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Safdarjung Hospital conducts robotic cardiothoracic surgery

Oct 21, 2022

NEW DELHI: Safdarjung Hospital has become the first central government-run health facility to conduct a robotic cardiothoracic surgery. The hospital, which used the technology for the first time this September, has so far conducted three such surgeries, the authorities said. 

The technology was procured in October 2019 for gynaecological, urological and cardiothoracic vascular surgeries. “However, in the past two years, the programme couldn’t be started due to Covid-19. In India, there was no such established cardio programme when we bought the robotic technology. Even now, only a few hospitals have it,” said Dr Anubhav Gupta, head of the department of cardiothoracic vascular surgery (CTVS). 

The first surgery was performed successfully by a team of Dr Gupta and Dr Khushwant Popli and Dr Ajit Padhay from CTVS, and Dr Virendra Kumar and Dr Ira Balakrishnan from anaesthesia, and support staff. Owing to the minimal invasive technology, all three patients have already been discharged. 

The first patient who underwent the robotic surgery had to undergo removal of the thymus gland. “For this, we didn’t had to cut the bone and conducted the surgery by making three ports. The advantage of robotic surgery is that it has a very clear 3D vision and the instruments are also not straight and has got flexibility. It enables them to reach into smaller spaces,” Dr Gupta said. 

Usually, the normal process for removal of the thymus gland involves procedures such as splitting of external bones or a video-assisted thoracic surgery, but the vision is not so clear in such cases. 

“The results of robotic surgeries are very good because a patient doesn’t have to undergo any external cut, the procedure is minimally invasive and the recovery process is faster. The pain is also less and a patient is able to get back to the routine life much quicker. In non-robotic surgeries, a patient will take around three months to recover, but with robotics, a patient will take just a month,” Dr Gupta pointed out. Cardiothoracic surgery treats conditions in the heart, lungs and chest. 

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