budget 2020

‘Surgical Robot’ Access the Inaccessible

What a patient needs? Much less pain, shorter hospital stay, less blood loss and transfusions, improved clinical outcomes, quicker return to normal activities, less risk of infections and more all scar free surgery.

Thanks to advanced robotic surgery, this gives you all. Said to be Asia’s first robotic surgery, Institute of Robotic Surgery (IRS) at SGRH has operated 30 patients in its first month. Among them is an engineering student from Lucknow, 20-year old Haya Fatima, suffering from Myasthenia Gravis for 3 years, the medical disorder left Fatima weak and exhausted as the body muscles were affected. Girl was operated by a high- precision robot and discharged within Surgical-Robot48 hours, who is going to give her exams this month, said Dr Arvind Kumar, Director IRS.

Further Dr Kumar says, ‘’Knowledge and technology cannot be contained.  The future of robotics is no longer in the future. The currently available data has already proved that it improves surgical outcomes, decreases the learning curve, makes minimal invasive option available to a wider patient population, improves ergonomics for the surgeon and enhances the lives of patients. Robotic surgery will become commonplace over the next 10 years. These machines will not replace surgeons, but will provide added precision and enable surgeons to work on difficult cases, regardless of location. The robots will become cheaper, smaller, easier to use, will incorporate various smart technologies and provide real time surgical navigation to the surgeons, taking surgical precision to newer frontiers’’.

Howsoever, some may like to look at this technology today as an “expensive toy”, the reality is that it is the “ultimate surgical toy”, is here to stay and will change the way surgery will be done in the future.

The robot – Da Vinci Si surgical system – consists of a set of four arms, two to operate, one to hold the camera and the fourth one for assistance. These arms are mounted on a platform and are controlled by the doctor sitting at the control panel. The panel consists of an eyepiece, which gives a three-dimensional view, and two joysticks to move the robot’s arms.

The movement of the robot’s hands is same as that of the doctor, making the procedure simple giving the doctors a three dimensional view.

“The robotic arm is designed in such a way that it can reach the interior part of the organ curvature, which is not possible in conventional or laparoscopic surgery without damaging the normal tissues,” Dr Kumar explained.

IRS is slated to have a clinical division, soft skills and research division and a technology development division

Surgical Robot

Surgical Technology that places a computer assisted Electro-mechanical device in the path between the Surgeon and the Patient and come into existence as Robotic surgery or robot-assisted surgery.  Robotic surgery with its many benefits allows surgeons and doctors to execute different types of complex procedures with more precision, flexible and control that is not possible with conventional or traditional techniques.

Robotic surgery with the da Vinci Surgical System was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2000.  The technique has been rapidly adopted by hospitals in the United States and Europe for use in the treatment of a wide range of conditions.

The most widely used clinical robotic surgical system includes a camera arm and mechanical arms with surgical instruments attached to them. The surgeon controls the arms while seated at a computer console near the operating table. The console gives the surgeon a high-definition, magnified, 3-D view of the surgical site. The surgeon leads other team members who assist during the operation.


The main aim of bringing robots in medicine is to give more improved diagnostic ability, giving more comfort to the patients with less deeper scars, and the small and more precise interventions.

Today, robots are not just being used for prostate surgery, but for hysterectomies, the removal of fibroids, joint replacements, open-heart surgery and kidney surgeries. They can be used along with MRIs to provide organ biopsies. With the advancement in technology, now surgeons can see the images and operate the robot from anywhere, he/she does not need to be in the room, or even at the same location as the patient.

This innovation has given an opportunity to the patients who are living in far off place and need emergency help. With the robotic surgery, patient just needs to lie next to it without having surgeon standing next to him. This not only provides today’s surgeons who have too much stressed life, a better environment, less strain and fatigue. Further, surgeries which before last for several hours and need to many assistance, will now last in minutes with much more steady and smooth way, without doctors experiencing hand fatigue and tremors.

As compared with the traditional techniques, surgeons who are using robotic system find the surgery more precise, flexible and control. Technology has given them a better chance to see the site, and perform delicate and complex surgeries which have been impossible or difficult with other methods.

With many benefits revolving around the robotic surgery, few are minimal invasion, fewer complications, such as surgical site infection, less pain and blood loss, quicker recovery, small and less noticeable scars and surgical cuts are smaller than with traditional open surgery.


Surgical robot is still in its innovative stage and there is much scope for the betterment. However, as the surgery and the technology being very expensive, it is still unaffordable for many hospitals and health-care centers in the country. It is also said that robotic surgery has as many risks as open and laparoscopic surgery; nevertheless, the risks are different.

With technology always come some challenges, due to the fact that these robots are very expensive and new in the market. Further, surgeons need to undergo new training and skill development to learn how to use the device.

One of the other major issues is with the latency. Latency refers to time lapse between the moments when the surgeon start for the surgery, takes control and the moment when the robot respond.  Added, there is also chance of human error, if in case surgeons or physician unfortunately wrongly program the robot prior to surgery. This make an advantage with human surgeon where human can make the necessary and required adjustments while, computer assisted devices cannot be change once they start operating.

However, it is not very far off in the future, when surgeons will become more and more familiar with using these technology driven devices like robotic arms in their day to day surgeries making patients and themselves more comfortable and error free and will be available in every hospital.


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