A groundbreaking milestone at St. Luke’s Medical Center -- the first-ever robotic-assisted kidney transplant in the Philippines!

Posted on Dec 12, 2023

IN PHOTO: St. Luke’s Medical Center - Global City’s Robotics Surgical Team led by Dr. Dennis Serrano, President and CEO and Robotic Surgeon (third from left) and Dr. Ronald Anthony Faller, Robotic Surgeon (fourth from left) with the first robotic-assisted kidney transplant patient, Keith Adam Pineda, and his mother and donor, Joan Pineda, (seated).


A Gift of Love and Hope

Prepare to be moved by an extraordinary act of selflessness. A mother's love knows no bounds as she generously donates her kidney to her son. This incredible story showcases the power of compassion and the miracles that can be achieved through medical advancements.

This medical breakthrough is interwoven with the heartfelt story of the Pineda family, whose journey epitomizes the resilience of the human spirit and the remarkable capabilities of modern medicine. At the heart of this tale is Joan Pineda, a mother propelled by an unwavering determination to save her 19-year-old son, Keith, from the clutches of a kidney ailment.

In early 2022, the Pineda family discovered Keith's deteriorating health when he experienced a sudden progression of vision loss. As they delved into medical investigations, an unsettling reality unfolded – Keith was grappling with the same kidney condition that had tragically claimed the lives of his father and grandfather.

Joan, fueled by a mother's love and an unyielding spirit, decided to navigate this challenging journey head-on. Leaving her job in Dubai, she undertook months of rigorous tests for Keith and her two other children. The shocking revelation that her other son shared the same condition intensified the urgency to find a solution and slow down the disease's progression.

Joan's decision to be his son’s kidney donor faced significant opposition, even from Keith and his grandmother. Despite warnings and concerns for her other children, she stood resolute, driven by the singular purpose of providing Keith with the best quality of life through the fastest means possible – a decision that ultimately led to the first robotic-assisted kidney transplant in the Philippines.

(LEFT-RIGHT: Dr. Ronald Anthony Faller, Keith Adam Pineda, Joan Pineda and Dr. Dennis Serrano)


Precision and Innovation

The journey brought the Pineda family to consult again with Dr. Ronald Anthony Faller, who not only recommended kidney transplantation but also played a key role in the realization of the robotic-assisted procedure. The encounter with Dr. Faller at St. Luke's Medical Center was a fateful reunion, setting the stage for a groundbreaking surgical endeavor through St. Luke’s Social Services and St. Luke’s Medical Center Foundation, Inc.

Dr. Faller, equipped with international training in preparation for the pioneering Robotic Assisted Kidney Transplantation, collaborated with a stellar surgical team led by Dr. Dennis P. Serrano, who himself is a renowned robotic surgeon. The procedure, deemed noteworthy, was conducted with precision and expertise, marking a significant leap in the field of renal transplantation. With the assistance of cutting-edge robotic technology, our skilled surgeons perform "minimally-invasive surgery" with unmatched precision. The robotic system allows for meticulous kidney transplantation to the recipient, ensuring optimal outcomes and faster recovery.


LEFT TO RIGHT: Dr. Josefino Castillo (Urologist), Dr. Martin Anthony Villa (Vascular Surgeon), Dr. Caesar Casanova Jr.(Transplant Surgeon), Dr. Ronald Anthony Faller (Robotic Surgeon), Dr. Dennis Serrano (Robotic Surgeon); Dr. Ma. Amornetta Jordan-Casupang(Transplant Surgeon); Dr. Sheila Lyn Ranin (Transplant Anesthesiologist); Dr. Serafin Bernardo(Transplant Anesthesiologist) Dr. Emmanuel Braganza (Anesthesiologist)

LEFT PHOTO: Dr. Faller (Console Surgeon) and Dr. Serrano (Console Surgeon) RIGHT PHOTO: St. Luke’s Global City Robotics Surgical Team


A Safer and More Efficient Procedure

Drs. Faller and Serrano’s team utilizes state-of-the-art robotic-assisted technology to enhance surgical precision and efficiency. This groundbreaking approach minimizes risks, reduces post-operative complications, and promotes faster healing. The technology now offers a viable minimally-invasive solution for kidney transplant patients.


Paving the Way for a Brighter Future

With this revolutionary approach, St. Luke’s has elevated the standard of care, ensuring enhanced precision and minimally invasive procedures for Kidney Transplant. The result? Both the living donor and the recipient– a devoted mother and her child – experienced a swift recovery and are already on their way to better health.  

St. Luke’s Medical Center is committed to pushing boundaries and embracing innovation in healthcare. By performing the first-ever robotic-assisted kidney transplant in the Philippines, it is not just making history but also paving the way for more advanced procedures that will transform lives.