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Dr. Benjamin WeiUAB Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery Professor Benjamin Wei, M.D., recently performed the first pediatric thoracic surgery utilizing a robotic surgical system at Children’s of Alabama marking a milestone in the improvement of pediatric surgical care. 

In 2023, eight-year-old Charles Parker started feeling unwell. Despite their best efforts, the family wasn’t able to determine the cause of his illness. Seeking answers and relief for Charles, his parents brought him to Children’s for consultation with pediatrician Dr. Alysson Brown. After conducting some tests, Brown discovered that Charles had a mass in his lungs, which was later confirmed to be a tumor. Brown and Wei worked together to create a care plan for Charles and determined that surgery was the best option for his treatment. 

Without robotic surgical assistance, Charles would have undergone a thoracotomy, which is a surgery method with a longer recuperation time. However, thanks to the less invasive procedure, Wei was able to successfully remove the tumor, and Charles had a shortened in-patient stay of three days. 

UAB 's robotic surgical program has the largest surgical volume in the country, with 25 faculty members who perform about a thousand minimally invasive operations every year. The addition of a da Vinci robot to Children's sets a new standard of surgical care for children across the Southeast.

About Dr. Benjamin Wei

Dr. Benjamin Wei has been an active faculty of UAB since 2013, the time when he completed his Cardiothoracic Surgery fellowship at Duke University. He is a board-certified and subspecialty-trained surgeon. 

Through his clinical practice and research, Wei aims to improve access to robotic- and vídeo-assisted technologies for pediatric populations. 

Written by: Julia Kasmirski