Dr Tejas Patel, an internationally renowned cardiologist, has made history by conducting the world's first telerobotic cardiovascular stent surgery on a female patient from a temple 32 km away in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
Patel, a senior cardiologist, had operated on the woman a few days ago to remove a blockage after she suffered from a heart attack. On Wednesday, another blockage was identified in the same woman in Patel’s Apex Hospital.
Patel was in the Swaminarayan Akshardham temple at the time and immediately took a seat behind a console at the temple complex to operate on the middle-aged woman. With the help of cutting-edge technology, he operated on the woman through the world’s first in-human telerobotic coronary intervention.
A team of doctors and paramedics were present in the hospital to take care of any mishaps. This leap means the best of doctors can reach patients at any part of the world as long as there is an internet connection, cath lab and robotic arm.
"The woman had a heart attack recently and one artery was already operated upon. Today we placed a stent in the second artery that was clogged. This history-making feat is my small tribute to the Pramukh Swami Maharaj," said Patel after the operation.
The first-of-its-kind surgery happened 32 years after the world's first stent surgery was carried out in 1986.
It was carried out by an internet-enabled robotic arm at the cath lab in the operation theatre, which was operated remotely by Patel. He has performed more than 300 robotic surgeries so far, and it is with this experience that he confidently decided to take on the full-fledged live operation for the first time.
"Right now, as the technology is in a nascent stage, it is costlier than conventional surgery by around Rs 45,000-50,000, but with increase in its usage, it will come down. This is the first of the coming transformations of utilizing mobile technology in modern surgery, " added Patel.
"Our patented technology can even be adopted in the existing conventional operation theaters, with some modifications. Due to limited access to specialized and timely medical care, only a fraction of patients worldwide receive life-saving treatment. We hope that our technology will revolutionize cardiovascular disease treatment by providing such treatment to anyone, anywhere," said Mark Toland, the president and Chief Executive Officer, Corindus.
(With IANS inputs)