Health
Oncology surgeons from North East India meet surgical robot

By: IBNS

Oncology surgeons from North East India meet surgical robot
Guwahati, Mar 28 (IBNS):The Dr. Bhubaneswar Borooah Cancer Institute based in Guwahati saw an unusual rise in footfalls last week.

In normal circumstances this would be seen as a sign of increase in the incidence of cancer in North East India. Dr A.C. Kataki, Director, Dr B Barooah Cancer Institute, however, attributes the rise in footfalls to over 200 oncologists and surgeons from North East India visiting the Centre to touch and feel a da Vinci Surgical Robot.

The da Vinci Surgical Robot, often dubbed as the surgical saviour for patients who could now get rid of cancerous soft tissues while neatly kirting around the pain, blood loss, and long recovery time of conventional surgery, travelled from Kolkata to the eastern part of
India.

In addition to the doctors of Barooah Cancer Institute, surgeons from dozens of hospitals in Guwahati, Agartala, Dibrugarh, Digboi, Kohima, Shillong and Silchar got a much better appreciation of Robotic Surgery and its benefits as they experienced the use of this advanced technology to improve outcomes.

According to Dr A.C. Kataki, Director, Dr B Barooah Cancer Institute, “India needs to enhance access to the latest developments in medicine, science and technology to conquer cancer. Robotic Surgery scores over conventional surgery and has proven superior outcomes especially for  Urology, Oncology, Gynecology, General Surgery and Head and Neck surgery.”

Robotic Surgery in India has established value with documented superior patient outcomes and efficacy, with nearly 50 government,
corporate and trust hospitals in India adopting the da Vinci Surgical Robot. “We can already see a huge momentum among patients, healthcare providers as well surgeons. Many specialist cancer hospitals like the Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute, Kidwai Memorial Hospital, Delhi State Cancer Institute too have been using da Vinci Robotic System,” says Gopal Chakravarthy, CEO, Vattikuti Technologies.

The idea of surgical robotics was little more than a curiosity until 1999, the year Intuitive Surgical introduced the da Vinci Surgical
System that enables a high degree of precision for removal of cancerous tissue and tumours. Robotic Surgery minimises blood loss,
dramatically reducing post-operative recovery time and costs. 

Today, Intuitive Surgical is the global leader in the rapidly emerging field of robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery.

Vattikuti Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation promoting the use of technology in healthcare, has helped to train over 220 surgeons
from over a dozen cities in nearly 50 hospitals in the past five years. 

The Foundation’s goal is to have 500 trained surgeons by 2020.

Knowledge sharing and exchange of new developments in Robotic Surgery procedures through bi-annual Robotic Surgeons Council meets, getting surgeons to become accomplished surgeons through award of fellowships are some of the ways in which the Vattikuti Foundation is growing the pool of robotic surgeons in India. 

Now, it has taken on the mantel of showcasing this advanced technology beyond large metros. 

Currently, Vattikuti Technologies is gearing up to enhance access to specialised cancer centres, government and private hospitals in non metro cities and has now reached cities in the East of India.

“The adoption of Robotic Surgery by Indian surgeons in nearly 50 hospitals has encouraged us to showcase this advanced technology for surgery beyond large metros. Based on our cancer incidence in North East India the hospitals need to equip themselves with the latest technology to provide succour to cancer patients,” said Sanjay Mehrotra, member, Vattikuti Technologies’ leadership team.

By demonstrating this surgical robot at Guwahati to a large audience of Indian surgeons, Vattikuti Technologies intends to create not only
awareness about Robotic Surgery and its contribution in superior patient outcomes, but also its ease of use.

Vattikuti Technologies, that has been exclusively making available the da Vinci Robotic Systems in India since 2011, conceived the idea of a Roving Robot in mid 2016 to familiarise surgeons and administrators of hospitals in Tier-2 and Tier-3 towns of the immense possibilities that the system offers in thoracic, urology, gynaecological, colorectal, paediatric and general surgical disciplines.

The adoption of Robotic Surgery by government hospitals, it is hoped, will ensure treatment to people who can’t afford private healthcare
but deserve the latest medical attention. 

The government hospitals typically adopt a dual pricing system--charge only those who can afford.

Dr Sanjay Gogoi, an eminent robotic surgeon and Director of Urology, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurgaon shared his experience of performing robotic surgeries on hundreds of urology cancer patients.

Dr Gogoi helped demystify questions from prominent surgeons from dozen hospitals in the North East.

According to Dr Gogoi surgical robots are being used in almost all specialties involving soft body tissues. Compared to conventional
modes of surgery patients benefit by way of minimal blood loss, quick healing and less pain leading to shorter hospital stays. The patient
can return to work faster.

Robotic Surgery has proven to be most efficacious in cancer cases—especially in urology, gynecology, general surgery, colorectal
and head and neck cancers. Obesity reduction procedures in Bariatric surgery are also being performed robotically in the country. It is
also being used for kidney transplants.

Many Indian surgeons have worked on developing new procedures using the robot for the first time in the world.

Hospital administrators and Surgeons from Downtown Hospital, Narayana Hrudalya, International Hospital, Army Hospital, Namcare Hospital, Guwahati Medical College, Guwahati Cancer Hospital, Dibrugarh Medical College and Hospital, Dispur Hospital, Guwahati Neuro Research Centre,Indian Oil Corporation Hospital, Naga Hospital among others experienced firsthand the functioning of a da Vinci Surgical Robot.