Robotic surgery begins in the private sector

LAHORE: Robotic surgery, the latest surgical technology, started in the private sector in Lahore after successful operations on patients requiring surgeries for urological, surgical and gynecological complications.

“Doctors at National Defense Hospital successfully performed robotic surgery on five surgical patients and four each requiring gynecology and urology surgeries,” Professor Dr. Mahmood Ayaz, Professor of Surgery, said during an awareness session on the start of the robotics program. here at the National Hospital Robotic Center on Saturday.

Robotic surgery was first pioneered in Pakistan at Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT) in the specialty of Urology.

While illustrating the concept of robotic surgery, Prof. Mahmood Ayaz informed that surgeons remotely control robotic arms to mimic human arms with greater precision to perform surgeries on patients. On average, it took 2 hours and 5 minutes to complete the surgery on each patient requiring surgery, 1:48 on each Gynae patient, and 2:15 on each Urology patient.

Prof. Mahmood Ayaz said specialist doctors, nurses and auxiliary staff have acquired specialist training overseas and performed a hospital run simulation before starting robotic surgery on patients in the hospital. . In the 237-year history of surgery through open body procedures, laparoscopic surgery (surgery performed through holes rather than through the opening in the body) has been a historic intervention introduced around 30 years ago, and now robotic surgery is a breakthrough innovation in surgical science for the betterment of patients. “Laparoscopy was a 2D procedure, while robotic surgery is a 3D procedure and therefore has high precision and minimizes complications,” he added. He further informed that the robotic arm has much more flexibility than traditional rigid instruments or human arms as it can easily navigate even at 720º compared to the human arm which can navigate up to 180º. He informed that the robotic system incorporates artificial intelligence (AI), which not only excludes human error, but also prevents skipping certain steps during surgery. “If a certain step is skipped, an alarm will sound first to warn, then the instrument will shut down until that step is not completed,” he added. He informed that the AI ​​in the installed robotic system is linked to the central system via uninterrupted high-speed internet, which excludes any malfunction of the AI. “Initially, the surgeon’s console is set up in the operating room,” he said, adding that the surgeon’s console can be set up in another room in the hospital or even in the home or clinic. of the surgeon without compromising the perfection of procedures. “The surgeon is accompanied by a fellow surgeon, just like the co-pilot in aviation, in case of assistance,” he added.

He further informed that human hand surgery has 5.3% infection risk, laparoscopic surgery 2.9%, while robotic surgery only has 0 infection risk, 3% due to lack of human interaction with the patient’s body.

He informed that the cost of robotic surgery would not be more than the cost incurred for laparoscopic surgery, except maybe 10-20% on the disposable instrument fee to be borne by the patient.

Professor Dr. MR Zaki, Professor of Urology, informed that robotic surgery only targets malignancy without affecting healthy parts of the organ, which makes it even safer for patients. “The patient can leave one day after surgery, unlike human hand or laparoscopic surgery, which reduces bed occupancy in hospitals,” he added.

Professor Dr Samia Malik, head of the gynecology department, said up to 70-80% of gynecological surgeries could be immediately transferred to robotic surgery, while 20-30% of surgeries may still need to be performed by methods common.

Prof. Mahmood Ayaz further stated that robotic surgery is the future, saying that the Robotic Surgery Database Registry would be set up; a fellowship in robotic surgery would be launched with the collaboration of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Pakistan (CPSP); and legislation would be moved to provide legal coverage for patients.

In addition, Lt. Col. (Retired) Usman Jilani Khan, Prof. Dr. Sarwar, Prof. Waris Farooqa, Prof. Rabia Shahab, Prof. Maimoona Hafeez, Prof. Rizwan Aftab, other doctors, nurses and staff from the hospital were also present on occasion.

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