renal transplantation.

Always seeking to maximize available donors for the hundreds of recipients awaiting a transplant, the program has pioneered the concepts of anonymous altruistic donation, paired-donor exchange, and donation after cardiac death. We also continue to pursue deceased donor strategies to increase the donor pool through the development of partnerships and close collaborations with hospitals and Intensive Care Units across the province.

The Transplantation Group at DUS has an active research component both in clinical and basic science. Studies range from donor attitudes towards donation, reasons for nondonation, and outcomes analysis. Our basic science work examines aspects of organ preservation, perfusate technology, and genomic analysis of transplantation.

Minimally Invasive Surgery

Various members of the DUS bring expertise in the area of Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) which includes: endoscopy for stone disease or cancer, advanced laparoscopic procedures and surgical robotics. The MIS group’s mandate is to develop and perfect procedures of increasing complexity. Surgeries routinely performed by our group include: laparoscopic nephrectomy of large renal masses and polycystic kidneys, laparoscopic partial nephrectomy, laparoscopic dismembered pyeloplasty, and laparoscopic nephroureterectomy, among others. To further our group’s objectives, our Department has been central in bringing the state of the art surgical robot, daVinci, to Vancouver, and remains the primary service utilizing this advanced technology in day to day operations. With this advanced technology at our disposal, we will undertake robotic assisted radical prostatectomies, robotic pyeloplasty and robotic assisted donor nephrectomy, and be the first group in Canada operating with the new second generation Type S daVinci robot.

Research in the field of MIS technologies not only includes development of new procedures and protocols, but also at a more basic level including elements of advanced medical imaging, simulation, augmented reality, micromachining, and robotic engineering. We have active research collaborations with the UBC departments of Computer Science, Computer Engineering, and Electrical Engineering.

Both the Transplantation Group and the MIS Group endeavor to be world leaders and produce top tier research and clinical outcomes.

Visit the Surgical Technologies Experimental Laboratory and Advanced Robotics (STELLAR) website.