Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan Saturday inaugurated a robotic surgery facility at Safdarjung hospital — a project that was listed in his 100-day agenda after taking over the post in the new Cabinet. With the introduction of the high-end facility, the hospital is the first under the Centre to offer robotic surgery for patients.
The procedure will provide minimally invasive surgery, and reduce the morbidity and mortality of critically ill, cancer- and kidney-failure patients.
The robotic system provides “7 degrees of freedom, 3-D vision, 10 times magnification and better dissection with more precision”. Operating time also decreases, resulting in an improvement in turnover of patients and a decrease in waiting time. “This is in line with PM Narendra Modi’s vision of making world-class infrastructure and expertise accessible to the poor,” the minister said.
The robotics facility has been started in the Urology and Renal Transplant department and will also be able to perform robotic kidney transplants. Doctors said 25 surgeries have already been done using the procedure. “These procedures are done at a cost of Rs 5-6 lakh in a private hospital, but will be done free of cost for the poor population of India… Patients suffering from urology cancer like prostate, kidney, urinary bladder will be most benefitted if their surgery is done with this system. The robot will also be used for CTVS and gynaecology surgeries,” said Dr Sunil Gupta, medical superintendent of the hospital.
The hospital has dedicated 21 modular operation theatres, including two 24×7 renal transplant OTs and a dedicated robotic OT for kidney failure and urology cancer patients. “Patients will get all benefits…with lesser pain, blood loss, early recovery,” said Dr Anup Kumar, professor and HOD, urology and renal transplant.