Cleveland Clinic First in the U.S. to Perform Prostate Surgery Using Single Port SP Robot

Urologic surgeons complete radical prostatectomy using new generation of robot that is designed for single-incision robotic surgery

single port robot Cleveland Clinic Urology

Jihad Kaouk, M.D., performs the first U.S. surgery using the Single Port SP Robot.

Cleveland Clinic is the first hospital in the country to successfully perform surgeries using the Single Port SP Robot, which inserts all surgical instruments through one small abdominal incision, improving surgical outcomes and allowing quicker patient recovery.

On Friday, Cleveland Clinic surgeons used the SP Robot to perform three surgeries – two surgeries to remove cancerous prostates and one surgery to remove an enlarged prostate blocking the urinary system through the bladder.

Jihad Kaouk, M.D., professor of surgery and director of the Center for Robotic and Image Guided Surgery in the Glickman Urologic and Kidney Institute at Cleveland Clinic, was the first to perform and publish on robotic single-port surgery in 2008 using standard robotic systems and  coining the phrase R-LESS (robotic laparoendoscopic single site surgery). After completing and publishing the first ever clinical use for the SP robot in Europe, Dr. Kaouk and his team also performed Friday’s radical prostatectomies and transvesical simple prostatectomy at Cleveland Clinic. The new purpose-built robotic SP system will allow the single port approach to be more feasible.

“We anticipate that this new generation of robots will allow for new and different routes of surgeries that haven’t previously been possible,” said Dr. Kaouk. “For example, we can now go through a patient’s perineum instead of their belly to perform prostate surgery and avoid touching the bowel, or work through the retroperitoneal space to perform kidney surgery without entering the abdomen, allowing for quicker recovery time.”

Cleveland Clinic is the No. 1 ranked urology program in the nation, according to U.S. News and World Report. Currently, the SP Robot is only FDA-approved for urologic surgeries, with plans to expand to ENT and colorectal surgeries in the near future.

“We are proud to offer this surgical approach and be on the forefront of surgical innovation,” said Mark A. Taylor, M.D., chairman of Surgical Operations, Cleveland Clinic.

Dr. Kaouk worked with the Intuitive Inc. team of engineers to test and improve the new robotic system. Dr. Kaouk is a paid consultant, speaker or member of the advisory committee for Endocare, Inc. and Intuitive Surgical, Inc.

Download soundbites from Dr. Kaouk and surgery b-roll

Animation showing a prostatectomy using the Single Port SP Robot.

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 52,000 employees are more than 3,600 full-time salaried physicians and researchers and 14,000 nurses, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic’s health system includes a 165-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 11 regional hospitals, more than 150 northern Ohio outpatient locations – including 18 full-service family health centers and three health and wellness centers – and locations in Weston, Fla.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2017, there were 7.6 million outpatient visits, 229,000 hospital admissions and 207,000 surgical cases throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 185 countries. Visit us at Follow us at News and resources available at

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