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Robo-docs save the day

delhi Updated: Jun 08, 2010 00:22 IST

In what surgeons say is the first-of-its kind surgery in India, doctors removed a 42-year-old woman’s womb (uterus) robotically at Medanta Medicity in Gurgaon on May 31.

SHARP MOVES

Robotic surgery in
gynaecology can also be done for myomectomy (removal of fibroids), colposacropexy
(genital prolapse surgeries), lymph node biopsies, tubal recanalisation, surgeries for endometriosis, ovarian cysts, uterine and cervical cancers.

Robotic surgery makes it possible for the uterus to be removed by making four tiny incisions in the abdomen, which allow the patient to recover faster. Robotic surgery meant Dwarka resident Usha Mishra was discharged within 24 hours of the surgery, instead of the three days of hospital stay required after a conventional hysterectomy. The surgery was needed because Misra was menstruating so heavily over the last two years that her haemoglobin levels had plummeted.

“Misra was admitted with a very low hemoglobin level of 6 grams, despite being on medicines. She was given blood transfusion and advised to go for hysterectomy (removal of uterus) to stop the bleeding,” said Dr Sabhyata Gupta, senior consultant at the department of gynaecology, who led the team performing the 2.5-hour procedure. (Normal haemoglobin range for women is 12-16 grams per decilitre of blood.)

Already used for heart, prostrate and orthopaedic surgery, the surgeons used the da Vinci surgical system for the surgery. It can be used for benign cases and cancer-related procedures.

Misra, a mother of three jumped at the option as she did not want a large cut on her body.

“I feel no pain. I can’t believe that surgery can be so simple and painless,” said Misra.

Robotic surgery is a natural choice for people looking for less invasive options as it offeres all the benefits of laparoscopic surgery along with increased precision, said Dr Gupta.

According to surgeons, robotics surgery eliminates tremors as it allows the surgeon to sit during the operation, which helps guard against fatigue.

Robotic surgery costs the patients Rs 50,000 more than normal laparoscopic surgery, said surgeons at Medicity. Laproscopic hysterectomy at the facility costs between Rs one lakh and 1.5 lakh.