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Last Updated: Wednesday May 18 2005 10:27 GMT

Robot does live kidney transplant

Kidney transplants
Britain's first live transplant operation by a robot has been carried out, it's been revealed.

The £1 million robot called da Vinci removed a kidney from one person with two mechanical arms before it was implanted by surgeons into another.

Pauline Payne volunteered to test the machine after she offered to donate one of her kidneys to her sick fiancé.

She said: "I just found the idea of using a robot to perform an operation exciting. I was never frightened."

Robot surgery


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Two pencil-thin robot arms were inserted through small holes in Ms Payne's body.

Special surgical tools then snipped and sewed according to finger and wrist movements made by the operator sitting at a console a few feet away.

Da Vinci was developed in the United States, where there are up to 200 working robots in hospitals - but there are only two in Britain.

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