Robotic surgery is slowly but steadily gaining popularity in India for treating cancer. Regarded as advanced development in the field of cancer treatment, oncologists and cancer patients are presented with option of robotic surgery before going for a surgery. G Jagadhishwar Goud, head of department of robotic surgery at KIMS, explains about the advantages and limitations of robotic surgery and gives suggestions as to who should choose it for better results.
What is robotic surgery? Give us a brief overview.
In robotic surgery a robotic machine with four arms will be used. It is a minimally invasive surgery which can be operated through remote. The robotics arms will be used to perform surgery through minimal invasion and they will be electronically connected with a master console, from where a surgeon will control the surgery. Two surgeons simultaneously monitor the surgery and it needs surgeons with expertise in not just surgery but also in technology.
In what way is robotic surgery better than normal surgery?
Unlike in normal surgeries where wide incisions will be made, robotic surgery is a minimally invasive surgery and the sterile arms will be used. As these arms are sterile and used just once occurrence of infection is very less when compared to normal surgeries. Vision of the body part where surgery is performed will be magnified from three to ten times more, thus allowing surgeon to perform better. Surgeons tremors also will be cancelled. Thus robotic surgeon enhances the precision of surgery and improves the results. Also pain and discharge time for patient will be decreased considerably.
How popular is robotic surgery now?
Robotic surgery is still in its infancy stage in India. It has been gaining popularity over the past three years. Till now about 8,000 robotic surgeries might have been performed all over India. Of late both surgeons and patients are getting familiar with robotic surgery. Though slowly but steadily robotic surgeries are gaining popularity as they provide better solutions to both surgeons and patients. In these days, when time is major constraint and people have to get back to work quickly, robotic surgeries are a boon.
When it has so many merits why is it slow in getting popular. Are there any limitations or side effects?
There are absolutely no side effects. Also it greatly adds to a surgeon’s expertise. But it is expensive. It costs almost double when compared to a normal surgery. As a result many people think twice before going for it. Even we do not insist on robotic surgeries in all instances. Only when complex surgeries are performed we explain about the option of robotic surgeries. For instance, to treat prostate, oesophageal and low rectal cancers among others, robotic surgery is essential. Even in cases where young women do not want a scar after surgery, robotic surgeries are the best bet. But for normal cancers we do not need a robotic surgery.
How do you foresee the role of robotic surgeries in improving cancer treatment?
To provide world class healthcare to our people we have to be abreast with all the latest developments and oncologists and surgeons have to gain the required expertise. Or else we will be handicapped with future evolutions in field on cancer caner and surgeries In a couple of years it will be made affordable to more number of people. If the cost is decreased even marginally a huge number of patients will be benefited.