Clinical Achievements

  • UC San Diego Health is a leader in minimally invasive robotic procedures, such as the use of robotic surgery for the removal of the prostate (prostatectomy) following early diagnosis of prostate cancer. Dr. Christopher Kane, director of our robotic surgery program, has performed more than 750 robotic prostatectomies.
  • We are one of the few facilities in the nation to offer robotic colorectal surgery using the da Vinci® Surgical System.
  • This year, Kevin Brumund, MD, assistant professor of surgery in our Division of Head and Neck Surgery, performed more than 70 minimally invasive thyroidectomies. He is the only surgeon in San Diego County offering minimally invasive thyroid and parathyroid surgery performed on an outpatient basis.
  • Our surgeons are leading the way in developing endoscopic surgeries through the body's natural openings, called Natural Orifice Transluminal Endoscopic Surgery (NOTES).
  • In August 2010, UC San Diego Health surgeons achieved what is believed to be the nation’s first stomach reduction via the mouth. This novel weight loss procedure is known as a sleeve gastrectomy.
  • In 2009, our surgeons removed a patient’s diseased kidney through one incision hidden in the belly button. No other incisions were used. This groundbreaking procedure is the 15th in a series of single-incision clinical trial surgeries performed by the UC San Diego Center for the Future of Surgery.
  • In 2008, our surgeons were the first in the United States to remove an appendix and a gallbladder through the mouth and the first in the U.S. to remove an appendix through a vagina.
  • Our surgeons performed San Diego’s first kidney transplant operation in 1968.
  • Our transplant team performed its first heart-lung transplant in 1990 and its first double-lung transplant the following year. Three years later, they performed the first infant heart transplant in San Diego history.
  • Last year, our surgeons performed 15 lung transplants. Since its inception in 1999, the lung transplant program has provided transplant surgeries for an estimated 250 patients.
  • Our surgeons performed their 1,000th pulmonary thromboendarterectomy procedure (PTE) in 1998. In total, our surgeons have performed 2,600 PTE, more than all other centers combined worldwide. We have the highest success rate in the world (2.2 percent mortality rate between 2006 and 2010).
  • Our cardiothoracic surgeons have performed an estimated 40,000 cardiothoracic surgeries worldwide during the last two decades.
  • In 2001, our surgeons performed a historic first surgery in an experimental protocol using gene therapy to treat Alzheimer’s disease.