COVID-19 gives boost to robot-assisted surgeries in five metros in India
While Covid-19 has put a virtual halt to elective surgeries, robotic-assisted surgeries (RAS) have come to the aid of critical patients.
BENGALURU: While Covid-19 has put a virtual halt to elective surgeries, robotic-assisted surgeries (RAS) have come to the aid of critical patients.
The onset of Covid pandemic has given a boost to RAS and many such systems have been installed in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, and Kolkata in the last few months alone.
Since the lockdown was announced four months ago, more than 400 RAS have been conducted in Bengaluru.
In RAS, a robot guides a surgeon’s movements, making surgeries more precise, reducing the surgery’s impact on healthy tissues and decreasing the risk of potential human errors. These surgeries are safer, quicker and help patients recover faster.
Dr Mohan Keshavamurthy, Director, Urology, Uro-oncology, Andrology, Transplant & Robotic Surgery, Fortis Hospitals, who has performed over 20 surgeries during the lockdown, told TNIE, “We use the Da Vinci surgical system, considered one of the most advanced medical robots, along with Airseal insufflator which prevents aerosol infections which are most dreaded during surgeries.”
During the pandemic, apart from surgeries, the duration of stay at the hospital too has become important.
RAS definitely helps, said Dr Manohar T, Chief of advanced Urology, Laser, Laparoscopy and Robotics Urology, Columbia Asia Hospitals.
“RAS is favourable as it lowers chances of blood transfusion and pain,” he added.
Experts said that while many elective surgeries can be postponed, there are a few that need immediate attention.
Dr Somshekhar, Chairman & Robotic Surgeon, Hipec Super Specialist Manipal Comprehensive Cancer Centre, said, “Hospitals kept non-Covid surgeries on hold at the start of the pandemic, fearing transmission of infection.
Critical surgeries had to be completed quickly and RAS helped. We could complete over 350 surgeries using robots since the lockdown.
The procedure requires only a small team of medical professionals with the surgeon sitting at the console placed far away from the patient.” Dr Mohan said that RAS costs about Rs 1 lakh more than normal surgeries.
“It is definitely picking up in the country,” he added.