Kerala

Robotic surgery used in almost every surgical speciality in Kerala

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Using 3D technology and 10 times magnification, the robot also helps the surgeon have superior visualisation capabilities

Robotic surgery could conjure up the image of a machine with the body shape of a human being operating upon patients. This, coupled with the doubts on its effectiveness and cost, turns many people away from the advanced technological procedure, though doctors claim it allows them to perform precise and efficient surgeries.

“In robotic surgery, the procedure is performed using a surgical robot. It acts like a superior surgical tool and does not perform any surgery on its own. The robotic instruments replicate the exact hand movements of the surgeon, who sits in a robotic console,” said K.R. Balasubramoniam, Consultant Robotic and Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgeon, Yashoda Hospitals, Hyderabad.

Armed with ‘endowrist’ technology, these robotic instruments are able to move like the human wrist, he pointed out.

Dr. Balasubramoniam, one of the first to perform a robotic thoracic surgery in Kerala, was till recently working with a private hospital in Kochi.

Using 3D technology and 10 times magnification, the robot also helps the surgeon have superior visualisation capabilities. “All these features allow the surgeon to perform a more precise and efficient surgery,” Dr. Balasubramoniam said.

The surgical robot has three parts. First is the robotic console in which the surgeon sits and operates, second the patient cart which has the four robotic arms to be attached to the patient, and the video cart which houses the video monitor and the central processing unit of the robot. The robotic instruments are attached to the robotic arms and they replicate the hand movements of the surgeon.

“Smaller incisions mean earlier healing, less pain after the surgery, and less chances of infection compared with bigger open incisions,” Dr. Balasubramoniam said.

Fewer medicines would be used to alleviate pain. “The patient can be discharged from hospital early. This will ensure full functional recovery and the patient can return to work early,” he said.

The surgery cost in Kerala hospitals is also lesser compared to their counterparts in other States.

Robotic surgery has now invaded almost every surgical speciality, most commonly in gynecologic oncology, urology, surgical gastroenterology, thoracic surgery, general surgery and head and neck surgery.

The common surgeries performed are hysterectomy for uterine cancer (gynaecology), prostate removal (urology), treatment for rectal cancers (surgical gastroenterology), and removal of lungs for lung cancer, and tumours in chest etc (thoracic surgery).

Amrita Hospital, and Aster Medcity Hospital, Kochi and Aster MIMS Hospital, Kozhikode, are the major hospitals in the State with facilities for robotic surgery.

Nearly 400 to 500 robotic surgeries were performed in Kerala last year, Dr. Balasubramoniam added.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 1:50:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/robot-as-your-surgeon/article30017615.ece

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