Health In Focus
  • Robotic surgery is an extremely precise surgery, with quick recovery rates
  • An expensive set-up and special training are required to carry out the surgery
  • A mobile unit will be traveling to smaller Indian cities to familiarize surgeons and hospital administrators with robotic surgery

Technology is moving ahead in leaps and bounds, and sometimes it becomes difficult to keep up with it. Surgical techniques have seen many advances in recent years to include minimal invasive techniques like laparoscopy and robotic surgery

A mobile unit called the Roving Robot will be traveling into smaller cities and towns in India to familiarize surgeons and hospital administrators with the precise surgical technique of robotic surgery. Robotic surgery refers to surgery carried out with the help of a special machine, which operates under complete control of the surgeon.
Mobile Unit Sets Out to Train Doctors in Robotic Surgery in Smaller Indian Cities

Robotic surgery is considered one of the most precise forms of surgery today. The da Vinci robotic system, which was cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2000, has been performing minimally invasive surgery in hospitals all over the world, for years now. It consists of a console and 4 robotic arms. One of the arms has a camera that provides a three dimensional view of the surgical site while the other three arms carry out the surgery through small incisions with the help of fine instruments. The surgeon sits at the console, visualizes the surgical site, and controls the movements of the robotic arms, which carry out the surgery.

Robotic surgery has several advantages. The instruments used in robotic surgery can be accurately moved at angles that are not possible with the human wrist. The diseased tissue can be selectively removed with minimal damage to normal tissue. Blood loss is reduced. Recovery is quicker and translates into a shorter hospital stay and faster return to work, which could balance out the cost of the surgery to some extent.

Robotic surgery has been carried out on organs like the prostate, urinary tract, female genital tract, chest, head and neck region. It has been particularly useful in the treatment of cancer, as well as in other surgeries like bariatric surgery and kidney transplants. The setup, however, is expensive, and not all surgeons are trained to use it.

Robotic surgery has been in India for some time. However, very few surgeons in India are trained to perform such a surgery. The equipment, which is heavy on the pockets, is only available in some of the larger cities. In an attempt to bridge the gap, a mobile unit called Roving Robot with the robotic surgery setup will travel to smaller Indian cities over the next 6 months.

These cities include Dehradun, Rishikesh, Muzaffarnagar, Bhopal, Indore, Raipur, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Vizag, Rajamundry, Vijayawada, Ongole, Tirupati, Vellore, Trichy, Madurai, Trivandrum, Kochi, Calicut, Mysore, Mangalore, Hubli, Belgaum and Goa. The mobile unit will expose surgeons and hospital administers to the novel technique and its benefits. The Vattikuti Foundation, a US-based non-profit organization that promotes robotic surgeries across the world, is carrying out this exercise.

The foundation will also provide the equipment at a special price, so that it can be adopted by more hospitals. Unfortunately, it will be some time before the procedure will become an economically viable option for most people living in India, especially in the semi-urban or rural areas.

Source: Medindia

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