Gujarat: Robot-assisted heart surgery performed on patient from 32 kms away
Ahmedabad, Dec 6: For the first time in history, a Gujarat doctor performed the world's first in-human telerobotic heart surgery on a patient 30 km away from him at an Ahmedabad hospital.
Dr. Patel, sitting in Akshardham Temple in Gandhinagar, controlled the robots that performed the telestenting surgery on a patient lying in the operation theatre at Apex Heart Institute in Ahmedabad. The middle aged woman suffered a heart attack some days ago. She had agreed to volunteer for the procedure.
Dr Patel has been widely using robotics for heart surgery, but this is the first time in the world that the surgery was conducted from a remote location outside the operation theatre.
The robotic system comprises three parts - a cath lab-integrated robotic arm, a cockpit from where the cardiologist commands the robot using a joystick, and a replaceable cassette that carries the clinical materials for each individual case requirement.
According to doctors around the world, robotic surgeries are considered more accurate than the manual ones because human hands have some limitations that robotic hands don't.
The Apex Heart Institute set up by Dr. Patel, a Padma Shri awardee, is the first facility outside the U.S. to introduce robotic procedures for heart-related surgeries. Dr. Patel used CorPath GRX, a vascular robotic system developed by the U.S.-based Corindus. CorPath GRX's robotic stenting is said to provide accuracy of sub-1 mm, against a surgeon's 5-10 mm.
The surgery was watched by Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, his deputy Nitin Patel and priests of the Akshardham Temple. Its success is expected to pave the way for large-scale, long-distance telerobotic platforms across the globe.
What is robotic surgery?
During robotic surgery, the robot works as an extension of the surgeon, which allows us to work through very small incisions or ports. There are two robotic "arms" which both go through the incision (between 2 to 2.5 centimeters). Each of these arms has a camera at the end that sends images to a video monitor or console to help guide the surgeons.
There are two surgeons in the operating room, one controlling the robot and its movements and one directly next to the patient. The surgeon controlling the robot looks through the console that combines two separate images to create a highly detailed, 3D-image of the heart. It gives us a lot more precision and an ability to work through small spaces.