Indraprastha Apollo ENT Surgeon completes 100 Robotic Surgeries

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New Delhi: Dr Kalpana Nagpal, Senior consultant Surgeon, Dept of ENT, Head & Neck in Apollo is a master hand at console of a surgical robot. Her record of 100 robotic surgeries in the span of just one and a half years speaks a volume about her robotic deftness.

These robotic surgeries by her were characterised by faster recovery, minimal or no scars, very little or no blood loss and proved cost effective. In a press conference on September 12, she underlined the benefits of robotic surgery in ENT and said that Robotic ENT, Head & Neck surgery is the future of medicine.

According to her, surgical robot comes handy in treating Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Thyroid surgery, Parathyroid surgery, Neck dissections, Tumours of oral cavity, Oropharynx and Larynx, Recurrent Nasopharyngeal cancer, Hemangiomas, Lingual thyroid, floppy epiglottis, elongated styloid processes (Eagle’s syndrome) and cysts in the lower throat.

‘Others like Transoral robotic surgery is presently ideal for cancers or benign tumors of the oropharynx and supraglottis. Following Transoral Robotic surgeries, the need for cutting the jaw, feeding tubes, blood transfusions or tracheostomies are not usually required unlike in traditional surgeries. Patients undergoing surgeries for these conditions are giving us excellent feedback with improved quality of life’, added Dr (Mrs) Nagpal.

Explaining about Robotic ENT surgery, Dr Kalpana Nagpal said, ‘Conventional head & neck procedures require a lot of surgical dissection with large incisions which can be avoided in Robotic surgeries. Robotic surgeries are not performed by the robot but commands are given by the surgeons and robotic arms with seven degrees of freedom follow the command. Human wrists, elbows and shoulders only have a limited degree of movement unlike robotic arms which have 360 degree movement. They can reach inaccessible areas with ease as they are snake like and flexible. Movements by the robotic arms are miniature by 5 mm instruments unlike gross hand movements of the surgeons making complex surgical procedures successful with high precision.”

‘Surgery with a medical robot is a great alternative to conventional procedures for patients and can replace both open and laparoscopic procedures in many cases. Transoral (through the mouth) robotic surgery is minimally invasive, and greatly reduces the recovery time and its side effects,’ added Dr Nagpal.

As for the advantages of Robotic ENT surgery, Dr Kalpana further added, ‘There are various benefits to surgeons as well as the patients undergoing a robotic surgery.  The surgery proves to be a boon for surgeons as this provides them with a 3D binocular vision with 10X magnification; fingers tremors gets eliminated through software filters, the procedure does not require any awkward bending of the back or shoulder causing aches and pains. Other than this the budding medical professionals can learn and watch the complete procedure on a 2D screen which was difficult to observe in conventional procedures. The surgeons get excellent hand – eye coordination and there is enhanced depth.’

‘For patients, robotic surgery helps in faster recovery with minimal or no blood loss hence no requirement for blood transfusion, minimal pain, no or hidden scars providing great cosmesis, short hospital stay due to quicker recovery, cost effective and no injury to major neural or vascular structures. Excellent cosmesis is an added advantage due to which more and more patients are opting for robotic surgeries these days,” Dr Kalpana said.  

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