CHENNAI: "Minimal access robotic surgery has transformed cancer care without compromising surgical quality and outcome and with better quality of life for the patients. What cannot be seen clearly even by the naked eye like tiny nodes, nerves and blood vessels are seen magnified 12 times," said Dr S P Somashekhar, Chairman and Global Director, Aster Institute of Oncology.
Experts addressed the 'Oncology update 2023' organised by Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research in association with the Tamil Nadu Association of Surgical Oncology. Dr Somashekhar said that remote surgery is an outcome of the American 2001 war in Iraq where wounded soldiers had to be quickly operated by surgeons sitting in the USA. It is now robotic surgery worldwide and will come within the reach of many Indians with SSI Mantra Robot available for Rs 4.5 crore as against the American robot at Rs.20 crore," he said.
The additional cost for robotic surgery which is Rs 1 lakh will cost only Rs 35,000 extra with the Indian robot. Experts say that when 5G telecom technology spreads in India, even remote robotic surgery will become common place with specialist surgeons from one part of the country operating on patients in faraway places. “With IRDA advisory some health insurance policies also now cover robotic surgery," he added.
Experts say that minimal access robotic surgery is better than conventional open cut surgery in many ways. With four arms and three dimensional view access limp nodes can be removed without affecting para sympathetic nerves or other vital parts. While doing surgery near the heart or lungs the robot cancels the tremors of the hands and is safer.
V R Venkataachalam, Chancellor of the hospital and Dr Uma Shekar, Vice Chancellor Designate participated in the event. Oncologists emphasize that it is important that surgical oncologists need to be trained and accredited for robotic surgery and the subject should form part of the curriculum in medical education.