The Madras Institute of Trauma (MIOT) deserves to be called the only health care center in the Country to use minimally invasive surgery (MIS) for all kinds of surgeries. Thanks to the 4 cm cut and a guided camera that provides 40 fold magnification of a specific body part on the screen. Surgeries conducted on the kidney, spleen, liver, cardiac bypass, surgical excision of brain tumor, spinal injury surgery, and joint replacements are all done using the wonder camera. Patients can now escape from long surgical incisions and uncomfortable post-operative scars.
P.V.A. Mohandas, the managing director of the hospital and a noted orthopaedic surgeon, said: 'Any surgery is daunting for the patient as well as doctors. It is a traumatic experience for the family and post-operative care takers too.'
It was only logical to ensure that every operation should be done with the minimum of cutting and stitching and with almost no blood loss and no scope for infection. That's there MIS - popularly known as keyhole operations - came in.
The hospital, set up in 1999, announced on the occasion of its founding day Saturday that MIS was being introduced in all the departments.
Very little or often no antibiotic is required for recuperation. Often two, three or more kinds of surgeries can be performed on a person through the same hole.
'As many as 10 surgeries can be done where only one could be done earlier with the traditional long eight-inch cuts which had to be stitched up,' said M. Maran, director minimal access and endoscopy expert.
Sudha Parimalaa, 30, a mother of two, for instance, suffered from severe back pain and was referred to MIOT where her appendix was removed and an ovarian cyst tackled. A tubectomy was performed in addition to an extra gynaecological procedure - four different kinds of surgical operations through a single incision and camera-aided guided intervention.
'I was out of the hospital and walking with all my pain gone and was looking after my children in two days,' she said.
Harshavardini, 19, a biotechnology student, could not walk for three months because of excruciating knee pain. She had tripped and had a minor displacement in the knee area. MIOT doctors removed the displaced fragment through MIS and she could walk straight again.
Even babies can undergo keyhole surgery, the incisions on their bodies limited to less than two centimetres. The hospital gets patients from as many as 14 countries.
The first thing patients from the Middle East ask for after a knee or joint procedure at MIOT is, "where is the mosque, which is the east, can I kneel down to pray?" doctors here said.
'We know how it feels when a man cannot kneel down to pray,' Mohandas said.
'The cost of the surgery is just half that of a regular operation. Just one specialist and two nurses are required. With less of medicines, less of hospital stay, patients can be up and about within two days.'
'For a poor country like India, this is just what is needed, not oozing and festering wounds, people occupying hospital beds for months and long and expensive pos-operative care.'
The MIOT team has so far performed about 1,000 operations through MIS, and 25 of its department heads have been trained in countries like Germany and Switzerland.