Robotic Surgeries can significantly improve patients’ quality of life after procedure

Kauvery Hospital’s Robotic Surgery Programme intends to provide cutting-edge surgical treatments at a low cost, making sophisticated medical technology available to a larger population.

Technology-assisted medical practises have made significant strides in redefining medicine and the services it provides to patients. The latest to join the bandwagon is the Robotic Surgery Programme launched by Kauvery Hospital, Chennai. 

The Kauvery Institute of Robotic Surgeries will bring together surgeons experienced in robotic surgeries in the field of Gastro Enterology, Hepato- Pancreato- Biliary Surgery, Urology, Oncology, Cardio Thoracic Surgery and in transplant, particularly Kidney Transplantation and Live Liver Donor operations. 

The institute seeks to revolutionise surgical treatments by utilising robotic technology committed to offering precise and less invasive surgical care. Experts opine that the robotic technology helps them to achieve precision and visualization with high-definition cameras. 

The Robotic Surgery Programme intends to provide cutting-edge surgical treatments at a low cost, making sophisticated medical technology available to a larger population. Robotic surgery enables doctors to conduct a wide range of complex procedures with greater precision, flexibility, and control than traditional techniques. 

The clinical robotic surgical system uses a master slave technique. It includes three components: 

A surgeon console: A doctor is able to see a high definition, magnified, 3D view of the surgical site and is able to control the instruments that go into the patient’s body.

A Patient Cart: Four robotic arms with instruments are attached near the patient’s bedside

A Monitor console: A monitor will display real time feed of the surgery for the assisting team of doctors. 

“By utilising robotic technology, we can produce exceptional results in complicated procedures. The robotic arms have increased degree of movements as compared to human arms. This enables precise and safe surgery even under challenging circumstances.” says Dr Swaminathan Sambandam, lead, Multi-Organ Transplant, Kauvery Group of Hospitals.

Robotic Surgery is not a novel procedure. It has been extensively used in North America and Europe in the last ten years. The pricing aspect was a significant impediment to its adaptation in the Indian market.  Research and development in the field of robotic surgeries have grown in the last decade.  It has only lately gained traction in India as more hospitals invest in robotic surgery equipment.

At the heart of this programme is da Vinci, a fourth-generation Robotic System renowned for its precision and 3D vision technology. This system empowers surgeons with the ability to visualize intricate vessels and tissues with clarity. Furthermore, the robotic arms are designed to access anatomical regions that may pose challenges for human arms, ensuring comprehensive and better surgical outcomes. 

Highlighting the benefits of robotic surgery, Dr Sambandam says it results in less discomfort, less scars, faster healing, return to normalcy in a few days, and a shorter hospital stay "With robotics, we can achieve things that even a human hand cannot." For example, we can only bend our hands so far, whereas a robotic arm with several hinges can rotate the arm nearly 180 degrees, which your hand cannot”, he adds. 

25-year-old Rahul was prepped for a kidney transplant. Due to his obesity, doctors decided to go for a robotic kidney transplantation that proved successful than the traditional surgery.  In contrast to a typical kidney transplant he was discharged from the hospital within 4 days.  Dr Sambandam who operated on Rahul opined that he was able to penetrate deep into the abdomen and operate with great precision in a small space. 

The cost of Robotic Surgery in India will typically cost between Rs2,00,000 to Rs3,00,000 in addition to the normal procedure. The cost of disposable materials and robotic equipment’s are the most critical elements in determining the cost of the surgery. 

“We offer robotic surgery at a lower cost than other institutions because we want this technology-assisted surgery to reach as many individuals as possible. Kauvery Hospitals is the only one in Tamil Nadu that offers Robotic Kidney Transplantation.,” quips Dr Sambandam. 

Despite its benefits, experts believe that the main reason for the lack of takers for robotic surgery in India is a shortage of robotic trained surgeons to perform the procedure.  A surgeon will not be able to use robotics straight away. It takes a lot of practises. It takes time to become proficient in this area.

Addressing safety concerns over robotics surgery, Doctors assert that safety of robotic surgery is proved by the FDA and its an approved therapeutic procedure in United States of America for the last 15 years.

One of the most common misconceptions about robotic surgery is that the treatment is carried out by a robot. A surgeon performs the procedure using robotic arms in a controlled environment.  Doctors reject notions about machines taking over surgery. 

"Robotic surgery is completely controlled by the surgeon and does not go wrong." The safety profile has been thoroughly researched, and the machine has been validated. Only after that did it enter the market, and it has now been in the market for 15 years, with thousands upon thousands of surgeries performed each year throughout the world”, says Dr Sambandam. 

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