For the first time in the country, the orthopaedic department of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) will be conducting a computer-assisted hip replacement procedure on cadavers on Friday to train surgeons.
AIIMS will perform the country's first surgery on a live patient on Saturday.
"We will have 20 surgeons training on 10 hips which is the first of its kind hands-on workshop in Asia. So far, we have been using computers to get better accuracy in knee and spine surgeries; after this we will have doctors trained to replace hip joints using the technique," said Dr Rajesh Malhotra, professor, department of orthopaedic, AIIMS.
Doctors said the use of computers enhances the accuracy of positioning the implant, which reduces the outliers and hence need for a corrective revision surgery.
Use of computers also helps in a better 360 degree view through shorter incision, which means less rupture to the surrounding healthy tissues and in effect, means less pain, faster healing and shorter hospital stay for the patient.
"The technique will benefit patients as better implant placement means longer life of the implant. Longer life means delayed second joint replacement surgery or may be no need for another surgery and the person is fit to go home on the fourth day after the surgery," said Dr Hartmuth Kiefer, Germany-based Orthopaedician and trauma surgeon, who will be conducting training sessions at AIIMS.
Though it has been a few years since navigation technique has been introduced to perform knee and spine surgeries, hip replacement surgeries took longer because of the complexity of the procedure.
"There is uniformity on the way you approach a hip - it can be accessed from the front, side or even back. The position of the patient on the table also varies as some prefer to operate sideways while some try supine position," said Dr Malhotra.
"But it is all about introducing the technique once. I haven't known any surgeon who has gone back to conventional method of surgery once he has been introduced to the navigation technique," he added.
The only problem with the navigation technique is the longer surgery time and a little higher cost of surgery. "It can take anywhere between 10 minutes and 30 minutes extra depending on how skilled the surgeon is. And it costs R6,000 extra," said Dr Malhotra.